This is a short video showing one woman do the fitness routines of each decade for the last 100 years.
Seeking Exercise Success? Your Key Ingredient Is Persistence
Finish this sentence for me: If at first you don’t succeed…
If you were going to say, “try again,” you would have been right by conventional standards.
However, I’m not a conventional guy.
No, I don’t just think you should try again if your first attempt is a flop; you should take your failure as a victory. It implies that you’re challenging yourself. In place of the old adage, I’d say a more accurate and motivational iteration would be:
If at first you don’t succeed, you know that you’re after something worth accomplishing.
The path to success is paved with a lot of face-first tumbles; a healthy serving of embarrassment; a dollop of stress and, most importantly—the base that holds the recipe together— a generous scoop of persistence.
But when it comes to getting in shape, developing persistence is no small task; it requires a bit of persistence in and of itself. In order to get yourself motivated to follow through, you need to ask yourself a few honest, hard-hitting questions.
Is Your Goal Worth It?
Before you endeavor to work your butt off achieving something, ask yourself if what you’re working toward is going to improve your life enough to be worth the effort you’ll have to exert.
For instance, if you’re dieting to lose weight, but you only have five pounds to lose, is it worth the temporary uprooting of your entire metabolic and dietary cycles? Probably not. Upping you game at the gym while maintaining your same healthy, steady diet is a lower-risk, slower reward option, but wiser in this low-stake situation.
However, if you’re trying to shake off twenty pounds, a total overhaul of what you put in, and how you treat, your body is definitely called for. And won’t be a walk in the park, either.
It’s a matter of choosing the battles you force yourself to fight. Sagacious selection will make it that much easier to motivate yourself to stay standing.
Why Do People Fail?
A program called The Diet Solution Program Review cites most peoples’ main reason for failing to lose weight or get in shape as one simple thing:
lack of persistence.
Look, it takes weeks for you to notice physical changes once you’ve started working out; it takes those closest to you months, and people with whom you’re distantly acquainted and see infrequently can take months to notice… and may not notice at all.
The lack of reinforcement—from the mirror and your peers—makes giving up seem a lot more appealing than persevering.
And that brings me to my next point.
Why Do You Want To Succeed?
I think it’s important to preface this by saying that anyone who endeavors to adhere to a healthy diet and exercise regime does it at least partially for the physical payoff.
That being said, you should never embark on journey to change your body for the sole purpose of looking different.
Persistence is nearly impossible to come by when the goal you’re working toward is misaligned with reality. For instance—if you’re working out to get chiseled abs, you’ll probably give up after two months of core boot camp when your stomach doesn’t look anything like the picture from Men’s Health (or Women’s Health).
Getting fit means constantly being accountable, which means you have to consistently persist with yourself. The most successful fitness stories typically happen because someone had a deeper reason to get fit beyond just “looking good”.
What’s In The Way?
Finally, what’s stopping you from getting into the shape you desire? Really—take a look at the roadblocks, and be honest with yourself.
How many are imagined?
Your mind wants what’s best for you, but it’s also programmed to avoid discomfort and disappointment. As such, it’ll trick you into thinking that exercise is too difficult, or dieting too restricting, to actually stick to.
We’re what’s in the way of our own persistence. If you want to succeed, you need to stop out of your own path and set yourself on the track to success. Practice being you’re number one fan, searching for positive reinforcement in even the most challenging situations, and tell the little voice that says, “You can’t,” to find someone else’s subconscious to bring down.
About The Author: Dr. Mike Tremba has found every excuse imaginable to not exercise. Through a great deal of motivation found through others, and in places like the review of Truth About Abs, Dr. Mike has been blessed to develop the persistence to eat well, lose weight, and expand his world while helping others expand theirs. He lives in Mobile, Alabama with his wonderful wife Shari, where he continually challenges himself to better the lives of others.
My journey from the sofa to the gym
Exercise was not something I enjoyed.
Instead of standing up to file papers, I’d scoot over to the file cabinet in my rolling office chair. After work, I flopped on my sofa where I sat contentedly until bedtime. I was living a sedentary lifestyle to the max and loving every minute of it.
As Newton’s Law of Motion explains, a body at rest tends to stay at rest. Even though my office building had a gym – and I had a free membership – I just kept finding reasons to not work out: I was too busy to work out on my lunch break; too tired to work out early in the morning; too stressed out at the end of the day to stick around. Then my boss started a four-week fitness challenge. He offered cash prizes to the team with the most exercise hours logged. The coworkers in my department insisted on participating, and they really wanted me to join in. And, well, I can’t pass up an opportunity to win cash.
I didn’t look forward to working out, especially at work. All I could envision was getting sweaty in the middle of the day or looking foolish in front of my coworkers. When I walked into the employee fitness center, though, I couldn’t believe how clean and fresh it smelled, and how welcoming everyone was. I decided I’d try to keep an open mind, although I wasn’t optimistic that I could stick with any exercise program.
The challenge begins
On the first day of the challenge, we met in the gym during our lunch break. Thankfully, we started out easy. I warmed up with five minutes on the treadmill before hitting the elliptical for 15 minutes. My legs were killing me, but I didn’t want to let my team down.
Showering after working out is important to me, and I thought we wouldn’t have time to shower before returning to work. I was wrong. With the quick workout, I had plenty of time to shower. I even had time to eat the salad I had packed for lunch!
Every day, we kept up the same routine. After a week of regular workouts, I noticed I didn’t feel as sore afterwards. Each week, I felt my body progressively growing stronger as I tried out different machines. I actually started looking forward to our daily workouts.
Not so bad, after all
A few weeks into the fitness challenge, I noticed I felt a lot less stressed out. I was sleeping better, waking up refreshed in the morning and looking forward to work. I stopped making excuses for why I couldn’t work out, because I actually wanted to go to the gym! And I started rewarding myself when I achieved a goal, which helped me stay motivated.
Because I felt so much better physically and emotionally, I made working out a priority, even after the fitness challenge ended. And just to make sure I don’t fall back into my old bad habits, I bought a few pieces of exercise equipment so I can work out, even when I don’t really feel like leaving the house.
I can’t believe how important daily workouts have become to my life.
Just making myself show up that first day of the fitness challenge was the hardest part. After that, working out became a habit.
It’s easier than you think to get off the sofa and into the gym, and the physical and psychological benefits are amazing. Take that first step; you’ll be glad you did.
About the author: Danielle blogs on behalf of Sears and other brands she uses. She’s following her own advice and sticking to a regular exercise routine this holiday season. She’s happy about that and feels the best she has in years.
Five Fun Ways to Incorporate Exercise into Your Lifestyle
Exercise is an important part of weight loss and a healthy lifestyle, but if the term “exercise” summons images of endless hours at the gym, think again! There are plenty of ways to make exercise a part of your life that are not only fun, they’ll actually make you look forward to getting those workouts in.
Try one of these five tips to make working out work for you:
1. Take a class.
There is a nearly endless list of classes out there to suit just about any interest – and a surprising number of them don’t meet anywhere near a gym. Depending on what’s available where you live, you can have fun and burn calories by taking outdoor classes, such as rock climbing, paddle boarding or even horseback riding. For a gym style workout class that is still outdoors, there are outdoor boot camp-style exercise classes, for instance.
- However, if you do prefer to exercise in a more climate-controlled environment, there is an array of classes offered at your local gym, ranging from spinning to step aerobics, dance classes and beyond. Martial arts or self-defense classes are not only a fun exercise option, but also teach you important skills you can use to protect yourself.
2. Get competitive.
You don’t have to be in high school or on a professional sports team to enjoy the benefits of competitive sports. Signing up with local intramural teams is not only a great technique to have fun and exercise, it can also help you meet new people and let your competitive streak out.
- Not into team sports? That’s okay, too. Training for races such as triathlons or foot races of varying lengths is also an effective way to stay motivated and enjoy your workouts. Even better, many races benefit local charities, so when you participate you’re not only improving your fitness, you’re helping out others as well.
3. Get a Fitness Buddy.
Part of the reason classes are both a fun and effective exercise option is because you’re not going it alone. When you get all your friends moving with you, it’s a lot easier to keep moving yourself.
- If you don’t have any close friends available nearby, grab your closest classmate or roommate and make a deal to exercise together at least three times a week. Take turns picking activities, or make a list of quick exercise ideas and inspirations.
4. Count it out.
Pedometers are a fantastic way to keep track of how many steps you’re taking throughout the day. According to James O. Hill, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado at Denver, adding just 2000 extra steps a day to your usual activity level can keep the pounds off.
- Watching your steps add up on a pedometer is fun, because you probably already walk more than you think. Seeing immediate results by watching the numbers increase as you go about your day is extremely motivating. Before long, you’ll be finding ways to add steps to your day to see how quickly you can reach your goal number.
5. Enlist a furry friend.
Fido needs exercise just as much as you do, after all. Walking your dog means walking yourself and that’s good for both of you. The benefits of dog walking go beyond simply adding steps to your day (aren’t you glad you have that pedometer with you now?). According to a recent article on WebMD, multiple studies have shown that pet ownership can help reduce depression and elevate mood, in addition to improving overall health and well-being. That alone is reason enough to take your four-legged friend for a stroll.
- Don’t have a dog? Volunteer to walk a friend’s dog or even better, volunteer as a dog walker at your local animal shelter. Who knows? You may just find yourself a permanent companion.
Exercise Doesn’t Have to be a Chore
California weight loss programs can be an extremely effective way to lose those stubborn pounds, but it also helps to have a program that you love. With these five tips, you’re sure to find multiple ways to fit exercise into your life and enjoy it as well!
About the Author: Andi Walker is a contributing blogger and exercise enthusiast. When not blogging about wellness-related issues, Walker enjoys anything and everything outdoors, especially rock climbing.
Video: No More Complaining About Exercise, OK?
The next time you feel disinclined to do your exercise program, take a cue from this walrus and his (or her?) trainer. It made me take my walk today. (The walrus is probably thinking, “YOU want to get fit so I have to exercise? How bogus is that?”) Either way, enjoy the video.