If you’re like most people who strive to make exercise a regular part of their daily life, chances are you’ve run into a roadblock or two somewhere along the way. Maybe you’ve plateaued; maybe you’ve lost motivation; maybe life has gotten so crazy that you’ve fallen off the bandwagon and can’t seem to find your way back on.
When this happens, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the thought of getting back into shape or back into following a consistent training pattern. A lot of people give up at this point– they choose to do nothing instead of doing what they can because they feel like doing what they can just isn’t enough. If they aren’t training or exercising at a level they are accustomed to, they choose to not exercise at all.
This is a beginning of a downward spiral when it comes to health, fitness, and overall well-being. I don’t know about you, but when I’m not exercising regularly, I find it’s more tempting to put crappy food into my body. Then, as I gain weight and/or retain water and don’t get my regular endorphin fix, I become unhappy with my body and unhappy in general. But I continue to eat poorly and not exercise. And so on and so on…
I have to admit, I’ve been guilty of this for the past few weeks. I have been too tired to do my morning strength training workouts regularly because my evenings have been too hectic to go to bed at a reasonable hour. There have been a few mornings when I’ve been able to fit a workout in, but I get discouraged because I feel like those few workouts just aren’t enough. On more than one occasion, I’ve re-set my alarm to sleep longer because I didn’t see the point in waking up to do my one and only morning workout for the week.
But then it occurred to me– although I preach that consistency is key when it comes to achieving results in any fitness program, and it truly is– why do I feel like it has to be all-or-nothing and get down on myself when I can’t give it my “all?” At the end of the day, ANY workout is better than NO workout. Lack of consistency may make it more difficult to reach your specific goals right now when times are hectic or motivation is lacking, but lack of fitness because you chose to do nothing instead something will only make it more difficult to reach your goals whenever life does start giving you more free time to work towards them.
We’ve all heard the saying “strive for progress, not perfection.” This is true in all aspects of life, but especially when it comes to health and fitness. Striving for perfection in a world full of chaos is only setting yourself up for failure. Sometimes you’re just not going to be able to follow your workout schedule to the “T.” Don’t let that discourage you. Do what you can when you can, keep the momentum rolling, and you’ll be back on track in no time.
A few months ago, I went to spin class every Thursday like clockwork. I felt great– my endorphin levels were through the roof and I was in great shape. But then I had a few Thursday evenings with prior obligations and I couldn’t attend spin. I could tell that my fitness levels were suffering because of it (spinning, if you haven’t tried it, is seriously the most butt-kicking workout I know). Yesterday was the first free Thursday evening I’ve had in a while. Hmm. To spin or not to spin? That was the question I asked myself. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to spin next Thursday either. Was attending one class worth it? I decided to give it a go. And ya know what? Class was really tough after taking so much time off. Class will be tough the next time that I go because it won’t be for a few weeks. But that made class all the more rewarding; I felt great afterwards and I’m really glad that I decided to go!
My best advice for fitness success:
- ALWAYS make a plan.
- Do your best to stick to it consistently.
- If you can’t follow it consistently, do SOMETHING. ANYTHING. Anything is better than nothing.
- Get back on track whenever you can!