Simple Health and Fitness: Interview with Zen Habits’ Leo Babauta
Founder of None to Run
January 24, 2023
Leo Babauta is creator and writer of Zen Habits. Zen Habits is about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives and is one of the Top 25 blogs and Top 50 websites in the world.I encourage you to check out Zen Habits as well Leo’s eBooks.
I am sure you will find things that will help many aspects of your life.
Five years ago, Leo Babauta was 65 pounds heavier than he is today and could not run more than 10 minutes. He has now run several marathons and has done a few short triathlons. Best of all, he trains because he loves it.
What advice would you give to people looking for ways to motivate themselves to start or maintain a fitness program?
Leo Babauta: Focus on activities you enjoy. If you like playing soccer or basketball, do that. If you like to go on hikes, run, bike, kayak, take walks with a friend, do that. Make it social if you can, doing things with friends or in a class. And focus on how much you enjoy the activity, not how hard it is.
Any tips for people who are struggling to fit an exercise routine into their busy schedules?
Leo: Start extremely small. Just 5 minutes to start with -- 5 minutes of yoga, or walking, or jumping around on a playground with your kids.
Combine fitness with other things, like spending time with friends or family or commuting to work.
Do push ups at your desk, a pullup every time you come home, squats while you're brushing your teeth, stairs whenever you possibly can. Have fun doing it.
Travel can often throw fitness routines off. How do you stay fit on the road?
Leo: I usually do some body-weight exercises in my hotel or apartment, like squats, pushups, lunges, jump squats, burpees.
Then I walk a lot, wherever I'm traveling. As much as possible. Best way to see any city. I also run up stairs whenever I can.
What aspects of your life have improved from taking control of your health?
Leo: I just feel better all the time. I have more fun throughout the day when I'm active. I have a lot of fun with other fit friends. A fit life is a great life.
If you had to pick your top 3 exercises for general health and fitness, what would they be and why?
Leo: Squats (and/or deadlifts) for overall body strength.
Push ups because you can do them anywhere (I also love pullups).
Walking because it can be done by almost anyone, anywhere. Sprint every now and then when you walk.
What are you favorite fitness / health resources?
Leo: Lately I've been enjoying Fitocracy.com because it turns fitness into a social game, which is brilliant.