When it comes to exercise, fitness, active lifestyles, or any other way one would describe taking care of our bodies through physical activity, consistency is the most imperative factor. Consistently performing the behavior is only one aspect. What the behavior should literally consist of in the way of specific exercises and intensity is a secondary factor that can cloud the picture for some.
It doesn’t take a genius to understand that the more you perform a task, the easier it becomes. On top of that, making something a habit takes consistent performance of that task over time. Exercise is no different. The most difficult and most important aspect of reaping the benefits of exercise is to perform it regularly. Consistency is king, but there are going to be setbacks. When you miss a workout, a whole week, or even an entire month of workouts, you haven’t failed. Failure would be to quit trying.
Seeking answers to what exercises to do, how much is too much, and how much is required may produce several conclusions depending on goals and fitness levels. Here are some tips to help guide you to answers specific to you…...
- Meet the minimum. Although the fitness industry has concluded that anything is better than nothing and small increments of physical activity throughout the day has health benefits, at some point you will need to up the ante. The American College of Sports Medicine currently recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and at least two sessions of strengthening activity each week. The choice of aerobic activity is less important than making sure the intensity is appropriate. Intensity is subjective, but moderate means that it should be more than a leisurely stroll in the park. Strengthening exercise sessions should incorporate all major muscle groups. Equipment is not necessary as a quick internet search can produce numerous calisthenic routines to improve strength. Simple things like standing squats and push-ups are a great way to start. Although a traditional strength equipment circuit like the one at The Pointe helps simplify a routine, there are always alternatives.
- Listen to your body. Only you know how you feel physically. As you add more intensity, sessions, or duration to your routine, don’t ignore aches and pains. Remember, temporary muscle soreness is a necessary by-product of improving your fitness level. Lingering joint pain and other connective tissue injuries (shin splints, tendonitis, bursitis, plantar fasciitis) can be a sign of going too hard. There are also some signs of over-exercising that are normally associated with lack of exercise. Basically, they are your body letting you know that something isn’t right. These might include being tired and fatigued constantly, irritability, loss of motivation, insomnia, and increased resting heart rate.
- Stay regimented. Of course, making exercise a habit takes dedication. Planning a schedule can help keep you on track. Just like a to do list helps you make sure other daily tasks are completed, planning out your fitness routine for the week can make it easy to simply cross off the list as you go. To do lists always seem to be a pain until you experience the satisfaction of seeing each item crossed off.
There is plenty of science behind exercise routines. What to do, how to do it, and how often all play a part in getting the most out of your routine. All of it means nothing, however, if you don’t perform it consistently. Don’t get overwhelmed by the details and focus on checking exercise off your weekly to do list.