Your body and mind are absolutely connected. How you feel physically, how well your body performs, will impact how your mind functions.

In order to live a simple and effective life, you need to not only be working on the way you think and perceive the world, but also how you physically move.

Working out doesn’t need to be complicated. You don’t need the Bowflex 9000 machine, or to join the expensive gym in town. You can do simple workouts.

I spend just 20-30 minutes a day, every morning at 5:30am, doing a simple workout. Simple meaning in movement, but not in effort. To be effective in the short time every day, I am intentional about working out to my full potential.

Simple Workout Ideas

Running – My first big push into exercise came at the end of high school when I knew I needed to move to feel better. Running was the easy option. With an $80 investment in running shoes, I was off. I’ve since ran four half marathons and continue to use running as a way to get outside for exercise. It’s easy to start with low miles, then work your way into simple 3-5 mile runs.

Kettlebells – My new favorite tool for fitness – kettlebells combine the benefits of weight training and cardio endurance in an easy to use package. With the purchase of a 2-3 bells, you can get started on a host of full body movements. Most of my morning workouts now include kettlebells, where I do repeated simple movements of squats, swings, cleans, presses and snatches.

Bodyweight Movements – Burpees, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, squats, and so on. You can pretty easily create a set of movements to get in a daily workout using just your body. The more full range the movement, the better. I like to intermix bodyweight movements into my kettlebells sets to vary my workouts.

TRX  (Suspension Training) – One way to get additional benefit from bodyweight exercises is to add suspension cables. We have TRX cables bolted into our basement wall, allowing us to do a whole bunch of additional movements as part of a bodyweight routine. Suspension cables are great for adding presses, rows, and doing core stability movements.

Yoga – My wife and many of my friends swear by yoga. It’s personally not the right exercise for me. But from a simplicity standpoint, you only need a mat and some instructions, so it’s a simple workout option.

Other – Find what works for you, experiment. Every person has a different body and there is not one single solution that works universally. The key is that it works.

Discipline ≠ Motivation

To motivate yourself is to create the desire to do something.

To have discipline is to follow a set of rules or framework.

A simple workout routine should be 100% about discipline. You create a framework or schedule of when and how you are going to workout, then you follow it. I have a set workout schedule or focus for each day of the week, so that every morning I can just get started.

The reality about working out is that you are not going to be motivated every day. So instead of requiring the you give yourself a pep talk and muster up the self-motivation, just be disciplined in the way you treat your body.

What do you do? Share your your simple workout ideas with other readers in the comments.

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