7 Winning Tips to Succeed with Exercise
WINNING WITH EXERCISE
We all want to win, succeed, and kick goals with the things that we pursue in life.
Winning with exercise is no different. We all inherently want to succeed in looking after the health of our body and our physical ability to do the things that we love to do.
As a physiotherapist who has delivered in excess of 25,000 physiotherapy consultations I have observed varying fitness and physical health profiles of my clients across the last 8 years.As you would expect those clients who have built regular exercise into their weekly routines tend to physically outperform those individuals who have failed to do so. The difference between the physical health of the life-long exerciser compared to the sedentary person is typically stark.
THE LIFE-LONG EXERCISER
I have come to recognise that there are common tips and tricks that the life-long successful exerciser both exhibits and utilises in their quest to stay physically healthy and in shape. I have summarised seven of the most common exercise tips that I have cited over my years of working as a physiotherapist below.
My 7 winning tips to succeed with exercise as observed by my many years of physiotherapy practice are:
- See your health as an investment. Most people understand the concept of ROI (return on investment) of their financial investments. Our physical health is no different. The wise choices that we either make or do not make have the potential to either work for us or against us in later life. Too often we hear and see of friends and loved ones who have let small daily health neglects become glaring oversights with the passage of time. By making small (and seemingly insignificant) positive health choices about exercise habits your ‘return’ (ROI) will be life added to your years!
- Start small- build momentum. To win with exercise just make a start –any start. Don’t wait for things to be perfect-take a small ‘baby step’ forwards. As with most life endeavours there is a cumulative effect to investing small amounts of time into exercise over the long term. Exercise like money has a compounding effect. There is a cumulative value in what can at times feel like an unimportant daily routine. Take a small step today-take the stairs instead of the lift or elevator, or choose water instead of Coke at lunch. Inconsequential-not at all-small is big. Don’t wait to feel your way into action, act your way into feeling. In other words sometimes we just have to take a small step forwards. The rest seems to follow.
- Diarise time to exercise. If it’s not in your diary it doesn’t exist. Block off times for exercise in your diary and leave them there. Not even the seemingly most urgent tasks should pull you from your date with moving your body. If it’s in your diary-there’s much greater likelihood of it happening. Well respected leadership expert John Maxwell once said ‘I can tell whether a person is successful in life or not just by looking at their diary to discover their daily habits’.
- Do something you enjoy. I am amazed at how often people capitulate with their exercise routines because they have chosen something that they really don’t enjoy doing. If you don’t like to swim, don’t take up swimming in your lunch break. Likewise if you hate running, stay clear of the morning running trails. There have never been more options for fitness than in today’s mixed and varied health and fitness marketplace. Find something you enjoy and the motivation will follow. Perhaps it’s time to dust off your tennis or squash racquet, or pull out your cycling knicks.
- Buddy up. Accountability is a powerful tool. It is far too easy to quit or not show up when you do not have a commitment to meet someone for a training session. The few with iron wills may succeed, but the vast majority of people will not succeed without and accountability partner in the form of a training partner. Even more powerful than a training partner can be engaging in a group that meets regularly at set times. You know the deal-be there rain, hail, or shine!
- Measure your progress. What gets measured in life gets improved. Well this same adage applies to our physical fitness and health. If you are able to measure your efforts you are much more likely to progress in your abilities and as a result experience greater fitness and health. Biotech device such as a FitBit, and Garmin or similar GPS watches have revolutionised the data that the modern exerciser can now have access to both during and following an exercise session. Measurement for the modern exerciser is a winnning exercise tool.
- Fight the urgent. It’s so easy to let those urgent and highly important tasks drag us away from the important but not urgent tasks of our days or weeks. Such important but not urgent tasks can include our exercise sessions. I encourage you to think long term when it comes to your physical health and your life. By taking this longer term perspective your likelihood of making wise decisions when competing tasks or activities emerge will be heightened. I recognise that a constant vigil must be kept in able to act on the important things in life verse the urgent.
OK so there you have it, 7 winning tips to succeed with exercise.
Now you choose…go on you can do it (right now!)
Brad Beer (APAM)
Physiotherapist, Author, Founder POGO Physio