One of my catch-phrases is “Zero to Hero”. I think I got this phrase because of overhearing my kids watch the Disney animated movie “Hercules.” I use it to remind myself to get some exercise, and to express the amazing transformation in attitude that I undergo from before to after a workout.
Imagine this scenario: It is early morning and you are lying in bed. You know you won’t really get back to sleep. That little voice in your head tells you “You should do a workout.” You resist the suggestion of the little voice and and roll over, trying one more time to go back to sleep. You can’t sleep so you drag yourself out of bed. You may feel frustrated with not sleeping well, or anxious about the day that awaits you, or even mad that you rolled over instead of getting up. You change into some workout clothes and sweat it up for a while, even if it is a quick one because you slept a little longer. During the workout, an amazing transition takes place. When you are done you feel SO much better! Your attitude has turned around. You are proud of having done something good for yourself, and feel ready to tackle whatever lies ahead. Ok, say it with me now “Zero to Hero!”
Here’s another one: You have had a tough day at work. You battle traffic on the way home. You know that “the list” of things to do at home awaits your return. The family needs attention. You’re kind-of dreading the end of the day. When you get home you apologetically tell your family “I need to get in a quick workout.” So you quickly change and sweat it up for a little while, pump some iron, go for a run, or ride a bike – doesn’t matter which. As you do your workout the stress starts to drain away. The furrows in your brow get shallower. By the time you are done and cleaning up you feel ready and excited to see your family and knock a few tasks off the list. Your wife asks you how your workout was. Does this with me now raise your right arm, pump your fist and respond “Zero to Hero!”
I could go on, but I think you probably get the point. Getting regular exercise is a proven path toward healthier living. But somehow we always associate that health with flat tummies, sculpted muscles and other physical effects. My experience is that there is another added benefit that is probably just as important, and whose effect is seen almost right away: Exercise helps improve your attitude. You feel proud of yourself for having exercised. You know you did a good thing for yourself. This translates into a positive outlook for the future. You feel more able to tackle challenges ahead, or at least approach them with a positive point-of-view. In fact you are doing the right thing for other people around you as well. You ultimately will give them a “better you” to deal with – physically and mentally. You give them a positive role model as someone who is working at being healthy.
So make a commitment to create your own transformation. Remember how easy it is to stop being a Zero and become a Hero. Just do it, get some exercise.