If you spent the days between Christmas and New Year like I did, with a few too many minutes on the couch eating bonbons, then getting fit again might feel a little daunting – okay a whole lot scary. Here’s how I’ll find my groove.

Getting to the gym is 99% of your workout. Really. Once you’re there you just do it. Ya I know that people on reality TV cry and even puke at the gym, and after much cajoling they soldier on. Here in real life, working out actually feels pretty good. You just don’t see it on TV because who’s going to pay to watch someone exercise, shower and get on with their happy life?

No, the hardest part about staying fit happens when you take a break that’s a little longer than you intended. Then the invisible force field activates between sitting you and active you. You start to get down on yourself. The can’t-do force field grows and grows until exercise feels impossible for anyone but the gym addicts you see on Instagram posting six-packs and their rock hard glutes. It ain’t so! Just 30 minutes of daily moderate activity can create a fine, healthy life. There’s even an intense Scientific 7-Minute Workout that’s been tested and proven to work.

Notice how your friends and co-workers sometimes gain a lot of weight in a short time? This happens when our life suddenly changes and we don’t roll with it. A woman I work with gained 15 pounds over the year she started a new job. A young man I know gained 20 pounds over the year that he broke his foot and suffered the loss of his beloved dad. They both regained their healthy lifestyles, but many people don’t recover.

My fitness regimen was about perfect. My gym buddy Nicki got me to the gym on the weekends and my dad got me to the gym during the week. On off days I went for a walk. Then Nicki and my dad both got sick so I had to use my own discipline to keep fit. Add to that the holiday chocolate season and inclement weather, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Easy easy easy to let activity slip away.

Other people grow sedentary and gain weight a little at a time. Over the holidays Americans on average gain 1 pound. One pound is not a lot. Problem is most people don’t lose it. One pound a year for 10 years is 10 pounds, and over a lifetime – well you get the picture. Fitness is the same. Skip your walk today, not a big deal. Skip the week still OK. It’s the 52 weeks in row you’ve got to watch out for.

So how will I get back in the groove? By starting right now. I am shutting off my computer and going to the gym. Right now. See you later!

Next day:

Hello again. I did it! Went to the gym for 35 minutes yesterday and today about 45 minutes. Tomorrow I’ll put in another quick workout. The invisible force field has a great big hole in it now. Eventually fitness will become automatic and that big wall will vaporize.

BTW – You don’t need to ever step foot in the gym to be healthy. Do anything at all – dance, walk, climb the stairs to your apartment, join a class, swim – anything. Just do it. Don’t have an hour? Try this 10-minute do-anywhere, no-equipment, full-body workout. If it’s been ages since you exercised, start with a walk. Just go. You will love yourself afterwards.

YOU next year Principle

Make time in your life to move move move!


If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.

Eubie Blake