WHY WE VALUE CONSISTENCY
In my opinion, getting started is the most important step of any fitness program, followed by consistency. Consistency is important for these reasons:
- Developing a fitness “habit” takes time, even several months
- It is difficult to resume after skipping a few workouts
- Our motivation may lessen
- Injuries may more easily occur after a layoff
- Our strength and muscle growth may decline
Our wants and needs may vary. So may our time allotments. It could be that we are setting a commitment to simply walk 5 time a week. Or we may set aside an hour each day for heavy weight training and cardio, realizing, of course, that working the same body part on consecutive days is not productive.
It is crucial to enjoy our workouts, or at least be happy that we are doing something productive. Here are the steps:
- Consider your physical needs and time requirements
- Set up a plan. See my prior posts or seek advice elsewhere.
- Get started
- Stick to the plan
- Enjoy the inevitable results
Arnold Schwarzenegger had an interesting view on bodybuilding consistency. He adamantly completed his workouts even when he didn’t feel well or when he was injured. For those who are not Mr. Olympia contenders, working out when sick will be inadvisable, though working around an injury can be done without jeopardy. Arnold’s bodybuilding results were certainly impressive, to state the obvious.
The purpose of this post is not to recommend a specific fitness regimen, rather to stay in the motivational realm. Workout programs are not difficult to set up and there is really not a lot to consider at the outset. But we all have differing levels of health and differing priorities. A workout may be accomplished with no equipment at all – planks, push-ups, bodyweight squats and outdoor walks. Or we may want to have access to more sophisticated equipment, which may be accomplished without heavy investment.
Whatever our circumstances, we must be consistent in applying our energies. Record – keeping is quite important. Check out my prior post on food and exercise journals.
Or check my home page for a list of over 100 home workout and related articles for specific programs.
Basketball season was over in my senior year of high school and I wanted to continue a sport. Having experimented with tennis in my early teens, I went all in for tennis and played for my high school team, winning a few matches and realizing that basketball skills could somehow transfer to those of tennis. A former college tennis player at least 20 years my senior was available to play as often as I wanted to.
I then went on to Wake Forest University and decided to play on that tennis team. Fortunately, I was able to be closely trained by one of the best college tennis coaches of that time, Jim Leighton.
Getting back to the value of consistency, I asked Coach Leighton how often we would practice during the year. He looked at me in amazement, as if I had asked the dumbest question he could imagine. Maybe it was dumb, but studying and other pursuits had to be balanced. There was no answer other than we would practice every day year round.
Developing a tennis game for ACC competition was not a short term endeavor. There was much to learn and he was sufficiently skilled as a coach to be able to individualize his instruction to suit our differing needs. The key to progress was to:
- Try something that may be initially uncomfortable
- Drill under his eye to become proficient
- Constantly repeat
- Go to another skill
- Start the process over again
This experience enabled me to win matches and vastly improve. Beating my Duke opponent was especially gratifying. Later, I enjoyed playing tournaments around North Carolina. Largely because of the foundation set by Coach Leighton many years back, Wake Forest was able to gain national tennis prominence, including being #1 in NCAA tennis a couple of years ago,
At this point, over 50 years later, knee and back issues keep me from enjoying tennis. My attention has turned to workouts, though I have been doing this for many years. Now this is all that I do for physical activity.
My preference is to do a 30-minute home workout every morning before breakfast. I do bodybuilding one day, cardio the next, resting on Sundays. This is so habituated now that I feel strange if an appointment or other obligation means that I miss the morning workout. Consistency is so ingrained that I don’t even think about it.
Reasonably priced workout equipment is available from the sources shown below. Discounts are readily available.
Dick’s Sporting Goods had been my preferred source for tennis racquets, equipment and accessories during my earlier years. Later I bought golf clubs, golf shoes, balls, tees, gloves and other accessories from DSG. I have used the same company for fitness equipment of all kinds. Their inventory of cardio equipment is especially good. If your sports needs are different from mine, they will have what you need as well. Click on the link below.
Here is an instrument that is well suited for anyone striving for consistency. This scale will let you know exactly how you are doing and will provide the impetus for continued training
You will be able to keep up with your weight, plus 16 other body measurements, such as:
- Body mass index
- Hydration level
- Muscle mass
- Visceral fat index
- Subcutaneous fat
- Basic metabolic rate
- Muscle rate
- Bone mass
- Protein rate
- Metabolic age
- Standard weight
- Weight control
- Fat mass
- Weight without fat
- Protein mass
This is the FitTrack Dara scale. Learn more about it here.
My sports and fitness journeys have been a source of satisfaction and good health for me as I reflect in my senior years. Please give this lifestyle serious consideration. Aging is no impediment to exercise, assuming reasonable health and strength.
George Bernard Shaw said “We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing”.
Break it down simply to:
- Get started
- Stay consistent
You will never regret it!
Please leave any comments or questions in the “Comments” section below. Or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org.