There’s a lot of crazy messages out in the fitness world, welcoming pain and restriction, claiming that you can’t get better if you stay in your comfort zone. Sometimes it helps us reframe our assumptions if we deliberately do “something that scares us,” but that may not be the best way to begin.

“To get something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done.” That attitude has merit, but don’t get hung up on what that new thing is. It might yank you out of your comfort zone, but it doesn’t have to. You can take small steps right up to the edge, build new (small) habits — you can move the furniture in your comfort zone, and gradually expand it.

So don’t get caught up over “beast mode” or worry that your workout is a waste if you can still walk the next day. Start where you are — there’s no better place, after all. Use what you have — a jump rope? A place to go for walks? Just enough space in front of the TV for the 7-minute-workout? Do what you can — few reps or sets if need be, or slow down. Mixing faster and slower paces, or taking a little more time between sets, will help you gently increase your abilities.

And keep a record of what you do, and how much. Later on, you’re going to like seeing how much progress you made.


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