Albert Einstein is reported to have said, “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it; he who doesn’t, pays it.”
The idea of accumulating fitness and skills over time is similar. In the age of social media, it is easy to become disheartened by the heroic workouts that some athletes and coaches post.
It is so daunting that beginners simply don’t know where to start. If they don’t have time for the two-hour workout, they think, ‘Why bother?’
However, five minutes a day adds up to 30 hours a year. Who can’t get better after 30 hours of practice? After 10 years that is 300 hours.
This article will show the value of investing five minutes of your time every day so that you can enjoy the long-term rewards.
Where To Start?
Think of a number between 1 and 10. Do that many bodyweight squats. There, you have made a start. Well done. It is as simple as that.
No, you haven’t won the Olympics, scored a touchdown or ‘deserve’ a treat but you have done something. That is more than most people do and you should recognize it as such. Excuses are common:
- Not enough time
- Not enough energy
- Nowhere to train
- Joining a gym is expensive
- I don’t know where to start
You have just annihilated all of those excuses by doing those bodyweight squats.
The secret to success is to do the same thing tomorrow and the day after that. If you did six squats today and set that as your target, then you will have done 2190 squats over the next year.
2190 squats! Imagine that. Think of how your legs will be stronger and more flexible.
Can you see how simple it is?
The sports and fitness industry is worth billions of dollars in the USA alone. The buzz and noise about exercise programming is often accompanied by the need to buy something or pay someone to do it for you. The more complicated the process, the more you have to payout.
By keeping things simple, you gain control and the chance of consistency. Consistency is how top athletes beat the also-rans. Consistency of training, of sleep, of diet and of routines.
What Is The Next Step?
Pick another number between 1 and 10. Now jump in the air and land quietly that number of times. Well done.
Did you know that teenage girls can improve their bone mineral density by doing only 6 vertical jumps every day? This is important as strong bones are less likely to get fractured, and this lasts into menopause when the risk of osteoporosis increases. So the squats and jumps that you did today will help reduce the risk of osteoporosis in your 40s and 50s if you keep doing them. That is the power of accumulation.
But how many teenage girls do any jumps, let alone 6 a day?
This is why consistency is important.
So far, we only have two exercises that take less than 30 seconds to complete: 10% of your five-minute workout time. If you added press-ups, lunges, back extensions, v-sits, jumping jacks, and lifting a chair above your head in the same way you did the squats and jumps, you have an easy routine to follow. This is something that can be done anywhere, anytime (providing you have access to a chair).
The accumulation looks like this (taking six as your number).
10 exercises x 6 repetitions x 365 days x 10 years= 219,000 movements.
Compare this to those people who do nothing not to the Olympians. Think how much better your body and mind will feel after 219,000 movements compared to scrolling on your phone.
Habit-Forming Is Key
You might be thinking, ‘but that’s not enough.’
You might be right. But it is better than nothing. By focusing on the simple five minutes, you start to achieve your goals rather than fail at them. This gives you a foundation for future success. Having got into the exercise habit, you can then start to find additional five-minute segments throughout the week.
You can do similar routines every day, or alternate them throughout the week. I gave you some suggestions to get you started. Other things work well:
- Rope skipping
- Yoga type stretch routines such as downward dog to up dog.
- Dumbbell exercises that use the whole body.
- Running half a mile.
The principles are the same. There is no need to go for the heroic efforts that are mentally and physically exhausting, (unless you want to and are capable of them), just build in small routines that you can maintain.
It won’t be glamorous or gain you, followers, on social media, but it will build up a bank of good health.