Why is an exercise routine so important?
I have now worked in the fitness industry for more than 35 years and one of the things I have noticed over and over again is that there are certain patterns to most people’s behaviour… patterns that are detrimental to their quality of life. Let me explain.
For a great number of people, it’s in their middle years of life (40s to 60s) that health issues and creaky, cranky bodies begin to emerge. What I’ve noticed, is that the people suffering those issues tend to be the ones who have undervalued their health and general wellbeing, usually because they have been more focused on careers, hobbies or even the needs of their family.
Sometimes this is a conscious choice; sometimes it’s simply that the challenges of life got in the way of their good intentions.
Either way, these people haven’t prioritized their own health and wellbeing. While others, who have taken action to look after their body and overall health, tend to be in much better circumstances in their middle and latter years of life.
I’m sure you’ll agree that most, if not all, of us have routine in many parts of our daily life – whether it be in our work situation or family life. Because, let’s face it, to get every member of the family out the door on time requires a liberal dose of structure and routine!
Wouldn’t it be awesome if we applied this same kind of routine to our exercise?
Let me be clear, though, this doesn’t mean allocating every spare minute to exercise. In fact, that kind of die-hard attitude is often what brings beginner exercisers to a grinding halt! If going to the gym takes up too much time, people simply can’t maintain the commitment. Instead, it is far better to have shorter workouts of 30-45 minutes more consistently.
Here are a few other tips to help you stick to an exercise routine:
- Goal Setting – set yourself some clear but attainable goals. If you’re just starting out don’t expect to look like Miranda Kerr in six weeks time! Instead, make a goal of something more simple, like exercising three times a week for x period.
- Workout Time – think about when you exercise best; maybe you like to get it out of the way first thing in the morning or maybe you prefer exercising in the evening as a way of letting go of the stresses of the day. Once you’ve determined when that time is, schedule it in so it’s part of your plan for the day rather than something you’ll try to squeeze in if you find a spare moment.
- Be Kind To Yourself – sometimes even the best routine encounters a hiccup. When that happens don’t be too rough on yourself or use it as an excuse to give up. Put that missed workout behind you and start again. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past; it matters what you’re going to do now!
- Celebrate – when you get to 6 or 12 weeks of exercise, reflect on your success in being consistent and appreciate how much better you feel! You should be proud of your achievement, no matter how great or small.
Most of all, look forward to being healthy, fit and well in your middle years! I’m sure, like me, you’ll be so glad you made regular exercise part of your weekly routine.