I started to do sports during the first COVID lockdown in march 2020. The general atmosphere was weighty, my company's sales were heavily hit, and I felt I needed to do sport to better manage this unbelievable situation. It was a way for me to evacuate the pressure.
I used a french app called Fizzup, built by some of my previous coworkers, to do sports trainings. The exercises are, for instance: push-ups, crunch, cardio, etc. I felt enjoyable with this app because the workouts are short, usually from 5 to 30 minutes. They typically don't require any material, so it's easy to do everywhere, including at home or hotels.
In the meantime, I started to read Atomic Habits. This book explains clearly that small habits, in the long run, are a powerful way to achieve bold results if you stick to them. It encourages me to add sport as a new habit in my life.
A few weeks after starting my first exercise, I was doing 3 to 5 workouts per week. I could feel it was good for both my body and my mind. We were in the middle of the summer and wanted to go further. I fixed myself a new goal: to do one Fizzup workout every single day for an entire year.
To maximize the chances of achieving this goal, I used a technique described in Atomic Habits: I removed all the friction to doing sport. Each day, my shoes and clothes were ready in my house's dedicated sports room. My water bottle, too, was prepared. I had literally no excuse to not start a workout every day! I only needed to dress up in less than 30s and press the start button on the Fizzup app to begin my training!
Keeping the rhythm of one workout a day was challenging. I had to put this new habit at the center of my day. Each evening, I scheduled the best time to do sport during the following day regarding my agenda. Most of the time, I worked out in the evening when I returned from the office. When I had an event in the evening, I woke up earlier to perform my workout in the morning.
I still keep with this organization today.
I never practice after lunch. I don't force things. I respect my body and available energy: I push harder when possible, and slowly when necessary. To do that, I choose my workouts in Fizzup depending on their duration. When I have the energy and time, I prefer a longer one. When one of these two resources is limited, I adapt my workout. I also pay attention to not soliciting the same muscle for two consecutive days, excepting crunches.
Using the following tips, I could maintain the rhythm of one workout per day for one year, so I decided to continue this habit for the rest of my life!
As the sport became a solid habit, I also tweaked some things.
Firstly, I progressively invested in some materials for my sports room: dumbbells, a pull-up bar, a bench press, etc. It allowed me to unlock new programs in Fizzup and get more results.
Then, I added other exercises to my Fizzup training routine from time to time: running and indoor biking. Running is especially appreciated as it's an outdoor activity. It helps me to vary my workouts while I listen to interesting podcasts!
I also improved my diet. I reduced my sugar and wine consumption, decreased food quantities, and avoided caloric meals.
I used an app for a few months that helped me better understand the caloric weight of food: Lifesum. It allows me to track every meal and estimate the associated number of calories, which was very helpful. Nevertheless, I stopped monitoring after a few months as following each meal was a significant constraint, and I felt I got the general idea of the caloric value of each foodstuff.
These changes happened progressively during the previous two and a half years, and the results are there!
After more than 1.000 consecutive workouts, my overall fitness and energy levels have improved. My body is in better shape, and I lost more than 10 kg. I can also feel the impact on my mind. Doing sport is now a life habit, a part of my lifestyle.
It's really rewarding to have found the proper harmony! As always in life, balance is key!
I'm sharing this story as it may inspire other people. Here are my tips if you want to make a change of that kind in your life:
- Start with small but regular steps. I started with 10 min workouts.
- Fix a measurable goal and stick to it. My first goal was to do one exercise per day for one year.
- Remember why you are making that effort. It's crucial when it is hard to find the motivation. My goal was to be in better shape and to have a way to evacuate pressure.
- Remove all the friction to exercise. Practicing should be easy, especially at the start of this new habit.
- Be regular. I know it's hard, but that's the key!
I hope you enjoyed this very personal story and that it will help some of you. If it's the case, I'd love your feedback in the comments!