Consistency Is The Key!

All too often, we go through life, stumbling down the road of good intentions. We intend to get in that workout today. Or, we intend to begin an exercise program. Intentions, alone, are not enough! As the Nike ad states: JUST DO IT! And, do it with consistency!

Exercising consistently has many benefits. And, knowledge of those benefits may be used to motivate you to exercise consistently! It’s a continuous cycle. First, become aware of the benefits of exercise. Next, use that knowledge to inspire you to begin an exercise program. Stick with that exercise program on a consistent basis and reap the rewards of those benefits. Experiencing the benefits firsthand will motivate you to continue to exercise consistently.

What are some of the benefits of consistent exercise?

  • One of the major benefits is the development of a healthy lifestyle, which can lead to good health and add vitality to your life, as you grow older. Consistency in exercise becomes a habit–a normal part of your everyday life. With regularity, exercise can produce good physical fitness, help you control your weight, and provide you with more energy.
  • Regular exercise may lead you to develop healthier eating habits, as well. (All that exercise could cause you to rethink consuming those chocolate chip cookies. And, it may be that regular exercise will simply diminish your craving for junk foods, altogether!)
  • Another benefit that may be derived from exercising consistently is improved quality of sleep. In fact, eventually, your body may require less sleep, as a result of regular exercise.
  • Consistent exercise improves mental alertness.
  • When you work out consistently, you’ll find yourself looking forward to having that time to yourself…time to think or meditate or release a some stress as you exercise.
  • As a result of getting into good physical shape, you’ll feel more confident about yourself.
  • You’ll be able to join in on activities that require energy, flexibility, and stamina.

There are additional benefits to exercising consistently. For instance, when you begin your day with a workout, your metabolism speeds up and remains elevated for several hours, helping you burn more calories throughout the day. Your body also adjusts to regularity of workouts. As a result, your body improves physiologically.

How do you stick with a consistent exercise program?

  • According to Greg Landry, M.S., “over 90% of people who exercise ‘consistently,’ exercise in the morning. If you want to exercise consistently, odds are in your favor if you exercise first thing in the morning.” However, the important thing is to pick a time of day that is convenient for you, when you are at your best, and set aside that time for your workouts.
  • Try to work out 6 to 7 days per week, even if all you do is take a 30 minute walk. The human body was designed to be active on a daily basis. It’s easier to remain consistent in your workouts if you work out more than a couple days per week. Frequency is important!
  • Set goals for yourself. Keep records of your daily workouts and note your progress towards your goals.
  • Engage in workouts that you find enjoyable. If you hate what you’re doing, most likely you won’t stick with it!
  • Train for a competition, such as a 10K. Training equals consistency!
  • Find a friend to exercise with! Having a friend to encourage you and to work out along side of you tends to increase your chances of consistently exercising successfully.
  • If you can afford to do so, hire a personal trainer to keep you motivated to exercise consistently.
  • Wear good shoes to prevent discomfort and injury.
  • Reward yourself occasionally for being consistent in your exercise program!

Whether you’re just beginning an exercise program or have been dragging your feet on your current one, remember this: consistency is the key to a successful exercise program!

Happy Exercising!

Burn Body Fat Through Exercise

Overfatness and obesity are on the rise among U.S. citizens. According to the American Obesity Association, severe obesity is now at 4.7%. That’s up from the 2.9% reported in the 1988-1994 National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among adults who are 20 years old and older, 64.5% are overweight, and 30.5% are considered obese.

Women lead in the number of those who are considered either obese (34%) or severely obese (6.3%). Men lead in the number of those who are considered merely overweight (67%). And, the number of children in the U.S. who are either overweight or obese is also on the increase! In fact, at least twice as many American children are now overweight than in the 1960’s!

Overfatness and obesity can be attributed to several factors. Although genetics, glandular disorders, and/or a slow metabolism may play a role in being overweight or obese, excess food consumption and lack of physical activity remain the primary causes for being overweight or obese.

Americans have become a sedentary society, which thrives on high-calorie, high-fat, low-nutrition fast food. If one combines an inactive lifestyle with a high-calorie, high-fat diet, one’s chances of becoming overweight increases greatly! This appears to be what’s happening in our country! And, according to the American Obesity Association, studies have shown that obesity has increased among people of all education levels (with the highest increase among those with less education) and in all geographic regions of the U.S.

Obesity increases one’s risk of illness and serious diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. It also increases one’s risk of early death, as a result of such diseases. In addition, obesity puts an individual at higher risk for impaired mobility. And, those who are overweight or obese tend to be discriminated against in school or the workplace and are often socially shunned. They often lack self-confidence, too, as a result of the appearance of their bodies.

It’s never too late, however, to make lifestyle changes to combat weight problems! If most cases of obesity arise from too little exercise and too much caloric consumption, then, two ways to change one’s lifestyle would be to consume fewer calories and to get more exercise!

Although dieting, alone, can lead to weight loss, it usually causes the weight to be lost in lean tissue, instead of in fat tissue. (And, skipping meals is definitely NOT a recommended method of losing weight!) Studies have shown, however, that combining balanced, nutritious, moderate-calorie meals with regular exercise can lead to loss of body fat. (Loss of no more than 1-2 pounds per week seems to be ideal.)

The best way to maintain control of body fat is to set realistic goals, which incorporate aerobic activity, such as walking, jogging, swimming, and any other activity that can be sustained for at least 30-60 minutes. These activities work best when engaged in 5-6 days per week, according to Charles B. Corbin and Ruth Lindsey, in Concepts of Fitness and Wellness, Vol. II. More vigorous exercise can be beneficial, as well. But, many people cannot keep up with vigorous exercise for extended periods of time. Therefore, less vigorous activities, which can be maintained for longer periods, are better for fat control.

Implementing strength training into one’s exercise routine can be effective, too, in maintaining one’s desired body composition. Through strength training, muscle mass is increased. An increase in muscle mass or lean body mass allows more calories to be burned when the body is at rest. In turn, the body develops a higher metabolic rate, which promotes the burning of more fat. Also, for those who have more muscle mass, more calories are burned when engaged in physical activity.

By setting goals that are within reach, by exercising regularly, and by eating healthy, balanced meals, the Battle of the Bulge CAN be won! It won’t happen overnight! However, changing one’s lifestyle for a lifetime can produce lasting results!

Have a healthy and prosperous life!