When we’re looking for easy ways to be healthy, without having to do anything too weird or time consuming, something that takes only 3 minutes sounds very attractive, right?
No, I don’t mean I know a killer 3 minute workout that gets you in shape overnight, only the unicorns have details of that I’m afraid. But 3 minutes a day is truly all you need to start getting back in shape and losing weight, and take better care of yourself.
You have got to own your days and live them, each one of them, every one of them, or else the years go by and none of them belong to you.” — Herb Gardner
We all have a bajillion things to do. You know the drill, one minute it’s Monday morning, you blink and it’s Friday again. Life whooshes by.
You battle through your weeks, keeping your home, family and work life chugging along, but you still have this list in your head.
A To-Do list of ‘Other Stuff’ that you want to do for your own wellbeing, nobody else’s, but that you never find the time to tackle:
Get in shape. Lose weight. Be more active. Look after my health better. Get strong.
As your weeks, months and years fly by in a maelstrom of emails, errands, work projects, and social engagements you start to actually get further away from those wellbeing goals — you’re getting more and more out of shape, gaining weight, becoming less active, health deteriorating, losing strength and lean muscle mass.
This sucks, but it feels impossible for you to get off the Life Hamster Wheel for long enough to start moving the other way. All the workout, diet and health tips out there seem to time consuming and complicated.
We need EASY ways to be healthy, not some weird-ass diet, expensive exercise machines, or supplements with sketchy science behind them.
But you can start building a better, more bulletproof you in just three minutes per day, and it even involves coffee.
Why 3 Minutes and Why Coffee?
I choose three minutes because it’s such a pathetically small number of minutes that I can’t convince myself I’m too busy to do it. I combine it with coffee because it’s the nectar of the Gods.
By religiously taking a three minute time out during the first couple of hours of each day with a nice cup of coffee, I get the chance to realign what my priorities are for that day, before my day starts trying to dictate things for me.
By allowing our days to just ‘happen’ in a reactive sense, we will find our health and body shape will follow suit. You will never think of easy ways to be healthy when you are too caught up with the 101 other things going on.
You won’t be in control of your weight, fitness and wellbeing. Those things will be at the mercy of how busy you are with your job, friends and family.
Time is a created thing. To say “I have no time” is like saying “I don’t want to”. — Lao Tzu
We always tell ourselves we’ll start eating better/exercising more/looking after ourselves “when things calm down a bit”. We’re telling ourselves that we still, like totally, want to do this health & fitness thing, and we will, when circumstances allow us.
Just think for a second though — when was the last time things ‘calmed down’ for you? Exactly. Things are NOT going to calm down a bit any time soon. Hence the need for an easy way to be healthy, meaning this daily three minute intervention with ourselves.
As busy as you are, I’m sure you have three minutes free between getting up and mid-morning, before the day runs away from you.
Even in my own sh*tstorm of a house with three messy kids interspersing their extremely in depth stories of something Susan/Bobby did, with last minute demands for money and/or weird school-related purchases, I get my three minutes of peace, even if that involves locking myself in the bathroom so they stop talking at me.
What do I do with my three minutes? I combine my patented (not really) Half-Assed Mindfulness with sipping coffee, and then I finally put a mental plan in place for the rest of the day that prioritizes myself without getting in trouble with the boss/spouse/law enforcement.
Half-Assed Mindfulness & Sipping Coffee
Put the phone away, on airplane mode or whatever, just ignore it for a few minutes. Take a few deep breaths, take a sip of coffee. You’ve another day in front of you, and no doubt lots of cr*p needs done for lots of people. But what about you?
What’s getting done today for you, your health, your fitness, your mental wellbeing? Well we’ve started right, we’re taking a few minutes now to press Pause on the Sh*tstorm Soundtrack.
Just sit for a minute and think about your own health and fitness, how your body feels right now. If you go off on a tangent thinking about so-and-so who tripped you up in Gym Class in 1997, or how fat you feel right now, just take another sip of coffee, and bring yourself back to focusing on your body and how it’s all currently working as you sit there, heart beating, coffee working its magic, bones and muscles keeping you in whatever position you’re in.
What a goddam awesome machine the human body is, right? And yet we treat it pretty shoddily most of the time and take it for granted. Well not today Zurg.
The Plan to Get A Bit Healthier
No, today we have a plan to do one thing for our own wellbeing. That can be getting to the store to buy better quality food, working out for even just 5 minutes at home, going for a walk, deciding to have an early night tonight, bringing a large bottle of water to work to stay hydrated — anything where the goal is a fitter, healthier you.
But promise yourself you’re doing one meaningful thing today for your own health, and work out the practicalities to make it happen.
Snowball effect of taking 3 minutes to get healthy
I know that three minutes sounds like nothing, a half-assed way of seizing the day and being more productive. Not truly an easy way to be healthy from today onwards. But boy does it work. Agreeing with yourself to do one thing for your health and fitness every day, means 365 actions per year. How many are you doing right now?
365 actions per year to look after yourself better — how many home-cooked healthy meals, brisk walks, short workouts, fruit & veg store visits and longer sleeps does that translate to? A helluva lot more than you’re doing now I bet.
So if you’re reading this in the morning, now is your chance — go get a coffee and do your first three minute ‘workout’. If the day is almost done then decide when tomorrow morning you’re going to try it.
I know everyone wants a piece of you day-in day-out, but it’s time to look after Number One, and it only takes three measly minutes a day.