I recently posted about exercise on Instagram and how some people are just so good at sticking with it — and some seem to be on a constant love/hate relationship with a workout routine. I thought today we could dive a little deeper into how I coach myself and my clients into an exercise routine.
Let’s first address the common surface level reasons for working out: to lose weight, to gain muscle, to look better… and the thought process here is that if you first reach those goals, you will then feel good and be happy.
But it’s quite the opposite.
If you’re working out because you want to change your physique, you probably won’t stick to your routine for very long.
It can take a long time for your body composition to change enough that you and those around you notice it. In order to lose weight and change your body with exercise alone, you’ll need to stay consistent and understand that you may see no change for several months. Don’t get me wrong, it is entirely possible!! But, patience and consistency is key to getting the results you envision.
This can certainly be a goal of yours, but you’re gonna need to find your ‘why’ for working out in order to be consistent for the long haul.
We all know the countless benefits of exercise, no? Just in case, let’s review a few:
– manage/stabilize your blood sugar + insulin, reducing risk for diabetes
– improve your mood + mental health
– reduces depression and anxiety
– improve cognitive function and memory, especially as you age
– lowers high blood pressure
– reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease
– strengthens bones + muscles
– reduces stress
– aids in weight loss
– improves digestion
– can improve low-back pain
– strengthens the lungs
– improves your sleep
– encourages a healthy metabolism and increases energy
– improves balance + posture
– increases your confidence
– improves your skin (when you sweat!)
And there are more if you can believe it! Because when you exercise regularly and reap these benefits, they begin to compound. It doesn’t have to be strenuous to be beneficial – just move your body 3-4 times a week for about 30 minutes each session.
Consistency is Key.
In order for you to stick to an exercise routine, you need a strong reason for doing it. Your ‘why’ for working out. You need something that will keep you going even when you don’t feel like it. You need a why strong enough that will override the surface level reasons (like weight loss) when you aren’t seeing results and start to lose patience. You need a long term reason to keep going.
Exercise for your health and longevity.
Exercise for how it makes you feel afterwards.
Exercise because it makes you feel strong and gives you confidence.
Exercise to inspire others.
Exercise because it’s a part of your identity.
All of these are deeply rooted reasons that will help you stick to a routine. But the best way to stay consistent is to make it a part of who you are. Part of your identity.
It might be helpful to start by asking yourself a few questions.
Be quick + honest with your answers:
Do you exercise? Regularly?
If no, why don’t you exercise?
Or, why don’t you do it regularly?
What seems to get in your way?
Is there a way to work around those obstacles? (hint: yes, there is)
Is there a belief that you hold about yourself that keeps you from working out? (I’m not flexible, I hate running, I’m not athletic, I’m not strong, I don’t have time, it’s too hard to start over, classes are expensive, I need to lose weight first….. etc)
And then begin to envision exactly how you’d like it to feel:
If you could eliminate all of those limiting beliefs and all of those obstacles, how would that change your current fitness routine?
In this ideal situation, and given all of the benefits of exercise, do you see yourself as someone who exercises consistently?
If yes, how does that make you feel? How does that change how you see yourself?
And now, as this person you see yourself as, someone who exercises consistently, what is your reason for staying consistent?
The hardest part is getting started. Start small if you need to. But come up with a routine that fits into your schedule. Make it fun and something you look forward to. Stay consistent for 1 month, and then maybe you tweak your plan. Evolve, yes. But, if you do what you said you were going to do, I promise you will see your confidence increase at the very least.