The New Year is here, and I’ve been thinking about how important consistency is in life. This goes beyond workouts and affects your weekly schedule, eating habits, your kids’ routines, even your sleeping habits. Now more than ever we are subject to high stress, sensory overload, and tiny attention span throughout the day. It seems like the pandemic has made most excuses acceptable and anything goes.
Can you remember a time in your life when you were in a really healthy place? What were you doing with your time compared to what you’re doing now? What would happen if you slowly replaced what you’re doing now with those healthy habits and made time for consistent exercise?
You’ve heard a thousand times that a workout routine is a key to healthy living. Your body craves physical activity. And even though it can feel overwhelming, deep down, you know the benefits that are waiting for you on the other side.
The Importance Of Consistent Workouts
The truth is we all have a different focus for our fitness goals. No matter where you are now, it will take a consistent workout plan to see results. If you bounce around aimlessly in the gym or change style every time you work out, don’t expect your body to keep up.
When McClure Fitness first began, all we had were bootcamp classes. So many people lost significant amounts of weight, and kept it off due to the incredible HIIT workouts that we were doing during bootcamp. It was consistency by default!
After we officially opened in a standalone building in 2013, we added a variety of other workouts: Barre, Pilates, Spin, Strength Training, Yoga, and beginner level classes that we still have and that are all very important.
But something started happening once these other classes opened up. A lot of people let up on one or two of their bootcamp classes and started taking other classes and fell in love. Eventually, those people scaled back significantly on the HIIT workouts and realized they were actually getting further away from their original goals.
For the record, I do believe that you should find workouts that you enjoy so that you will continue to stay active. However, the truth is not every workout will match your goals.
Ultimately, you want to do two things. First, establish a goal for your fitness level. It could be to lose weight, build strength, increase endurance, or a combination of all three. Second, choose an exercise program that your body can adapt to successfully in order to form a habit that keeps you committed.
Injury prevention should always be a top priority for any fitness plan. If you are just getting into a new routine, chances are your muscles will be sore. This is to be expected, but over time you should notice a decrease in pain. This is because your muscles are learning to adapt to the new stress. Don’t push too hard too fast. Small changes over time will lower injury risk.
Rest is also necessary, but taking a more extended break can also lead to injury. There is a balance between overdoing it, which leads to injury, and not staying consistent, where your body is underprepared to get back into the next workout.
Any doctor would agree that yo-yo diets, sporadic workouts, or drastic weight fluctuations can cause health problems. The key here is slower progress over time for optimal results. With that in mind, don’t get frustrated if you don’t get quick results. You may start off dropping a few pounds or inches quickly, but there will also be plateaus. Consistency overcomes these blips in your longer fitness journey.
As your fitness levels are gradually increased, you’ll notice different factors improving as well. Your immune system gets stronger. Your mood and energy levels are boosted. You’re even getting better sleep. Best of all, the unseen health benefits that contribute to longevity manifest every time you finish a workout.
Habits Are Hard To Break
When you start to commit to a consistent training schedule, you’re taking the first steps toward creating new habits. This is a critical component of your success. There will be a point when the excitement of a new workout routine fades. Excuses start to creep back in, whether it’s too early, too late, or too busy.
Create habits that keep consistent exercise part of your week. This will trump lack of motivation because your body will be used to the routine. It may always be a slight struggle, but habits are a benefit that puts your body on autopilot. One small change repeated over time makes sure you get up and do the hard things week after week.
How To Stay On Track
So you know how important it is to commit to regular exercise. But how do you make it stick? What’s the formula to make sure you stay on track for the long haul? Is it even possible to reach your fitness goals?
If you want to lose weight, the recipe is easy: five HIIT workouts per week, at least! There will be a point where you hit a goal whether it’s weight (number on the scale), body size to slip into your skinny jeans, or whatever success means to you. When that happens, you can start to add back in some low-impact workouts. But to maintain your weight loss, it’s necessary to continue to do two to three HIIT workouts weekly.
For example, you do two bootcamps a week, one spin class, one strength class, and one barre. That still gives you the necessary five workouts a week but not all of them are going to be HIIT workouts.
Success is practically unavoidable if you show up. Here’s how we do it.
Direction – Our trainers have the entire workout planned for you. When you join a class, you’ll be guided through every movement. This keeps it fun and worry-free.
Motivation – A group fitness environment creates a greater sense of belonging. Even if you don’t know everyone in the class, they are motivating you to keep going. Our instructors also bring the heat, so you’ll have no chance of giving up.
Accountability – This is a big one. Being held accountable is the most important part of staying consistent in your exercise plan. It also helps form habits that keep you coming back every week.
Jumpstart Your Fitness Journey Today
As you think back to that time when you were in a really healthy place and had consistent exercise, it was probably a time when you were focused on doing hard things, creating new habits, and pushing yourself a little harder than you do now.
My challenge for you for this New Year is to get back to a place where you were your healthiest. I believe that some of us need to change up our training, even if it’s just for a season, to get back to our healthiest version. And once you get there, be careful to keep your goals in focus and not backslide into an easier routine. McClure Fitness is passionate about better health through exercise. So whether you’re looking for local classes in central Arkansas or want to join us online anywhere in the world, the results are waiting for you!