Exercise is hard, but it's worth it — so get going

By Chuck Runyon

By Chuck Runyon (April 4, 2012)

The conversation started this way: "Working out does suck. And it's hard work."

That's fitness expert Chuck Runyon, whose book title — "Working Out Sucks!" — immediately caught my attention.

Finally, I thought, here's an experienced trainer (he co-founded the huge workout franchise Anytime Fitness) who says what we're all thinking.

Obviously, Runyon doesn't believe we should stay stuck on the couch and have another doughnut. He's a fitness guru, after all. But he does offer common sense advice on how to place one foot in front of the other on the hard, tough road to feeling and looking better.

And yes, it will require working out.

"It may suck, but the alternative sucks so much worse. Your fitness level affects every nook and cranny of your life," Runyon told me.

He says that if you exercise, you think better, have more energy, are more productive at work and feel better about yourself.

OK. Easy to say. Harder to get started. "This is a tough journey," he acknowledges.

Some tips from Runyon and his book:

Start moving slowly. "If you're a sedentary person, if that's one-tenth of a mile, great. It's like a slow build. You don't need to shock your system."

"Broadcast your goals. Make sure that people (friends and family) know what you're trying to accomplish." Enlist their help and support.

"Write down your goals. Accountability is the magic ingredient. If you write them down, they exist. Now they're real. Set short- and long-term goals."

"Find your motivation. It's not about what the scale says. Is it for your kids? To be a role model? Maybe you want to be wealthy. Healthy and fit workers make more (money) than their unhealthy, unfit co-workers."

Build in incentives — perhaps one day to eat a favorite dessert.

Take a rest day.

Got a bite-size tip on diet, exercise, well-being. Write ewarren@tribune.com.

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