“The benefits of exercise, like better health and body shape, are too good for anyone to quit exercising. Here are 7 ways to help exercise regularly.”
This website seeks to demonstrate the benefits of exercise. Exercise bestows a myriad of benefits upon the exerciser, beginning with a more controllable and user-friendly metabolic rate and extending to a full range of outcomes that have personal excellence as their aim.
What Are The Benefits Of Exercise?
Men and women who engage in regular exercise tend to enjoy better health and longevity, extraordinary freedom from disease and debility, and enhanced psychological well-being. All of them help form the cornerstone of their other achievements in life.
Millions of Americans take these benefits of exercise to heart.
- More than a hundred million Americans are swimmers,
- seventy-five million are bicyclists,
- seventy-five million work out at health clubs,
- and thirty-five million are joggers.
However studies indicate that the majority of people are woefully inactive. For example, only 22 percent of Americans are active at a level that’s recommended for good health.
Many folks exercise at a level of exertion that ebbs and flows based on how they feel during the day.
The majority of adults in the USA who are over the age of twenty-five are almost completely sedentary.
It’s surprising that exercise is not part of the daily routine for most of the people who participate in health and fitness surveys.
People Believe In The Benefits Of Exercise
Interestingly enough, most people believe in the benefits of exercise and what it can do for them, both physically and psychologically. Even many of the holdouts who don’t exercise think they’d be more attractive and self-assured if they did.
The majority of those who engage in exercise on a regular basis report significant benefits in terms of . . .
- enhanced energy, mood, and creativity
- improved health and body shape
- greater control of stress
- and even a more active social life
How We Begin And How We Fade
Most people typically begin their exercise programs in response to nagging problems caused by weight gain.
For many of us, New Year’s Day is the starting date for a flurry of activity in this regard. We become penitent over too much holiday eating and entertaining—and long stretches of winter idleness—and plunge headlong into exercise programs.
Health clubs and gyms experience a resurgence of membership, while jogging and walking paths become crowded with would-be fitness enthusiasts. Manufacturers of exercise equipment and purveyors of weight-loss programs vie elbow to elbow for the available advertising time on radio, internet, television and in print media. Even though many folks want the benefits of exercise, their motivation to exercise fades within a few short weeks.
Why We Fade
Perhaps the most common reason given by sedentary people for avoiding exercise is a lack of time. Many studies have been conducted in which people who drop out of fitness programs blame time constraints.
A nationwide Gallup Poll revealed that 39 percent of respondents said their reason for not exercising was that they “had no time for such activity.”
Twenty percent of the respondents felt that they got enough exercise in their daily routine. Hence that they had no need to do anything extra.
Another study, undertaken by Melpolmene Institute, a women’s fitness and health organization, reached a similar conclusion:
- time was perceived to be a major limiting factor.
Is it true that the vast majority of people in this country don’t have time to fit an exercise period into their day on a regular basis?
I don’t believe so, and neither do many other experts.
One of the foremost researchers on the phenomenon of the failure to stick with an exercise program is Dr. Roy Shephard of the University of Toronto. In two separate studies, Dr. Shephard points out that although people say that lack of time is their major obstacle to exercising, it’s really just an excuse.
The average American, says Dr. Shephard, has between fifteen and eighteen hours of leisure time per week, and often has the TV on for seven hours a day at home.
By strictly adhering to and implementing the practices laid out in this website, not only will you gain the motivation you need to get fired up about your fitness-filled future, but you will also experience the benefits of exercise that will bring major changes to your body. And that will keep that fire lit for years to come.
What Experience Has Proved
Throughout the years that I’ve been in the exercise and fitness business, I’ve seen literally thousands of men and women start and sustain meaningful, long-term exercise programs. I’ve also seen my share of dropouts.
My overall conclusion is that if you can sustain your exercise program for a good, solid thirty to sixty days, you have an excellent chance of making it a part of your lifestyle, and of seeing the dramatic benefits of exercise if it is done properly. Here are 7 tips for making the process a little easier:
1.) Find an activity you enjoy.
This seems so obvious to me, and yet millions of would-be exercisers base their choice of exercise regimen on all the wrong criteria. Instead of finding exercises they consider to be enjoyable, they choose them solely according to the number of calories they’ll burn up, or how trendy looking the gym or health club appears. Then, when the novelty wears off, so does the commitment.
Many research studies have shown that if people pursue an activity they don’t like, they won’t stick with it. And they’ll eventually abandon it altogether.
To avoid this kind of exercise burnout, start with exercises that you truly enjoy. Whether it’s running, walking, or using exercise equipment such as free weights, make sure you like what you’re doing and that it provides the results you’re looking for.
2.) Make exercising convenient.
Virtually everyone has a busy lifestyle. In fact, just about everyone would say that their day is completely filled. In order to add an exercise program, you may have to eliminate a less important activity (such as watching TV). If your day is too crowded, you’ll soon be looking for excuses to skip your exercise program.
- At first, that might mean skipping just an exercise session or two.
- Later, however, you’re likely to let entire weeks go by without exercising.
- Finally, you’ll go back to the old sedentary lifestyle that you promised you’d give up.
Don’t let that happen to you and miss out on the benefits of exercise. The more convenient you can make your exercise routine, the better. That means scheduling your exercises at a time of day when you’ll consistently do them and on days of the week when you can exercise regularly.
3.) Set goals and chart your progress.
“Nothing succeeds like success,” said French novelist Alexandre Dumas. The more success we achieve in any endeavor, the more likely we are to continue with it. This notion is extremely important, especially when it comes to exercising our bodies and gaining the benefits of exercise, like building up our metabolism.
Goals are the mental roadmap that your mind uses to attain its desired ends. Goals are the conduits that funnel all of your physical and mental energies toward a single purpose.
A wealth of professional research has demonstrated that being precise about health and fitness goals improves the chances of sticking to an exercise program. Perhaps the best way to do this is to use a journal or logbook to chart your progress. Making frequent (daily, if possible) entries in your journal will help keep your motivation high and prevent your commitment from waning.
4.) Do imagination exercises.
This is another useful way to enhance your motivation. You may already be familiar with this psychological technique from some weight-loss class you have attended. The method is simple and easy to follow. We’ve spoken about imagination exercises earlier, but because of its importance I’ll briefly touch upon it here.
First, find a quiet place where you can relax without being interrupted, preferably in a comfortable chair in a private room. Then close your eyes and imagine yourself with the body that you desire (and that will soon be yours!):
- See how the benefits of exercise include getting the clean, sculpted look, with well-defined muscles that are lean, flexible, and ready for any kind of movement you might choose.
- Visualize how you’ll look with no excess body fat, and see yourself in your new body, engaging in your favorite activities to your heart’s desire.
- Imagine how your family, friends, and coworkers will treat the “new you.” Hear them congratulating you, and get a sense of how that feels. In short, get excited!
Try to make your visualizations as specific as possible, and try to drench your images with lots of emotion.
- How do you feel when people compliment you on your new, slimmer look?
- What emotions race through your whole being when your increased stamina and productivity enable you to do all those wonderful things you’ve been yearning to do?
Perform this exercise several times a day. You may be capable of doing it in as little as one minute. But you should work your way up to thirty minutes each time.
You’ll be surprised at how well it will enhance your ability to stick to your exercise plans and almost magically bring about those desired benefits of exercise.
5.) Take responsibility.
Sticking to your exercise program is nobody’s responsibility but your own. Nobody can do it for you, and no one else is to blame if you miss a workout. That means you’ve got to take responsibility for each and every workout, as well as for the results.
You’ve got to become proactive in your approach. Plan in advance in order to ward off problems and temptations that might beset you.
Then one to three months hence, when you find that people are complimenting you and noticing you from across the room, you’ll have the immense satisfaction of knowing that your accomplishments were of your own doing, not someone else’s.
You’re the one to whom people will give all the credit when you succeed. By the same token, you’re the one they’ll hold responsible for your failure if you don’t stick to your exercise regimen or you start skipping workouts.
In the end, what it all boils down to is this:
- If you have to actually tell people that you work out, your workout is not working well enough.
- But if people begin complimenting you and asking about how you work out or what type of diet you’re on, then you’ll know that all your efforts have been worthwhile.
My goal has been to give you all the techniques that truly work and cut out the worthless ones. The only proof I have that these techniques work are the piles of compliments that are heaped on my clients by friends and family. Just think: if you stick with the Maximize Your Metabolism program, you’ll be the next person to receive all those delicious compliments.
One thing you need to plan for is what will you do to pump yourself up when your interest dwindles?
One excellent suggestion is that you enlist a friend to exercise with you. Going it alone may be perfectly fine for the person who’s into long-distance running. But partnering with someone may be a far better solution for those who follow the Maximize Your Metabolism program. If you don’t have a workout partner, then by all means use your fictitious mentoring group.
In the past, I’ve forced some of my clients to switch gym bags (contents included!) with their exercise partner. That way, neither of them can exercise unless the other shows up.
Remember: plan in advance. Then when problems crop up, you’ll have ready-made solutions at your disposal. Thus staving off the possibility of a missed workout.
6.) Let others help you.
One of the easiest ways to stick to your exercise program is to draw upon the motivational reservoir found in others; you don’t absolutely have to go it alone.
In this respect, employers have an important role to play. Studies show that jobs and careers are placing increased pressures on employees. As a result, many people see lack of time as a major constraint to regular exercise.
Many employers are solving this problem—and ending up with employees who are more productive—by offering one or more exercise or fitness options at company expense. Among such offerings are:
- installation of a company-owned fitness center
- giving employees time off for exercise
- paying for all or a portion of a health-club membership
Check with your employer to see what is presently offered, or what could be offered in the future if employee interest is sufficient.
The support of family and friends is quite influential in encouraging relatively inactive people to become more active.
It’s encouraging to have the presence and companionship of a friend or relative when you engage in exercise or other physical activity. Many people find that their spouse is the one who provides the greatest support in this regard.
7.) Keep it fun.
This is probably the best advice of all! I realize that the techniques outlined in this website are not easy, but they work nonetheless. And they work better than any other combination of techniques I’ve come across.
If you need to find ways to keep your routine fun in order to stick to it, then challenge yourself to do just that. By reading this website and studying what it has to offer, you’ve already surmounted the biggest hurdle and you’ve created the cornerstone for a powerful health and fitness regimen. Now all you have to do is keep it fun.
- One way you can do that is by varying the music you listen to while working out. Put yourself in charge of the tunes you hear, by using a portable audio player while you exercise.
- Or you could join two different health clubs and then alternate between them, spending a week at each one.
You be the judge, and, as the saying goes, “Just do it!”
My health club provides free subscriptions to several motivational e-mail newsletters (some daily, some weekly) to help the members stick to their programs. As a reader of this website, you too are invited and encouraged to sign up for one of these e-mail newsletters today. They’re free, and they’re well worth it.
Before we jump into the 7 Day Diet And Exercise Plan, I have a few more things to say to motivate you to take action.