Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Importance of Consistency

Despite the funny poster above, consistency is in my opinion the number one most important thing about exercise. Without consistency, exercise is wasted. We only get stronger and healthier if we work out on a regular basis.

Take, for example, my exercise year in 2010. I participated in the 100-Mile Fitness Challenge all four quarters, even when it wasn't officially going on. All four quarters, I hit 100 miles, but I was completely inconsistent with it. I would exercise 40 miles one month, only 12 the next, and scramble the third to get the last 48 in. Even within those months, I wouldn't be consistent. I'd do well for two weeks, 8-12 miles each, then slack off the next two and do almost nothing.

That sort of exercising did nothing to help my muscles or heart or fitness level. I didn't start getting fitter until this year when I began to exercise on a consistent, regular basis. There's a HUGE difference between exercising one mile every day for a week, and exercising six miles one day and one mile six days later. Same number of miles in the same number of days, but completely different results. With consistent exercise, your body learns and grows stronger. Sporadic exercise only makes you sore without adding any real value to your body over time.

When you start on an exercise plan, it's best to set up a schedule and routine for yourself to stay consistent. That doesn't mean you have to do the exact same thing every day or every week, and you can definitely change things around to suit you, but you will get the best results if you keep going on a regular schedule.

1 comment:

alisonwonderland said...

Gretchen Rubin, in her book The Happiness Project, says, "What I do every day matters more than what I do once in a while." I think that well sums up what you're saying here - and it's something I'm trying to incorporate in several aspects of my life.