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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Help Your Local Charities and Beat the Struggle to Get Fit

One idea that can serve as an incentive to beat the struggle to stay or become fit is taking part in a local charity event like a sponsored run or cycle ride. 

In the UK we recently had Sport Relief. Individuals took part in all different types of sporting activities. Did I take part? No. I guess the reason is the commitment required. You sign up to run or cycle x miles. And you’re compelled to do it. The advantages are you  feel you must run or cycle the number of miles promised and you’re helping a cause you have sympathy with.

Yet despite all the advantages why don’t more of us take part? It could be inertia, we don’t like breaking out of our comfort zone. You come home from work, exhausted or stressed. You have your evening meal and either go to bed or zone out in front of some mindless TV programme. But, you feel comfortable, you feel fine.  Disrupting that comfy feeling to prepare for charity sporting event is not a welcome thought. This may require a little training before hand to raise the chances of completing what you promised to do – run or cycle x miles. And then it’s the thought of organising yourself to take part.

The organising part could even be the easy and fun part. Log on to and have fun creating a webpage, it’s free and takes no more than a minute. Share the page with friends and relatives via Facebook or email. They make the donation to justgiving (not to you) so you’re spared the embarrassment of asking and collecting money. 

All you or I have to do is select our favourite charity, find out their next fund raising event, train, run (or cycle) and collect. 

Next update: Sunday 1 April 2012

Monday, 26 March 2012

Can You Win the Struggle with Home Gym Equipment?

What is the most popular item of home gym equipment?

According to Amazon it’s the treadmill. The treadmill is the only item of gym equipment where you can run as fast as you can but go nowhere.

The second most popular item is the Schwinn 213 Recumbent Exercise Bike and the third is the Max Fitness 65cm Exercise Ball. The only item I’ve used is the treadmill. I've never understood why some people spend much time on a treadmill when you can run outside and view the scenery or, the traffic. That’s why I’ve never been able to stick at ploughing along on the treadmill.

The treadmill means you can run whatever the weather. The latest models come complete with a monitor attached so you can pretend you're running through a park, forest or even on the beach.  Depending where you live, a treadmill can be a safe option avoiding the risks of running/jogging in a dodgy neighbourhood.

If your goal is to train for a marathon the treadmill is ideal. Casual walking or the occasional run, save the expense of a treadmill and put the money to something else.

The uphill struggle to stay fit or even become fit means, if you’re like me, full of good intentions. It’s easy to follow the path of the stereotype DIY enthusiast, who is always on the lookout for the latest tools but never quite makes or repairs anything.

For us strugglers, like some DIY enthusiasts, we could keep buying and trying keep fit equipment without actually using them long enough to get the benefits.

Here are some interesting statistics from an article by Jennifer Lynn Hanson published in an Ezine article:

Three years after buying a treadmill, 40% of people use it less than once a week, but 90% of treadmill owners who use it at least 3 times a week report feeling more energized and in better physical condition from using the machine.  

If you have the space and can commit the time, go for it. I'll take my chances and go for a run outside. My struggle is I know I should get up and go for a run but always find a reason or if I’m being honest, an excuse not to go.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

The Uphill Struggle to Stay Fit

The struggle to stay fit. First a definition of the word struggle, here are two definitions from

1. to contend with an adversary or opposing force.
2. to contend resolutely with a task, problem, etc.; strive:

I’m going to go with the first definition, as in my case the adversary or opposing force is me.

I hope this blog becomes a shared journey between myself and readers in trying to overcome the difficulties of staying fit, which for me is primarily trying to achieve a healthy weight.

Just so you get an idea of the challenge I face, my stats are: age 51, height, 5’ 8”, weight 13 stones (82.6Kg) and my Body Mass Index is just north of 26.  This may not sound a huge problem, but family history of heart disease means achieving a healthy weight, through staying fit, could mean a longer life.

What do I hope to achieve with this blog? I want to achieve my target BMI and then keep it, so for me the struggle will be ongoing.

The ideal way to overcome the struggle to stay fit is to join a gym. But, have you seen the costs lately, in the UK prices are around £30-£60 per month (US $45 to $100). When prices keep going north and my salary is subject to a freeze, actually frozen for the past 3 years, joining a gym is one luxury I can’t have so I don’t worry about giving it up.
Then there is the option of bringing the gym to your house. Buying a running machine, bench press or a cross trainer can be a cost effective option to joining a gym. If you have any have any of these at home, when was the last time you used any of them?

I had the cross trainer. Its first home was the dining room, and then it got relegated to the garage where it got used say, once every two weeks and then once month. In the end I had to get rid of it because it took up too much space.  This means I’m still on the Holy Grail for the solution to stay fit.

Who knows whether the creation of this blog is the first step on the journey to beat the struggle to stay fit for me or you?

Next update, 28 March 2012