Why is consistent exercise important? The health benefits of exercise include help controlling weight, preventing sickness and disease, improving mood through the release of endorphins, boosting energy and endurance, and promoting better sleep. In summary, daily fitness improves all aspects of your life.
Experts agree that a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day is a baseline target. You should view daily exercise as a priority standard of your day, just like brushing your teeth, taking a shower, eating meals, and going to sleep.
Walking, running, hiking, biking, weightlifting, sports, yoga, martial arts, and group workouts are options to consider for a fitness routine. If you intend any of these activities to pay dividends for your health you must develop your fitness as a consistent daily habit!
In my experience, there are 5 factors that differentiate people who engage in a successful habit of weekly exercise versus those who create a fitness goal and quit soon afterwards.
Do you need to make fitness a priority in your life? Apply the following 5 tactics.
- Define your “why”: Is your “why” based on a need to lose weight to feel better and live longer for your family? Is it because you want to look better? Is it because you wish to accomplish a new athletic endeavor? Is it because you need to improve your mood, alleviate toxic stress, and increase your energy? What is your why? Determine if your “why” is strong enough to succeed.
- Define your weekly plan: Each week you must sit down and schedule your fitness plan for the week. Define what days you will exercise, what timeframe you will exercise, and define what exercises you will perform. Write this down and review it daily!
A young man asked a wise man, “Sir, how can I accomplish my dreams?” The wise man replied, “You’ve got to ask yourself, what am I going to do to get the things that I want. You’re going to need a plan. Your challenge is to bridge the gap which exists between where you are right now and the goals that you want to reach. With a definite, step-by-step plan, you cannot fail, because each step will carry you along to the next step, like a track. All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination. Knowing where you’re going is all you need to get there. You can’t get lost on a straight road.” – Author Unknown
- Define what you will sacrifice: To add a new routine into your life, you must replace an old routine with a new habit. This sacrifice may include missing out on certain events and activities with friends. Sacrifice may mean giving up certain things you really enjoy each day like watching several hours of television, playing video games, browsing the internet, or simple lazy procrastination. Sacrifice may include giving up the additional 30 minutes that you lay in bed each morning prior to starting your day by hitting the snooze button over and over. To find motivation for sacrificing activities to free up time for your fitness plan, refer to your “why.”
- Define how you will create discipline: Often, adversity appears in the form of laziness, tiredness, procrastination, or the pursuit of comforts. The response to these examples is self-discipline. You must identify the obstacles you are likely to face and specifically define how you will overcome them when they appear. Do you struggle waking up in the morning to exercise before work? Create an evening routine that ensures you are sleeping enough hours to wake up rested and eliminate items from your diet that might cause you to feel groggy in the morning. Or, simply workout when you finish working in the evening. By focusing on your self-discipline to achieve your goal, you can push past the feeling of tiredness and focus instead on the truth that you will gain energy and motivation as soon as you begin exercising. You might focus on the feeling of accomplishment you will obtain from continuing to progress towards your goal by completing a workout that you were originally hesitant to perform. Self-discipline must come from within, and it takes a tough and focused mindset to excel. Again, focus on your “why.”
- Define how you will create accountability: Identifying accountability partners is one of the best decisions you can make in terms of achieving your goals and growth. When you share your goals with others, the likelihood of success exponentially increases. It’s important to select people with an understanding of your goals, that you trust will share honest feedback, and that will hold you to a high standard. You must set specific expectations and clearly state your goals and objectives to those holding you accountable, so they can understand how best to serve you. If possible, simply having a workout partner aligned with your fitness goals is a powerful tool for success.
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