Staying fit is critical to overall personal success. Doing regular exercise will make you feel good and give you strength, stamina, regulated energy levels, flexibility. You will also give your mind an opportunity to rest and recharge from the brain heavy stresses of the rest of the day (see Zen exercise).
With all those benefits, you would think it would be easy for everyone to exercise often. Not so. Exercising regularly takes a lot of commitment, desire, discipline and courage. You know it is good for you and that you will feel great afterward, yet it still takes a ton of effort to initiate a workout or to exercise consistently over time.
A typical week for me these days involves the following exercise below.
- 5 or 6 cycling workouts (30-60 minutes per ride, trainer in the winter)
- 2 runs (30-45 minutes per run)
- 5-6 yoga workouts (20-45 minutes per session)
- 4 gym sessions (weights and body weight exercises)
This routine achieves a lot of fitness goals for me above simply being fit, but it takes a lot of discipline, and like most people I struggle with staying on track from time to time.
There are many tricks to staying with a fitness regimen and it starts with commitment. If you want to be fit, there can be no debate about whether or not to exercise. You have to just do it. No negotiation. To continue reading this post, click here…
Just like most people, I have fought the urge to fall out of shape. I have been exercising since my late teens and have gone through spells where I exercised inconsistently and other times, not at all. Sometimes, I let work get in the way of staying fit, while other times I was simply in a lazy rut. A good friend of mine in University, Mike Nash, once told me that he doesn’t sweat it when he goes days weeks or months without exercising because he will be exercising his whole life and always gets back on track quickly (he has since become an elite level cyclist, so I doubt he takes many days off anymore).
For me the most important way to keep exercising is routine. Sort of like getting up in the morning. If you allow a mental debate with yourself about whether you want to work out, 75% of the time, you will talk yourself into not going. When I get up in the morning, I automatically head to my home gym for yoga, then ride or run. On some days I do one or the other, but every morning. I head down to do one or both of these.
Rest is important too, but in the last few years, I have take very few days off entirely. Even if I think I am tired, often I am not – often it is simply my brain and not my body that is tired and it is trying to convince me to be lazy. I seldom let my lazy brain win. When I have had many sequential tough days or I know my body is tired, and I need a rest day, I prefer to do very light exercise (I prefer the term “recover day”). Maybe an easy ride or light yoga session. This keeps my blood flowing, metabolism up and energy levels consistent at all times.
When I am traveling on business, I follow the same routine. If the events of the day prevent me from following my routine I can always get back on track the next day, but I usually prefer to squeeze in 20 minutes of whatever I can even if it is simply yoga or body weight exercises.
I love exercising. It is very rewarding emotionally and physically and I am probably seriously addicted to endorphins, but it is only because of routine, that I exercise on a regular basis.