I’ve been a fitness enthusiast for quite a number of years and I’ve been a certified personal trainer for the last 5 years.
I’ve been asked for advice, given advice and followed my own advice for many different questions, goals and for many different people in different stages of their lives. Knowing this, can you guess what I think would be the most important item of advice I could give someone? Any ideas?
If I had no choice but to advise someone of only one thing they should do to improve their level of fitness it would be consistency.
You could have the best workout plan going, given to you by the best fitness expert ever known but if you aren’t executing it, it isn’t going to help you. You can have the best nutrition expert provide you with the best dishes to eat but if you aren’t eating these, it isn’t going to help you.
I’d rather have someone ‘show up’ as it were on a regular basis, let’s say 3x a week and work out at 80% exertion than to show up once a week and give it 100%. The person who shows up 3x a week will end up being the person who shows up 3x a week for most of the year. Why, because this has now become part of their routine, their day to day. I think this is why it’s important that we get kids involved in something they like that is physical. They are more likely to grow up incorporating physical activity into their lives.
So let’s look again at the person who is consistent and puts in about 80% of their max. They’re working their heart, their muscles, mobility, flexibility and I think most importantly they are not on the couch but out being active. They are developing a routine that keeps the body moving, the blood pumping and the muscles working. And with proper coaching and over some time I’m sure this person could be convinced to do some of their workouts at a higher output. But regardless they are being active for a good part of the week, and thus a good part of the month, the year, etc.
I know this myself. Let’s just say I’m a regular at my dojo. It’s so much of my routine that when I’m not there it feels weird, strange, like something is missing or out of place. This is the feeling that people need to keep at their hobby that is a physical hobby. I use the word hobby because it should be like a hobby, something you want to do and look forward to doing. If it isn’t, then you need to look at doing something else. If the mind is not engaged it’s only a matter of time before you’ll stop.
That’s it. Consistency. Show up as much as you can reasonably show up. Make it your routine. Make it part of your day to day.
Now, keep in mind this post is written in the context that I can choose only one thing. There are other important things too but if you don’t show up, what’s the point?
Yours in health,