Tips To Sticking With An Exercise Regimen Long Term

written by   Nwando Eze   |   Physical Health
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The most effective leaders prioritize exercise. Not only for physical but mental health and sharpness. Mental acuity is key to optimal decision making. However, consistency with an exercise regimen can be a challenge for many busy leaders. And the busier you are, the more you need to prioritize exercise. The best way to stay consistent is to 1) find a regimen that works for you 2) stick to it and 3) adjust as needed. One might be tempted to follow every exercise regimen lauded as the latest key to weight loss. However, at the end of the day, if it does not fit in with your lifestyle or natural tendencies, it will fail. Below are helpful tips to sticking with a regimen.

1) Find out what works for you:

For me, I discovered over the years, exercising for no more than 30 minutes a day 5 days a week worked well for me. I’d tried the hour-long gym classes but found difficulty sticking with them long term. Depending on how busy I was, it was harder for me to get up in the morning to go to an hour-long gym class. I found it much easier to convince myself to get up, especially on those cold, dark mornings, if I knew I was only doing it for 30 minutes. For some folks, it might be 15 minutes, 7 days a week. The key is building the lifestyle habit of doing some form of physical activity most days.

2) Do something, anything, most days of the week:

No matter how small. Some days you may only have 5 minutes of sit-ups in you. This is ok. It is better than nothing. Give yourself grace on that day and resume your regimen the following day. On those super busy weeks, give yourself permission to take a day or 2 or even a week off if you need it. It is not the end of the world. Plan to return to your regimen after that break. It’s about building a lifetime habit.

3) Don’t be afraid to switch things up:

You can stop in the middle of that class if it is not doing it for you. That’s ok. Sometimes we feel like we have to stay until the end of a class just because it is 1 hour or 45 minutes long. You don’t. You can leave that yoga class in the middle and do some cycling if that is what your body is asking for. You can decide to take a long, relaxing walk or climb some stairs instead of the gym. We have to shift our mindsets to make this ok. It is better to do 10 minutes of different exercises for 30 minutes, and do it every day, than to do 1 hour of the same thing and become bored, risking inconsistency through the week.

Triple C Pearls

1) Discover what works for you:

Think back to the exercise regimens that have you have been most consistent with, no matter how absurd. Commit to that program for 2 weeks. Keep track of the reasons you may not consistent when it happens. Adjust your regimen based on these reasons. Repeat this process until you find the regimen that allows you the most consistency.

2) Do something most days of the week:

Start with a commitment of 1 day a week and slowly increase every 2 weeks to 3-5 days a week

3) Switch things up:

If you get bored with exercise regimens easily, try different regimens on different days. Put it on the calendar so you stick with it.
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Hi, I’m Nwando Eze a board-certified physician and Certified Physician Executive with a Masters in Public Health and Business Administration. An accomplished author and speaker, I’m passionate about nurturing early careerist into young leaders, coaching leaders into becoming the best, well-rounded versions of themselves, improving justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in leadership and helping leaders live a well- rounded life.

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