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10 Fitness Tips in 10 Days – Tip 9 – Consistency is Key

Here’s where I struggle.  If you ask my training buddy, Dan the man, he’ll be quick to tell you that this is my biggest problem.  So what better way for me to face it head on than to offer it as a tip as to why it’s important and how I’m going to approach it.

Any level of success when it comes to fitness can be measured by how consistent the person was with their training.  Less consistent = less results.  Mildly consistent = mild results.  You get the picture.

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Different people have different reasons for not being consistent.  Some are about being too busy, some are about traveling issues, others are just plain excuses.  Here’s how to fix them and the approach I take…

Create a Plan

If you are jumping into it day-by-day and thinking, I’ll do *something* today, without having a plan, you’ll come up short.  Even if you’re successful in dragging yourself (kicking and screaming) to the gym but have no idea what to do when you get there, not only will you look like a lost puppy wandering around, but you’ll also likely do things that won’t get you the best results.  You need to commit to your fitness by creating a plan and mapping your activities. This plan needs to be a a long term one with some real thought behind it.  If not, you may find that it is easier to to be inconsistent.

When thinking out the plan, there should be clear, concise, measureable and achievable goals.  If your goal is weight loss, as mentioned in Tip #5, plan on losing a couple of pounds a week.5, 10 or 15 pounds a week may not be achievable and only result in you being one of the New Year’s Resolution folks that come to the gym in January but are gone by March.

Also, by creating a plan, you’re well on your way to establishing a habit.  I’ve found that exercising at least three to four times per week gets me (or keeps me) in a rhythm.  You can establish the rhythm  by getting a gym membership, purchasing home exercise equipment, buying a bike, joining an exercise group, or getting a training buddy may be some of the things you want or need to work out with consistency.

When we first started, we would plan our workouts 4 weeks at a time.  There was a goal with each of the four weeks and each day was planned as part of this process.  This was done for a reason as your body begins to adapt after 4 weeks.  You gotta keep it guessing to constantly make advances, so changing things up every 4 weeks is ideal.  This will also help keep your interest level.  Need help putting together a plan?  Pick up a book similar to what I recommended in the previous tip, get a personal trainer or a coach to help.  Results take time and that only comes through consistency.  No, you can not get instantly fit unlike some of the ads out there.

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But Damn, I’m Sore

Here’s where consistency is really important. If you go for a run for five miles on one day and avoid exercising for the next three days will only leave you feeling sore. If you workout in sporadic spurts, you’ll end up sore, or worse, injured.  For best results, you will want to gradually build up to higher and longer levels of cardiovascular strength, flexibility and strength training. A gradual increase will allow your muscles, tendons and ligaments a chance to adjust to the strains and challenges of a fitness regimen.

Get the Mental Boost

Feel like giving your co-worker a throat punch?  Sounds like you could use a way of reducing stress.  Consistent workouts not only helps to get that crap out of your system, but it also gives you a positive boost by releasing endorphins that enhance your mood. Don’t believe me?  Then get your but to exercising and find out.

Once you’ve worked out for a few weeks, you’ll find any break in your workouts, not only will you find your mood get groggy, but you’ll generally feel tired as well.

Sticking to regular exercise and getting into a regimen will keep you feeling up-and-up both physically and mentally. So stop with the excuses and get consistent.

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See you tomorrow for tip 10!

Marcus

About: 10 Fitness Tips in 10 Days is designed for me to share my experiences with you to help you lose weight (if necessary), get into shape and improve your fitness (always necessary).  I am, by no means, an expert, nutritionist, or doctor.  Instead, I am simply another normal person, such as yourself, that didn’t want to figure it out with trial/error on my own.  Instead, I gathered great information from successful athletes, coaches and other professionals.  Always consult your doctor before starting any exercise program or making any changes to your diet.

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