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There is no way around it, I run a lot of miles, at least relative to the general population.

4 to 5 days a week, 40 to 50 miles per week.

There is no question that running is a huge part of why I am in the shape I am in.

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But I don’t think that is the whole story.

Yes, diet has a lot to do with it, but truth be told, I sincerely believe that it is the work I do away from the road, the treadmill or the dining table that makes an impact on how fit I am.

No, I am not talking about the elliptical, or the core workouts, or the stretching sessions.

I am talking about the hidden mini-workouts that can occur anywhere, for anyone, at anytime.

These workouts don’t make me break a sweat. In fact, I hardly am aware that I am doing them. The only thing they require is that I take an extra 30 – 60 seconds while going about my every day business.

Whether it’s parking a little further away from the grocery store, or walking up to my daughter’s room instead of yelling up to her;  whether it’s going up and down stairs with a little extra pop or just taking the stairs instead of an escalator or elevator – these extra steps add up over the course of a day – burning a few more calories here and there.  Is it enough to get INto shape? No, BUT, it IS enough to get the blood flowing through your limbs and get them used to the idea of movement.  If you think about moving on a regular basis, you are that much closer to actually doing it.   The hardest part of getting off the couch is, you guessed it, getting off the couch.  Inertia is one of the most powerful laws in the universe.  If you are constantly at rest, you will, in all likelihood, stay at rest.  That’s physics.

But if you start small and slowly build, you can develop into a fast flying, calorie burning machine.

A long time ago, completely unrelated to running, I felt like I was in a rut and going nowhere.  My mother said to me, “look at your feet.”  She correctly took my silence on the phone to be confusion.  She then continued, “when you are climbing a mountain, if you are constantly looking at the peak, you won’t be able to see your progress very well. You may  well feel like you are spinning your wheels.  But take a moment and look at your feet.  Look at the distance they are covering with every step.”

It was an “a-ha!” moment in my life.

It’s the same with these mini-hidden-workouts – start small…look at the feet, see the progress.  Eventually the regular workouts have to and will come.  Inertia will make it so.

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