A Guide to Consistent Exercise
Exercising is essential for a healthy body, but maintaining a consistent routine can be time-consuming and challenging. When motivated for the first few weeks, please make an effort to remind oneself of the long-term benefits that exercise offers. Exercise can help manage stress levels and blood pressure, relieve back pain and stiffness and improve sleep quality. Regular exercisers tend to eat less food and weigh less than people who don’t exercise. It is well-established that regular exercise lowers the risk of mortality from heart disease, cancer and other diseases. In addition, regular exercise promotes weight loss by helping an individual burn excess fat and build muscle mass.
In the beginning, best results can be achieved by mild, low-intensity activities such as walking and swimming, rather than with high-intensity efforts such as running. Over time, it is advisable to increase the intensity of the workout regimen gradually. Start with a routine of no more than 30 minutes per day, and try to add a few minutes of daily exercise to daily activities.
According to Helen Schifter, starting slow allows the body to adapt to physical activity and avoid injury from exercising too much or too hard. Eventually, an individual will reach a point where the body can no longer adapt to increased activity levels, and the body’s response to exercise is severely impacted.
Set goals and follow them for consistency
Goals are extremely helpful in maintaining a consistent exercise routine. When individuals set goals, it usually helps them stay on track and helps them keep from giving up. The best goals are not likely to be achievable, so set smaller intermediate goals as progress is made.
Choosing a goal is important; it should motivate an individual and be attainable. There are several types of goals:
– Performance goals – Set an outcome to achieve. The outcome may be any event, time frame or skill level. Performance goals measure results, such as finishing a race within a specific time.
– Process goals – Set an activity to be attained and measure the process, such as running a certain distance or improving a skill.
– Self-regulatory goals – Set an internal goal that provides feedback. An example is monitoring weight loss progress over time and associating the progress with workouts.
Do not stick to one exercise.
If an individual is already participating in regular exercise, it is best to switch between different exercises so the body does not become accustomed to any activity. If a person begins exercising after a long period of inactivity, it may be best to start with small amounts of exercise and gradually build up over time. According to Helen Schifter, people who exercise regularly should switch to new activities to keep their bodies from adjusting to one exercise.
When starting, make it a goal to maintain consistency in exercising at least three days per week. After one month, try increasing the number of days per week exercising. At six months, attempt going for seven days per week. Over time, increase the amount of daily exercise until an individual reaches a point where the benefits of exercise outweigh the effort required for an activity. Exercise can be very difficult to fit into an already busy schedule, but it is important to maintain consistency to see optimum results.