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    Fitness Program Hack

    By Cinder Ernst–

    You know how when you have a long to-do list, you can easily feel overwhelmed? You are not alone. We live in a fast paced, high input world, where the pressure to do and succeed is ever-present and often paralyzing. Sometimes a particularly big task or project feels enormous and you just can’t get started. I feel that way about a few areas right now.

    Fitness can fall into that mindset, too.

    Do you have “going to the gym” on your list and doing it, but you feel exhausted? Or maybe you’re putting it on your list, not doing it and feeling like a failure. Maybe you know you should be moving more, but you just can’t figure it out. You might have rehab exercises that you know would helpful if you could just do them. There are so many scenarios where your fitness to do list feels heavy and un-doable.

    The Swiss Cheese Method

    I learned a simple approach to create ease around a project from my Law of Attraction teacher Abraham-Hicks. The approach is called The Swiss Cheese Method. It sounds fun already, doesn’t it? Take a piece of paper and draw different size circles resembling Swiss cheese holes. Put an item that needs doing in the hole. Sometimes a related item can go in the same hole. Then, pick a hole and do the task. There is something about this method that changes the way you feel as you approach a particular goal.

    I am creating a new website and was feeling overwhelmed, so I Swiss cheesed it. First, I felt accomplished when I did the Swiss cheese. A week later, I did a task from one of the holes and colored in the hole. I then noticed that I was eager to do the next task.

    Last week, I had an appointment with a pain management specialist (I’m awaiting hip replacement and I was going through a rough patch). We discovered 4 techniques that she suggests I do 3 times a day. The specialist suggested that I write down my exercises in a fun way. She suggested colored pens or paper. I had a great idea! I would Swiss cheese them, and so I did.

    My list instantly felt easier and more approachable. I am successfully implementing my strategies.

    Manageable Steps

    If getting to the gym feels too big, maybe your Swiss cheese holes could be: pack your gym bag, grab your water bottle, buy after work snacks so you’ll have enough energy and bring an apple for the ride home. Break down the task into doable steps that will facilitate your overall plan.

    Are you interested in doing some home exercises? Your first Swiss cheese could be about researching what exercises you’d like to do. This could involve doing searches at Google and YouTube, asking family or friends for tips or looking into hiring a trainer or coach. Again, break it down.

    When you have settled on a few exercises that will best meet your needs, Swiss Cheese them too! You’ll be surprised at how a little tweak to the list can make it feel easier and doable. You might even like the tangible nature of pen to paper, which those of us of a certain age don’t experience as often as we used to.

    Have some fun with this. The more ease that you have in any area of your life, the more improved your sense of well-being will be.

    Cinder Ernst, Medical Exercise Specialist and Life Coach Extraordinaire, helps reluctant exercisers get moving with safe, effective and fun programs. Her book, “Easy Fitness for the Reluctant Exerciser” ( ), is available in paperback and E-book. She specializes in fitness and rehab for plus-size clients, but her stress-free approach is suitable for all. Find out more at