If you go look up inertia in the dictionary (which is an actual book about words for the kids reading) or you google it, you’ll find a definition very similar to this.
The vis insita, or innate force of matter, is a power of resisting by which every body, as much as in it lies, endeavours to preserve its present state, whether it be of rest or of moving uniformly forward in a straight line.
I was thinking about this yesterday as I contemplated running after work and or going to the gym. See we had a staff meeting at 6, but I finish work at 4 and it occured to me just how easy it would be to go home and do nothing. play my new Mario or Zelda game, or shoot some folks in Call of Duty, or watch TV, just relax. Heck even just sit down and stare at the wall.
My original plan was to go to the gym since our meeting was planned to start at 6:30, lots of time to drive the 20 minutes to the gym, change, workout for about an hour, drive home, shower and go back to work. starting the meeting at 6 meant that it wasn’t likely I’d make it back in time if I did a proper workout.
I think that is where a lot of people just stop. Oh my plans are trashed, I can’t go to the actual gym today, so I’ll just sit. Once you sit the first time it becomes much easier to sit the second time, and the third and so on. It becomes easier because you are allowing yourself to slow down. I know that if I come home and sit down I will not get back up to run or gym or anything, I’ll just be done for the day. But if I get home, get ready to run and do do it, or go right to the gym after work that my brain can force my body to do the work I want to do.
The real catch is this. You can get into a routine that allows you to do just the right amount of exercise to stay fit, or get fitter. If you keep up that momentum, your inertia will carry you through, you are in motion and so you want to stay in motion.
If you stop, you don’t just stay at the status quo, you backslide. Fitness requires a certain amount of upkeep and the fitter you want to be the more upkeep is required. Healthy foods, activity and so on. It’s not easy. If you just decide that you want to just watch TV from now on, you simply won’t even maintain all that you have worked to achieve. Complacency is the outside force that acts on the inertia of fitness.