The only way you are going to see a result from your workout regime is if you are persistent and regular. If you want to shape up, lose weight, or reduce belly fat, then it is vital to be consistent with your exercise programs. If you only run 5 miles once a week, or get to the gym once every blue moon you are never going to see results.
Every day events such as work meetings, sick kids, illness, and inclement weather may all stop you once in a while from getting in your workout. However, there are plenty of little tactics you can employ to keep your workouts going on a more regular basis.
Strategies to help with consistency:
* Choose the same time of day. Find a part of the day that works for you and stick to it. Maybe it is first thing in the morning when the house is asleep, your lunch hour, after you have dropped the kids at school, before bed, or after work. The more convenient the time slot, the easier it will be for you to do your workout. Interestingly enough, many exercise studies have shown that those people who workout first thing in the morning tend to stick to their programs on a long term basis better than any other exercise group.
* Don’t expect results overnight. It can take from a few weeks to even longer to see the results of your hard work in the mirror. Don’t let this stop you.
* Enlist a friend or your family. Get your partner or kids in on the action when they are around. If you are jogging with your spouse or kids at specific times it becomes much harder to give it a miss. Workout buddies with the same goals as yourself are also great. Between the two of you, you should be able to keep the excuses at bay.
* Buy a gym membership. Financial commitments have been proven to work effectively for most people wanting to get fit or lose weight. Select a gym that is convenient and is open at times that will suit you. Health clubs on the way to or from work can make excellent locations.
* Set up a home gym. This can be an excellent option for those who are really pushed for time, or are housebound with children. Find time in your routine when you are least likely to be disturbed (maybe when everyone else is asleep?). The fact that you have spent the money on the equipment should be enough to get you started initially.
* Exercise even when you don’t want to. Yep, we all have days when we don’t want to get out of bed, or leave the office to hit the gym. However, unless you are genuinely ill or injured, you should make yourself go. A half-hearted workout is still better than none at all. This also prevents you from skipping too many workouts in a row. What’s more, you will feel much better when you have completed your activity than you did before you started. It is much more important to have consistency with your workout program than perfection.
* Have a back up plan. There will be times when you are snowed in, the kids are sick, or the boss is having a melt down, and your usual workout regime will have to be set aside. In these instances it can be good to have an alternative plan. A brisk walk (weather permitting), a ride on an exercise bike set up at home, or even resistance band training can all make for great substitutes.
How often should you workout?
Apart from heavy duty weight lifters who need to recover between sessions, just about everybody else can exercise from 3 times a week to every day. Those people who can only manage a few times a week should try to space them out.
* Weight lifters. Those people who are lifting heavy weights, need up to 48 hours between workouts to enable the muscle tears to heal.
* Walkers and runners. Walking and running are both activities that can be done daily. Those who run extremely long distances may need at least one day off weekly to give their bodies a chance to recover.
* Health clubs, gyms, and classes. Try for a minimum of 3-4 times weekly.
Exercise programs are most successful when they are consistent. Regular exercise at least several times a week is needed for noticeable results. Your body will get fitter and stronger faster when you employ a regular workout routine.