You don’t have to work out five days a week in order to achieve your fitness goals. Doing something is almost always going to be better than doing nothing. And fitness activities exists on a continuum. You might be surprised at just how much (or rather, how little) it takes to make a difference.
The weather is finally getting nicer. It’s looking like the summer may well include some elements of normalcy. As we make our way out of this long winter, for many, our thoughts are turning (back) to fitness.
Getting started—or re-started—with fitness can be tough. Though sometimes, getting started can often end up being the easy part.
Where the challenge lies is in developing consistency.
Work gets a bit hectic and you find yourself having less time for full workouts.
You have kids to take care of and life is Just. Always. Busy.
It’s the end of a long day/week and inertia is a real thing: it feels like you just can’t overcome the gravitational pull of your couch.
The obstacles that tend to get in the way of consistency are many and varied.
But you also want to feel better, have more energy and mental clarity.
What to do?
Make it easy.
When you’re stressed and/or busy, working memory and willpower tend to be low. Therefore, one, give yourself a break for having difficulty getting up and getting going. And two, make fitness-ing easier for yourself.
Plan ahead and put your weights, resistance bands and/or workout clothes somewhere visible and conspicuous. Maybe even somewhere you’re likely to trip over them. (Yes, that conspicuous). This will help to create a behavioral trigger that will make exercising more automatic and less requiring of decision-making, thought or willpower.
Keep it positive and enjoyable. I can’t stress this enough: do something you enjoy! Let’s not make working out into a chore or punishment for eating something “unhealthy”. Exercise because you’re taking care of your body.
But what about time? Or energy level?
Perfection is not the goal here.
Think of fitness along a continuum
Something is pretty much always better than nothing. And you’d be surprised: it all counts in the long run. Small efforts add up over time.
Consistency always wins over intensity.
So if you’re pressed for time, ideas or motivation, consider the following (not-at-all-exhaustive) continuum of effective fitness options:
On one end of the continuum we have…
- Parking the car a little further from work/the store/anywhere you’re going so you can walk more…
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator when you have the option…
- Do a 10-minute workout next to your bed in the morning…
- A reasonably challenging 30-minute workout, three times per week…
- Do three 30-minute workouts/week, plus a daily 20-minute walk
- Three 1-hour gym workouts/week, plus a daily walk…
- Go to the gym four times/week, plus a hike on the weekend…
- Five 1-hour workouts/week, plus a daily 1-hr walk…
- Challenging 60-90-minute workout, six days/week…
- Intense daily training for your job as a navy seal…
…all the way to this end of the continuum.
Consistency always wins out over intensity
Did you find yourself thinking that your week might look like a mix of options? Great! That’s the kind of thinking that will get you more active! High five!
The point here is that it’s so easy for us to get caught up in all-or-nothing thinking when it comes to fitness. And the truth is that it doesn’t have to be that way. You can actually make noticeable changes over time with any of the options on the continuum above. Again, the key to feeling better about your fitness is to do something enjoyable, consistently.
If you’d like to get all of the wonderful benefits of more fitness-ing, combined with accountability to keep you going, mixed with a community of lovable weirdos, let us know. We’d love to have a chat about your fitness hopes and dreams so we get you on your way to loving fitness. Drop us a line and we’ll see where it goes!