Newton’s Law of Motion, and Small Changes

If you ever have those days or weeks (sometimes months) where you feel stuck in a rut, think about making small changes toward your larger goals. Changing small things and sticking with them over time can create big results. Think about it this way:

  • A few calories more or less every day can make you gain or lose weight.
  • 10 more minutes of movement every day is over 60 extra hours of workout time every year.
  • Walking one flight of stairs every day accumulates to over 4,000 stairs climbed over a year.

I’m going to bust out some Physics for you (don’t worry… no math involved). Newton’s first law states that if a body is at rest or moving at a constant speed in a straight line, it will remain at rest or keep moving in a straight line at constant speed unless it is acted upon by a force. 

What this means in terms of small changes: If you make one change, you will make another change. Then another. And another.

And then, one day, you’re unstuck!

Here are some small change ideas to get you started:

  • Keep a food journal. This can help you spot what your habits are, what you can cut out or replace, what you can automate (ie. Ordering groceries online, using a meal prep service, etc).
  • Set a movement goal. For example, set a goal to walk/run/cycle/row 100 miles in one month and just start chipping away at it.
  • Build in mini-workouts. Do 10 reps of push-ups (or knee push-ups), squats, crunches, lunges, and chair dips. When it gets easy you can increase the volume or the intensity.
  • Lighten up your coffee order. Instead of getting a blended drink, opt for a little milk and even a little sugar. I prefer my coffee black, but I understand not everyone is a masochist. You don’t have to give up everything you like. A small change like lightening up your coffee order can save hundreds of calories.
  • Make simple food swaps. Turkey bacon instead of regular bacon, make your own ranch with spice packets and Greek yogurt. Use ground turkey instead of ground beef. Switch to 1% milk instead of 2%.

These are small changes, but if you can do them day after day, the difference you’ll see over time will be huge. Any small change will lead to more change. Just do something different.

Happy sweating!



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