It’s no secret that if you want to lose some weight, get in shape and have a better body, exercise must be part of that equation to achieve those results. What is a secret though is why some people seem to be so much better at achieving and maintaining their fitness than others? Is it genetics, time of day they exercise, the type of equipment they use, or what?
There are many factors going into what makes for a good workout and yes, sometimes it could be genetics, the time or equipment you have available to use. But certain people lacking those factors have somehow overcome any negatives holding them back to get the body they want. What do they know the rest of us do not?
There are four factors that stand out that can help you push pass any roadblocks keeping you from getting into the shape you want and deserve:
This is listed number one because it is that necessary and vital to make your body change into what you are achieving. In order to force your body to get in shape, exercise must be consistently.
We all know at the beginning of the year, gym memberships flourish and exercise classes are crowded. Three months later the spin class has plenty of room to spare. If you work out sporadically, it rarely produces the same results as those who faithfully do so day in and day out. Exercising for a couple of weeks and then taking the next three weeks off, only brings your fitness level back to its initial state.
Just like yo-yo dieting is not good yo-yo exercising may have some brief results but ultimately will not bring sustained fitness. Ask someone who you admire and is fit how they got that way and invariably you will hear the words “consistent exercise.” Getting good at a skill has to be done consistently – the person who practices piano two hours a daywill excel compared to a person practicing two hours a week. None of us ever gets good at things we don’t do consistently and fitness is a skill that takes consistency to achieve.
2. Increased effort
Once you have down consistency, the next thing to work on is increasing exercise effort. If walking is your mode of exercise and you always walk the same distance, duration and at the same intensity, you may notice that the initial weight you lost in the beginning has slowed to a snail’s pace. That’s because your body has become accustomed to your routine and has adapted to that. Continuing to do the same type of exercise over and over with no change will not bring improvement or additional weight lost.
The solution is to bust up your routine and surprise your body with a change. Instead of walking 30 minutes, 4 days a week, increase it to 45 minutes, 5 days a week. Pick up the pace at which you walk. Or try something totally different – lift weights, bicycle, jog, try out an elliptical or yoga. The more variety of exercise you do, the more muscles you stimulate helping burn more calories and sculpting yourself a brand new body.
The saying ‘patience is a virtue’ really has merit when it comes to exercise results. If you apply the first two principals of consistency and increased effort, and then be patient, the results will come. The people you see who are in good physical shape did not get that way overnight. It came from hard work over a long period of time and if you remain patient, it will come to you also.
Patience does not come naturally to many people as too many of us when we want something, we want it now. If a toned tummy and lean legs aren’t achieved in a month, we may give up waiting for results. Patience is a desirable quality but it must be learned and practiced and with a little patience, you can learn to master it and be successful at not only exercise and weight loss, but in life too.
You can possess all of the first three factors listed, but without motivation, being successful at becoming fit will most likely fail. We can say we are motivated to exercise but acting on the motivation is another thing. The more motivated you are, the easier it is to take action to achieve your fitness goals. And this is where you have to figure out, what is it that motivates you to want to be and then get in shape.
Believing in yourself or having self-efficacy and confidence in your ability to succeed can be built by self-affirmations or positive self-talk and by small fitness gains. Don’t expect perfection or compare yourself to others. Keep your focus on what makes exercise meaningful for you and what you ultimately want to gain from your exercise program.
When you have a clear goal or vision that excites you pushing you to work out, it makes for a fun start. It’s all about knowing what makes you tick and pairing intention with action to achieve tremendous fitness results.