An essential key to achieving a goal is consistency. Whether you want to lose weight, get fitter, gain muscle mass, acquire endurance, or stay healthy, the same element is needed. Consistency means to adhere or stick to a principle or course, to show uniformity. Being consistent means staying on the path and keep doing what you set up to do regularly. Here are some important tips to stay consistent with exercise.
Reasons to Have a Consistent Exercise Routine
As you know, establishing and maintaining a consistent exercise routine is crucial. Here are some reasons why consistency is important in exercise:
- Progression: Staying consistent with your exercise routine allows for gradual progression. Over time, you can increase the intensity, duration, or frequency of your workouts. This progression is essential for continued improvement in fitness levels.
- Adaptation: Your body adapts to the demands you place on it. Regular exercise helps your body become more efficient in performing specific activities, whether it’s running, lifting weights, or participating in a sport.
- Habit Formation: Consistency helps to form healthy habits but you can’t adapt without constant repetition. When you make exercise a regular part of your routine, it becomes a habit, making it more likely that you’ll stick with it over the long term.
- Weight Management: Regular physical activity plays a crucial role in weight management. Consistent exercise, along with a balanced diet and proper stress management techniques, can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
- Mental Health: Exercise has positive effects on mental health, including reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. Consistent exercise can contribute to overall well-being by promoting better mental health.
- Disease Prevention: Regular physical activity is associated with a lower risk of various chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Consistent exercise contributes to overall health and can be a preventive measure against these conditions.
- Improved Sleep: Working out regularly contributes to better sleep quality. However, consistency is key, as the sleep benefits of exercise may take some time to become noticeable.
- Increased Energy Levels: While it may seem counterintuitive, regular exercise can boost energy levels. Consistent physical activity improves cardiovascular health and enhances the efficiency of the body’s energy systems.
Tips to Stay Consistent with Exercise
The following are some concrete tips to help you stay consistent with exercise:
Set Your Goals
Establish achievable short-term and long-term goals. Connect your goal to something significant so it takes root deep within you. Proceed to write down the reasons why you want that goal, your pain points, and the foreseen benefits for you and others when you achieve the goal.
Don’t forget to write down your goals using the S.M.A.R.T. acronym (Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Relevant – Time-limited). For instance, instead of having the goal to “exercise more“, plan to “exercise 3 days a week for 45 minutes for the next 90 days to normalize blood pressure and get more energy to play with the kids.”
Make a Commitment
In order to set yourself up for success, you must be committed. Being committed means doing something even when you don’t feel like it and even when it’s not convenient or comfortable.
You should commit to exercising for at least 30 days. Start by training 3 days a week for an hour or 5 days a week for thirty minutes – doing it for a month will help you to stick with exercise. As you progress in your journey, keep in mind the physical activity guidelines to keep your body in an optimal state of health.
Attach Exercise to a Current Behavior
Connect exercise to something you already do and give yourself visible cues. Let’s say you want to start working out after work. Then, you should keep a gym bag on the passenger seat so you are reminded, once you get in your car heading home, that you should stop at the gym or park first.
Schedule Exercise and Create a Routine
Plan your workouts and treat them like any other important appointment. You probably heard before “What gets scheduled, gets done.” It’s easy to say that you want to exercise more. However, implementing the concept is another story.
Scheduling your workout on your calendar or planner makes it more real, makes you more accountable, and keeps you on track. It, also, allows you to view exercise as the priority that it is. Plan a time to work out and create a routine. For example, if you want to work out before work, you have to realize that you must get up earlier. Is that sustainable and realistic for you? If you are not an early riser, it may not be. Schedule a realistic time and plan a routine around it.
It’s easy to forget to do things when they haven’t developed habits and they are not part of your daily grind. In order to remember to exercise and to make it habitual, you can set reminders so you don’t forget. You can write down Workout with the time on a post-it note and place it on your mirror, computer, desk, refrigerator, or car dashboard. You can also set a reminder on your phone, calendar, or smart assistant – Alexa.
Address Negative Thinking
Many times, we can be our worst enemies and allow our minds to sabotage our plans, goals, and even relationships. Thinking negatively makes you less likely to be able to remain consistent. Learn how to Identify Unhelpful Negative Thinking and Stop Self-Sabotage.
Plan for Obstacles
Be proactive and think about all the possible stumbling blocks that you may encounter and how can you address them. This helps you be prepared and ready to move forward. For instance, if you have occasional events after work, set up your calendar where your schedule is less hectic. Additionally, plan for changes in the weather or other time constraints.
Make Exercise Part of Your Identity
In order to incorporate exercise into your routine, you have to frame your whole persona with exercise in mind and believe that exercise is part of you, part of your weekly routine no matter what. See yourself as a person who regularly exercises, not a couch potato. We are what we repeatedly do
People are more likely to follow through with a plan when they are observed by others. Get a coach or an accountability buddy to get fully committed to implementing changes.
Make Exercise Satisfying and Mix It Up
Choose exercises that you find enjoyable to increase the likelihood of sticking with them. Plan different ways to make your workouts enjoyable and get more exercise in unnoticeable ways.
Don’t forget to keep your routine interesting. Mix it up by incorporating a variety of activities. When you connect exercise to something pleasurable rewarding experiences, you don’t dread exercise but reinforce your regular efforts.
Listen to Your Body
Listening to your body during exercise is essential for a safe and effective workout. Be mindful of how your body feels, and make adjustments to your routine as needed to avoid burnout or injury.
Be patient with yourself. If you are not sticking to the plan 100%, understand that establishing a new habit can take time. Simultaneously, be patient with the process. Many times, people presume that results will take place right away but that expectation is unrealistic.
Remember, consistency doesn’t mean you have to engage in intense workouts every day. It’s about finding a balance that works for you and allows you to sustain a healthy, active lifestyle over the long term. Follow the tips described above so you can stay consistent with exercise and experience long-lasting change. Check out 28 Days to a New Life to incorporate a holistic approach and make changes in all areas of your life.
To a Fitter Healthier You,
The Fitness Wellness Mentor