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!