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Consistency and Exercise

11.07.2012 / Blog Posts Health and Wellness

Becky Johnson, Certified Personal Trainer (ACE); IBNFC Certified Nutrition Coach.

I was talking to a client today who has been in a rut. A back injury, kids schedules, work schedules and maybe feeling a little frustrated all got in the way. Now she is motivated and excited because she has started to see some changes in her body. We had a little conversation about the “c” word….CONSISTENCY - She thought “c” was for cardio, which is also very important and for another blog!

Improvement and change occur when you do things often. Stopping and starting all the time will kill any of the momentum you need to succeed. You must find ways to stay in the game. Moderate forms of exercise done consistently provide far better results than the occasional full-body pummeling. A lifestyle that includes multiple forms of exercise five to six days a week guarantees results.

There are certain things that rise to the surface when it comes to staying consistent. One of them is finding ways to stay motivated. How does anyone sustain anything without motivation? Being consistent is critical, but sometimes sustaining it and staying motivated can seem impossible.

It's easy to create reasons not to exercise - I feel overwhelmed. I have errands. I need to finish a work project. We get sick, tired, we travel, we get discouraged, we are overworked, we under-sleep and we're stressed out. So what do we do about it? Who are these people that never quit? Are they super humans? The answer is that the successful, consistent and motivated folk have tricks to help them along the way - Ah ha!

Here's a list of tricks that will help you stay motivated and consistent:

1. Stop beating yourself up if you can't sustain your "perfect" plan. It is perfectly okay to miss a workout once in a while. It doesn't mean the whole process has gone to hell in a hand basket. It doesn't mean you have to start over. Life happens and priorities shift. So what? Big deal. Just start up where you left off. If you missed a day, just add the missed days to the back end. I hereby decree the burden lifted! Of course you must recognize the difference between a missed workout or two and a missed week or two. If you skip two weeks of working out it will take that long to get back where you left off. If you miss one work out once in a while you lose nothing. The extra day off can even do the body good.

2. Don't freak out if you don't see results in the first few weeks. The reality is that we all have different starting points. Some folks will see results quickly, while others will have to wait a little longer based on age, body weight, how conditioned they are when they start, flexibility, balance, athletic background, etc. This is normal, so be patient. Your body will adapt and you will be amazed at how you look and feel.

3. On your most exhausted, overwhelmed, and lackluster days—Push play anyway. Except if you're sick or hurt, you should be fully committed to having a lousy workout and let that be perfectly okay. A lousy workout is always better than no workout at all. Movement is good. Even when you're feeling weak and tired, get off the couch and MOVE! The truth is, and I know you'll agree, if you get up and do something, even if it's not your best, it's impossible to feel bad when you're done. Sometimes you have to FORGET THE BEST AND DO THE REST.

4. A Mental workout counts too. A consistent workout regimen reduces stress and increases your mental well being. When you work out regularly, your body releases endorphins that enhance your mood. You have probably experienced these positive feelings after finishing a cardiovascular workout. You might also find that when you go for days or weeks of not exercising, your energy level decreases and your mood is not as heightened.

Sticking to a regular exercise regimen will keep you feeling revived both physically and mentally. When you exercise with consistency, your muscles will develop gradually and your mind will experience reduced levels of stress and greater relaxation.

Stay Fit and Healthy,
Becky

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