Monday, May 13, 2013

Starting the Sit-Ups Habit

When we were kids and took the Presidential Fitness Test, there were a lot of areas in which I did not excel, and some "strengths" in which I had no strength.  But sit-ups?  I could do sit-ups.  "How many can you do?"  "How long will you give me?"  I did sit-ups until they told me to stop and go to my next class.  No biggie.

Decades pass.  The Child-of-Strong-Stomach-Muscles becomes the woman who can only do two or three (or maybe four!) sit-ups.

So when Anthea wrote about her attempt to start some new good habits, I thought about getting into shape.  Being a person who does well with lists and the Awesome Wonderful Reward of checking things off, I printed out two Don't Break the Chain calendars.

Calendar 1: Sit ups.  Ten per day.  Oh, the agony ....   But after 10 days of daily sit-ups, it was easy to do 7, and possible to do [gasp] more than 10.   So the next month's goal was twelve sit-ups.  The following month's goal will be 15 sit-ups daily.  Hey!  This is working!

Calendar 2:  Going for an exercise walk.  Not working so well.  If I realize at bedtime that I didn't fit in a walk, I'm not going to get dressed again and go out in the dark (and the cold -- brrrrr!) to earn my check mark.  (A dozen sit-ups is easier to squeeze in at the last minute.  I can see why Anthea set herself a goal of reading for just five minutes.)

Right now there are a gazillion ideas I have for habit-starting calendars.  But I don't have enough space to hang 'em all.  Or ... enough brain-power and will-power to obey the calendars.  So for now, just two, with hopes of making habits


  1. How about printing them out and putting them in a binder, then you don't have to hang them all, taking up space.

  2. I just want to very quickly point out that sit ups may be bad for your back, due to stress that it puts on your lower spine. If you start having any pain at all in your lower back, definitely stop right away! I can do all kinds of different stomach exercises, but not sit ups - they hurt me. :-(

    If you want to know any other stomach exercises, though, Katie and I can probably show you some.

    Also, even if you're just doing body-weight, *squats* are one of the best things ever, if you feel like adding anything else to your exercise routine. :-)

  3. Kristi, the binder is a great idea ... except for the fact that I need these charts smack-dab in front of my nose!!!