Overweight and over-worked, Aussie Matt Daniels decided it was time to change… he would run 535 half-marathons in 535 days!

And he did it for someone he’d never met!

Every day, day after day, rain, hail or shine, come hell or high water, he’s put on his running shoes and hit the pavement. And he wants you to know that you can do it too.

Matthew Daniels working on his goal of running 535 half-marathons in 535 days.

What’s the motivation?

Matt Daniels from Geelong, Victoria, is doing half marathons in memory of Andrew Cadigan. He calls it the “535 for Cad” challenge.

He was inspired by Cadigan’s journey – the man who walked around Australia raising money for charity. That journey took exactly 535 days of continuous walking.

Before he started, Matt was carrying 20 kilograms of extra weight. The first few marathons were a struggle and he’d end up feeling really tired.

But he pushed forward – one foot in front of the other, day in and day out.

Today, he’s shed that extra weight and he’s just three days out from reaching his goal. By Friday, he’ll have run 11,235 kilometers. That’s 21 kilometers every day for 535 consecutive days.

Extraordinary? Possibly. Determined? Definitely. Motivated? Absolutely. Matt insists that anyone can do it and he wants to share the keys to his success…

It’s all about making meaningful lifestyle changes…

The reason why you should get up from that couch…

In the United States alone, about 93.3 million adults are considered obese. We eat too much, drink too much and exercise too little. We drive to the supermarket and push a trolley down the aisles.

Obesity is a global epidemic. And it’s proven to be the root cause of most health problems.

It’s been associated with a lot of life-threatening illnesses – hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, and some forms of cancer.

It’s a risk factor for osteoarthritis, depression, and other mental disorders.

It isn’t just about looking good. It’s more about being healthy.

Run, Forrest, Run!

Running is an inexpensive way to lose weight.

Sure, swimming, cycling, or a membership to a high-end gym can do that, too. But you’d need a pool, bike, or money for those.

If you have a good pair of sneakers, you can run.

Many, many millions of others have done it – and so can you.

The key is consistency.

Matt’s five keys to success:

Set a goal

Having a goal will keep you focused. Set your eyes on the prize.

Remember to keep your goal realistic and achievable. It does not have to be 535 marathons. It’s okay to start small – it’s better than nothing.

Find a support network

Daniels said he had days where he really struggled. Motivation was fading. But he had his family and friends who cheered him on.

Surround yourself with people who know about your goal and why you’re doing it. Be with people who share your dreams. Absorb positive energy. You need a lot.

Surround yourself with people who reflect who you want to be and how you want to feel; energy is contagious.

Having training partners promotes accountability

You don’t have to do things alone. Find a running partner.

Being responsible for someone aside from yourself gives you a sense of responsibility. This will help motivate you to just keep going.

Matt often ran alone. But having someone join him for the occasional run was a real positive.

Focus on winning the day

Not all days will be good. Some days you’re going to be so tired. Trudge on – slowly, if you must. But don’t stop moving.

It’s all about having the right mindset. Winners don’t go to battles thinking they’ll lose. Have a ‘can do’ attitude.

If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, then you’re probably right.

Overcome your obstacles

There will be setbacks; something will go wrong when you least expect it. But rise beyond that. Shake it off.

Challenges are opportunities in disguise. It’s a chance to be better and do better.

What about you? What’s your fitness goal?

How do you intend to get there?

Do you know that humans are stupendous runners? We have an extraordinary advantage over most other animals. Curious?