Do you want to be more active, have fewer injuries, feel better each day, able to walk, hike, and run?
The answer to all of these wants is consistency in training. The more consistent you are in your exercises and training, the greater the outcomes are going to be.
I do realize that exercising constantly – no matter the weather or commitments in your life – can be daunting. So today I want to go over how to create a consistent exercise plan to promote a lifelong habit.
The keys to being consistent are:
Start small (like really, really small). If you’ve never exercised before, start with a short, easy program using your own body weight, no weights, and adding in short walks around your home or neighborhood. When that gets too easy try increasing the distance or time of your walks. When that feels comfortable, add in some hills or speed changes. Signing up for a gym membership that offers fitness classes is another way to maintain consistency in your exercise routine.
Starting small allows us to hit our goals, and feel accomplished in our training, leading to greater motivation and a desire to do more.
Flip the script. Focus on the positive and turn your training into a game. For example, after you finish your more difficult exercises/walks and you are craving a big plate of fries, tell yourself you have to drink water and hydrate before. This has the double benefit of rehydrating you after a hard effort as well as diminishing your appetite which should reduce your cravings for less healthy foods and promote healthier eating habits!
Track and iterate. Consistency is never a linear progression. There will be ups and downs and in order to build awareness around these changes you need to track your progress. By tracking your progress you should be able to identify any patterns that lead to successful training sessions and then aim to reproduce those actions.
I want to leave you with 4 tools you can use to work on your consistency.
- Track your daily goals with a simple checklist. This can be kept in an excel spreadsheet or a simple, 3-inch pocket notepad. Do what works for you.
- On the days when you missed a goal, don’t shame yourself! There are no failures, only opportunities to learn and grow. Write down the reason why you didn’t accomplish your goal and move on.
- At the end of the week, review your progress. Keep what worked, and change what didn’t.
- Iterate each week until you perfect your routine!