Achieving success through consistency requires this universal strategy
When I write about the benefits of exercise, I often say consistency is king. But I'm wrong. People can turn up physically but not mentally - and that's a problem because they give up too quickly.
We need to understand that being consistent is not the strategy. Consistency is a tactic. In other words, consistency is about keeping on pedalling - strategy is about heading in the right direction.
Unexpectedly, consistency has a universal strategy.
This interests me because I've seen many people be very consistent in their actions yet at the end of the day not make progress. If they understood the universal strategy behind the habit of consistency, they could have succeeded.
Walking is a great way to relax and also to gain the first level of health benefits available to everyone.
If you are already a walker, that's great. You can boost your gains by adding five level-ups which each deliver you more bang for your walking buck.
If you are not yet a regular walker, then create a plan to get going, and add these level-ups to your program over the next six months. The first month, just walk. Then starting in the second month add one level-up per month.
I exercise at the gym three times a week and trail run 5km twice a week. Also, I walk every day - mostly 3km. I look forward to walking as much as I do to my more intense exercises.
It's that time of year again where new gym memberships soar, ambitions are high, and lofty fitness goals are set. As we all know, the New Year's fitness see-saw usually ends up with an unhappy ending, unfortunately. Here are my five suggestions to help you create the most sustainable start for your New Year's fitness program.
1. Start small - less is more
Trim your ambition and start with much less than you think you can accomplish.
For a start don’t plan an hours session at the gym every day of the week, and don't plan 5:30am classes if you normally don’t even get up until 6:30am. It's better to add more later than to start and then try to subtract. Most people don't end up subtracting successfully - they stop altogether. You only need start with 3 gym sessions a week, make one focused on cardio e.g. a spin class, one on strength e.g. a Bodypump class, and one on functional exercise e.g. Pilates or Body Balance.
Classes are the easiest way to get a pattern established and you don’t have to think about what to do next.
2. Trim your diet - eat 20% less not 20% more
Most of the population will lose weight by eating less, especially in combination with exercise.
However people who are starting out exercising often find themselves eating more to satisfy their hunger after exercising. After a while it becomes a habit to eat after exercise and eventually become disillusioned with their whole exercise program - for the wrong reasons. If you start to generally eat less - 20% less - then your stomach will shrink and your desire for food will reduce.
Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building body-shaping training for people our age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter