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Think big and act small. Leslie Koch
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« Fitness: The Easiest Way? | Main | Give Away of the Day »

New Ideas?

Having developed a diet which seems to be really working for me, what's next? My aim is always to develop things (or recommend things) which make the basic framework of life as easy as possible.

Many people find their lives are limited because the business of being alive in the modern world is so time consuming in itself. How does one find the time to do one's work, to keep fit, to stay at a healthy weight, to keep abreast with knowledge, to pay attention to one's family and friends, to manage our computers and our web presence, and so on? The list seems never-ending.

Part of the answer is to find ways of doing these things which work as simply as possible, while taking up the minimum time. The time management system I describe in my book Do It Tomorrow is reasonably simple and works well. The diet I have developed is working great for me, and takes the absolute minimum of time and fuss.

So what's next?

I would really like to develop a way of keeping fit that takes as little effort as possible, and has a high "stickability" factor - something which does not involve gym subscriptions, equipment, boring repetitions, leotards, forcing oneself out into the cold and wet, huge amounts of time, record keeping, instruction books or any of the other paraphanalia of most exercise programmes, even the simplest. I want something which is natural and enjoyable, takes little time, can be done anywhere in any dress, is progressive and deals with all the main areas of fitness, such as aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility.

That sounds like an impossible dream. Can it be done?

I think so.

I'm working on something at the moment which I think will fill all of the above. Once I've satisfied myself that it is at least a starter, I will write it up and give regular reports on my own progress.

Reader Comments (15)

Sounds like yoga to me.
January 4, 2007 at 13:18 | Unregistered CommenterFuturePast

You might find a modified version of Ross Enamit's "Never Gymless" a useful source of ideas (

He's really into the low-tech/short workout-time philosophy, and avoids repitition and the use of fancy equipment.

January 4, 2007 at 13:30 | Unregistered CommenterIwan
Dear FuturePast
Thanks for the comment about yoga. Yoga is certainly very effective, but hardly falls into my definition of what I'm looking for. It takes a lot of time to do properly, plus either an instructor or instruction books. Also the main benefit is flexibility. It would not be my exercise of choice if I were trying to build strength or aerobic capacity. I know some people do claim to get these from yoga, but they generally are people who are doing a *lot* of yoga.
January 4, 2007 at 15:18 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Dear Iwan
Thanks for the recommendation about Ross Enamit. I am aware of his work, and think he is very good. However he is mainly into repetitions of set exercises - which is not what I am looking for.
January 4, 2007 at 15:20 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
My suggestion is to get a dog and take it for walks! It does take some time but it would qualify as a "depth" activity, don't you think?

Why the desire to get fit with minimal time/effort, and without going outside? As a runner (and a dog-owner), I maintain that the time I spend exercising truly enhances the rest of my day. Granted, it's not always easy to fit into my schedule, but I am invariably glad I prioritised it; I actually think I *save* time because the exercise and time out of doors makes me much more focused and energetic.
January 4, 2007 at 16:42 | Unregistered CommenterKate
Dear Kate,

Getting a dog is a great way to make yourself get out in the open air, though judging by the people who waddle past my house every morning to walk their dogs (I live on the edge of a small park) it's the dog that gets the exercise rather than the humans!

As for the desire to get fit with minimal/time and effort and without going outside:

If you had the choice between two exercise programmes of equal effectiveness and one took more time and effort and could only be done outside, and the other took less time and effort and could be done both inside or outside, which would *you* choose?
January 4, 2007 at 20:13 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Whatever you do has to be something that you want to do and enjoy although I suppose that you might not know whether you enjoy an activity if you have never tried it.Although I like going outside, the weather can scupper the best laid plans.

I had decided that I will make a walk at lunchtime part of my daily 'to do' list. This has the benefit of getting me out of the office, giving me a proper recognised break at lunchtime and some exercise. I feel better for the fresh air and by going past the kitchen on my way back to the office, make myself a drink on my return which all goes to helping my concentration in the afternoons. When it rains this will be harder to keep up!
January 4, 2007 at 22:57 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie
Hi Mark,

My recommendation is (still) the Hacker's Diet (
I have been following its exercise program for a number of months now and it checks most (if not all) of your boxes. It only takes me 15 minutes a day, its progressive, etc.

Most important for me is the stickability factor - in the last 17 weeks I only missed a total of four days of exercise using this program - it is really that easy and the benefits for me i.t.o. weight control and general fitness have been fantastic. Keep in mind that I have been travelling extensively on business and holiday and the CHristmas season was in the middle of all this!

Only down side is that it does involve some repetition of a specific set of exercises, but 15 minutes a day is a small price to pay ...

Best regards
January 5, 2007 at 11:18 | Unregistered CommenterRitz
All this stuff we don't really want to do has got to be simple or there's no chance of success.

I remember having a dog. It WAS great to get outside and get the exercise. I miss not getting that. But I do NOT miss having to pick up his poop, having to be home to do it, or having to pay to have him cared for when I was away.

I once had a client who walked a mile every day.. around her kitchen work island. She turned on the TV and walked while she watched. I figure I can walk a mile in about 15 minutes.

So I decided to try dancing a mile a day. I picked four tunes with appropriate beats, loaded 'em on the iPod. Head phones on. Choose exercise play list. Dance around the living room for 20 minutes. Doesn't matter what I'm wearing. Mostly it only matters that there are no witnesses.

Check out the rest of my thoughts on the subject at my blog at

Kerch McConlogue
January 5, 2007 at 13:44 | Unregistered CommenterKerch McConlogue
Thanks, Ritz. I had a look at it a while back when you first recommended it to me. I'll have another look now.
January 6, 2007 at 10:02 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Mark,

Did anything ever happen with this?

January 26, 2009 at 7:33 | Unregistered CommenterAlex
January 26, 2009 at 9:20 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Ah...any possibility?
January 30, 2009 at 6:12 | Unregistered CommenterAlex
Ritz will have to post a slimmer photo on his Facebook site before I'm convinced enough to try this out!
January 30, 2009 at 8:09 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
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February 11, 2010 at 2:03 | Unregistered CommenterEMILYHH25

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