Yesterday I had lunch with my family, among them my uncle Rube. Rube is in his late 80s, and in swell shape, but he broke his femur a few months back and needs to do exercises every day. He knows he should, but he doesn’t want to do them (just like the rest of us).
I told him he should commit to doing them every day, but just for five minutes. If he didn’t want to do more, he could move on with his day. He told me he has plenty of time. I told him time isn’t the problem, it’s that he has mental resistance to doing the exercise, but most of us don’t have a problem with just five minutes if we know we can then abandon the effort. Just the thought of only having to do a little seemed less onerous to him.
Every night since I was about 17, I have done stomach crunches for 5 minutes. I got in the habit after a stint at a fat farm my 103-lb. grandmother schlepped me to in a less-than-subtle nudge about my weight. Pretty much every night, I do 60 repetitions of 3 different stomach exercises. It takes 5 minutes. Sometimes I do a little stretching and lift some light weights, but I have committed to that one thing. And it’s been…a LOT of years since.
Set a kitchen timer for five minutes and lift a little weight, do a few push ups, jumping jacks, jump rope…whatever moves you. Every day.
Rube told me he’s going to give that a try.