The Single Best Home Workout You Can Do For Your Health
The title of this post may sound like clickbait, but it was actually inspired by a remarkable study by Dr. Mike Evans, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto. In 2011 he produced a video based on the study that totally changed my perspective on fitness since it proved how being healthy can be accomplished by following one easy habit. The particular video, which is incredibly entertaining and currently has over 5 million views, is embedded below - In a nutshell, it describes how thirty minutes a day of moderate exercise (e.g. brisk walking) is the single best thing you can do for your health. Period. That's it. Done.
We all know things are easier said than done, so as simple as exercising for 30 minutes a day sounds, finding the time and resources to make it happen can be a challenge. I've worked from home for the past six years and, while it has benefits, there are also downsides - My life is more sedentary and I move around less. As a result it's easy to gain weight and become too comfortable. I lost the routine I once had of going to the gym since it was no longer on my work commute. For others, having children, working irregular hours, or being on the road can have the same effect - It affects your time and routines.
Changing routines can have a dramatic effect on one's life. Routines form habits which, more than anything else, will dictate the direction of your life and health. Once formed, habits are tough to break and almost become unconscious automatic behaviors. To change my life I had to change my habits. It started with just thirty minutes a day.
Drawing inspiration from Dr. Mike Evans' study I started to change my habits; the first was going for daily walks. I didn't set fitness goals or change my diet, I simply committed to daily walks. After a few weeks the daily walks became part of my routine and turned into a habit. In fact, I began to walk more places because I enjoyed walking. And when the weather was bad I walked inside on our Treadmill that had otherwise been gathering dust. Eventually walking for thirty minutes a day became too easy, so I adjusted my habits.
Walking for thirty minutes turned into jogging. Then I introduced calisthenics (body weight exercises) into the thirty minutes to complement the cardio workout with strength training. Soon thirty minutes stretched into sixty minutes and I was performing full fledged workouts - As I became fitter my motivation grew. Eventually I added kettlebells and boxing into the routine, and created a home gym in my basement. Things began to really snowball. I learned that setting goals doesn't produce results, forming habits does. Laziness begets laziness and action begets action - Change your habits, change your life. Once in motion you will gain momentum and you only need to start with thirty minutes a day.