I have been having some great conversations with clients over the past few days, and many have come back after some inconsistency.
For example, one awesome woman in our Fit over 50 program has been taking care of her aging mom every evening and hasn’t been coming very consistently, like she had for the past year or two. She was here today and said she was reminded of just how much she liked it and good you feel when you are done with the workout.
She also said how hard it is to come back once you haven’t been in the groove, and how easy it is to come when you are in the groove.
I thought about that and it is so true in my own life. Let me share a real life personal example.
I am known to share most everything publicly, and I feed off that and use it as motivation and accountability. Well, last October I did something I don’t normally do and kept a secret, my own personal project.
I hired a running coach with the goal to become a far better runner than I currently was. So my coach and I devised a plan to run 50-60 miles a week, something that seemed outrageous to me at first, even compared to training for Ironman the past 3 years. I spent the first 5 weeks building from 42 miles up to 50 and then I have stayed around the 50-60 mile mark ever since.
I have had zero sickness and only a couple days of some achilles soreness.
In case you are wondering, that is around 8 miles M/T/W/Th/F and then 12 on Saturday and 0-6 on Sunday.
Only about 4 people knew about this until a week ago, when I shared it in a newsletter.
I have been getting asked if it has been hard to run basically 8 miles every day.
My answer has even surprised me… no
It’s not because I am some superstar or have any special powers.
It is because I have spent the past 4 months doing it every single day. I have only missed a few days in the past 120 days.
In other words, the more frequently I run, the easier it becomes to just do it. I don’t get sore, I don’t get especially tired (unless it is interval day), and I don’t really have to give myself a pep talk. It’s just like brushing my teeth or taking a shower. It has become who I am, and I will always find the time to do things that align with who I am.
It was much harder to run 3x/week around 5-7 miles each time, like I have for the past few years, because it wasn’t as consistent.
Now there is something that, for me, is going to require a lot of motivation and pep talk to accomplish…
It’s been 5 months since I got into a pool or a lake and I am about to start back up swimming in a few weeks.
What is my point to all this?
I am starting to believe that the thesis of one of the most popular fitness books of all time, Younger Next Year, is correct for every single one of us. The authors say that you should exercise every day like it is your job, the most important job you have. They were referring to a person 50 and older, but I think it can and does apply to all of us.
Not only will this keep you healthier, it will make it easier to keep as a routine.
Yes, it is a bit paradoxical, but the more frequently you exercise (or do anything for that matter), the easier it becomes.
Said another way…
The less frequently you exercise, the harder it will be to be consistent.
Without making this any more lengthy, I am not saying you should work out 5-7 days a week at maximum intensity. That is a recipe for overuse injury.
Find ways to sweat most days of the week and just see how much better you feel.
Do you agree or disagree?
PS Now this concept could be taken too far and if you are working out many hours each day, it can lead to burnout and overtraining, which then makes it harder to want to train. I am talking about consistency, but varied intensity and duration levels.
PPS Does the concept of exercising or moving most days of the week overwhelm you? The good news is that you don’t have to start with that. Just start with a couple days a week and build up to it. Reply to this email if you want help doing that.