Back to You: drop and give me 20

for the record: this is not me.

I admit it: over the summer, my fitness routine took a beating. I didn’t give up entirely, but as the summer dragged on my workout routine dwindled from 3-4 long gym sessions each week to one or two halfhearted ones, and there were a few weeks I skipped entirely.

I’m ready to get started again, but this month is busy and I’ve been having to rethink how to work it into my life…not to mention how to get used to the idea of moving my body regularly again. Maybe you’re right there with me, or maybe you haven’t exercised in so long you can feel your muscles turning into atrophied goo as you read this. Maybe you’re so gooey that you just can’t imagine how you’ll manage to haul yourself to the gym.

May I present: The humble push-up.

You probably learned how to do push-ups in elementary school (but watch the above video if you need a refresher). They require no special equipment, clothing, or shoes. You can even do them against a wall or the kitchen counter. They work several muscle groups at once: not just your arms and chest, but also your abs and upper back.

And most important, they’re an easy way to get energy levels up, blood pumping and get you in the frame of mind to do more exercise (once you’ve already done some push-ups, maybe you’ll feel inspired to do some of the easy ten-minute workouts I wrote about for this article on The Bump).

One of the biggest reasons working out doesn’t always stick is the hassle factor. It’s not always possible to get to the gym when you’ve got little kids at home. It’s not always practical to shake your hips along to a Zumba DVD in your living room (and something about doing aerobics alone makes me feel like a total goon.) Running is easy, but requires you to set aside time, wear the right clothes, lace up those sneakers.

Small things, yes, but obstacles just the same, and when motivation is low even the smallest obstacle can feel insurmountable.

So today I challenge you to drop and give me 20. Not all at once, necessarily: try doing a few, resting for a minute, doing a few more, and so on. Do five before breakfast, five before lunch, and ten before dinner. Feel free to do the “girl” version if you can’t keep proper form on a regular push-up just yet. Work them in any way you can, any time you can.

But do it. Twenty push-ups.

Push yourself to do them again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. Set a phone alert to remind you. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you get better and how much easier it is to do them in a week, two weeks, a month. And you’ll be that much stronger, that much more energized and that closer to committing (or re-committing) yourself to an overall fitness plan.

And it all starts with those 20 push-ups you do today.

Why not drop and give me 20 right now?

My bloggy buddy Jessica Ashley and I are presenting on a month-long project called Back To You, helping moms remember to take care of themselves during the busy back-to-school season. Look out for Back To You posts several times a week now through October 4: look for fun giveaways, challenges and do-able activities to get you energized, refreshed and focused for fall.

Read other Back To You posts here!

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