Here’s a secret you already know – To lose weight, get in shape, and have a better body, exercise must be part of that equation to achieve those results. However, what is a secret is why some people are better at achieving and maintaining their fitness than others? Could it be genetics, timing of when they exercise, do they use expensive equipment, or what?
Many factors go into what makes a good workout, and yes, sometimes it could be genetics, the time, or the equipment you have available to use. But even people lacking those factors have somehow overcome any negatives holding them back from getting the body they want. So, what do they know the rest of us do not?
Here are four important factors helping push you past roadblocks keeping you from getting into the shape you want and deserve:
This is listed number one because it is necessary to change your body into what you are achieving. To force your body to get in shape, exercise must be regular.
We all know that gym memberships flourish at the beginning of the year, and exercise classes are crowded. Three months later, the spin class has plenty of room to spare. Unfortunately, if you work out sporadically, it rarely produces the same results as those who faithfully do so day in and day out. For example, two weeks of consistent exercise and three weeks off only bring your fitness level back to its initial state.
Like yo-yo dieting, which has brief success but eventually long-term failure, yo-yo exercising may have brief results but ultimately will not bring sustained fitness. Ask someone who you admire and is fit how they got that way, and invariably you will hear the words “consistent exercise.” Getting good at a skill has to be done consistently – the person who practices piano two hours a day will excel compared to a person practicing two hours a week. None of us ever gets good at things we don’t do consistently, and fitness is a skill that takes consistency to achieve.
2. Increased effort
Once you have down consistency, the next thing to work on is increasing exercise effort. For example, if walking is your mode of exercise and you always walk the same distance, duration, and intensity, you may notice that the initial weight you lost in the beginning, has slowed to a snail’s pace. Your body has adapted to and becomes accustomed to your routine. Repeating the same type of exercise with no change will not bring improvement or additional weight loss.
The solution is to bust up your routine and surprise your body with a change. For example, instead of walking for 30 minutes four days a week, increase it to 45 minutes five days a week. Pick up the pace at which you walk. Or try something different – lift weights, bicycle, jog, try an elliptical, or do yoga. The more variety of exercise you do, the more muscles you stimulate, helping burn more calories and sculpting yourself a brand new body.
The saying ‘patience is a virtue’ has merit regarding exercise results. If you apply the first two principles of consistency and increased effort and then be patient, the results will come. The people you see who are in good physical shape did not get that way overnight. It came from hard work over a long period, and if you remain patient, it will come to you also.
Practicing patience is hard. Too many of us want results now. If a toned tummy and lean legs aren’t achieved in a month, we may give up waiting for results. Patience is a desirable quality, but it must be learned and practiced, and with a little patience, you can learn to master it and be successful not only in exercise and weight loss but also in life.
You can possess all of the first three factors listed, but being successful at becoming fit, will most likely fail without motivation. We can say we are motivated to exercise but acting on the motivation is another thing. Fitness goals are reached more easily when you are motivated. And this is where you have to figure out what motivates you to want to be and then get in shape.
Believing in yourself or having self-efficacy and confidence in your ability to succeed can be built by self-affirmations, positive self-talk, and small fitness gains. Don’t expect perfection or compare yourself to others. Instead, focus on what makes exercise meaningful for you and what you ultimately want to gain from your exercise program.
Setting goals with a vision of what you want to achieve can be the catalyst making it fun and exciting and pushing you to work out. You will achieve tremendous fitness results when you know what makes you tick and pair it with intentional action.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.