Of course, Jaime Andrews wants to take the physical challenge — any physical challenge. She’s a personal trainer, and she just opened her own fitness studio in Logan Circle. But to get everyone else on board with doing extra exercise in 2012, Andrews has launched a Facebook group devoted to what she calls “commitment training.”
The idea is simple: Each month, she’s dictating a specific fitness activity you must do every day. For January, it was run or walk a mile. Starting Feb. 1, the goal is to do push-ups (10 or 35, depending on fitness level). The modifications are designed to keep the challenge accessible to anyone who’s interested. And she’s making sure the exercises won’t take over anyone’s schedule or demand special equipment. “I don’t want them to say, ‘I didn’t do it because I couldn’t go to the gym,’ or, ‘I don’t have the time,’” she says.
One critical rule is that your exercise doesn’t accumulate. “So you can’t run five miles and be done for the week,” Andrews says. By forcing yourself to do a little something daily, she explains, you’ll manage to get yourself into exercise mode even on days you would have otherwise spent on the couch. Once you’ve run one mile, chances are you’ll keep going.
Then you can post what you accomplished on Facebook to get a bunch of “likes.” There’s no need to train with Andrews or attend her boot camps to sign up for the free group. In fact, Andrews wants word to spread to friends of friends, so the challenge goes national.
She’s also hoping that through these short exercises, she can introduce people to alternative ways to train. Even athletes can fall into fitness ruts. “You might find a love for something when you’re experimenting with new things,” she says.
And if you don’t like the challenge in a particular month, you have only about 30 days to go.