When it comes to exercising, are you a weekend warrior? One that only exercises sporadically, in this case on weekends? Going this route is not only harder on your body than if you would exercise on a more consistent basis, but it will take you longer to achieve your fitness goal, (if you ever do).
A consistent routine of cardio, strength and flexibility training three to four times per week minimum gradually works up your body’s fitness level. This recurring exercise regimen allows your muscles, tendons and ligaments to gradually strengthen and adjust to the strains of exercising.
If you only exercise on the weekends, you are increasing your risk of a debilitating injury because your body has not had a chance to gradually adjust. You are taxing it for two days and then not working it again for another five days. Do you notice that you are sore a day or two after you exercise? With a consistent routine, you would not have that soreness.
A consistent workout routine also improves your mood. When you exercise, your brain releases a hormone called endorphins. The purpose of endorphins is to reduce the discomfort of exercising, but it also has an effect on mood. Known as an exercise high, we are generally in a happier mood after exercising and the effect lasts for a few hours after. Without a consistent routine, you’ll notice more mood swings up and down.
If you are trying to lose weight or build muscle, a sporadic exercise routine will not help you achieve either goal. By only exercising two days per week you are not expending enough calories to affect weight loss. And as far as building muscle (larger muscles help burn more calories which will also help with weight loss), muscles need to be exercised at least every other day to have any real noticeable increase in size.
If you don’t yet have a consistent routine, you can create one by giving yourself a “trial period” of exercising four days per week, one hour per day, for thirty days. It takes anywhere from 21 to 30 days to turn an activity into a habit. If you find that you don’t like it after your trial period, you can go back to your old schedule (but most likely you won’t because it is now a habit).
Exercise at the same time each day. For most people it works best to do it right after they get up in the morning. However for some, they prefer to do it during their lunch hour or after work either on the way home or after getting home. Experiment and find which time works best for you and then stick to that time.
Practicing a regular exercise regimen will not only revive you physically, but also mentally. With consistency comes a gradual increase in muscle mass, reduced stress and an overall greater feeling of relaxation. Make your exercise fun with these 4 tips!
With a consistent workout routine, consider a healthier eating lifestyle, too. If you’re trying to keep your New Year’s resolution about eating better, look for our Healthy Eating Lifestyle Kit coming soon. It’ll help you create the right habits. Sign up now to be the first ones to hear about it.
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