Consistency leads to confidence, which leads to success.
One day, an article came across my social media feed; something about the best time of day to exercise. I didn’t have time to read the article, but thought to myself, “The best time of day is the time that you will do it!” Similar, to my thought, from my recent article, on the most effective exercise to do. Today, I went on a search for the piece that had triggered that thought and could only remember that it was from the New York Times. I did a search “Best time to exercise, New York Times” and several conflicting articles came up.
Can you hear me laughing? I only browsed the descriptions, but was amused that several articles stated afternoon, while others said the best time was morning; some even specifying early morning or early afternoon unless you prefer the ones extolling the benefits of late morning or late afternoon. I would say that all the articles have basis, as often, the time of day was to address a specific goal. For example, I found the original article for which I had been searching, and it was “The Best Time of Day to Exercise for Metabolic Health.”
I stand by my original thought, “The best time of day to exercise is the time you will do it…” and add “… consistently so that it becomes part of your lifestyle and not something you have to fit in.” Just as I wrote about a few weeks back in “The Most Effective Exercise,” each person’s circumstance is different. Is the best time for the person that works 9 to 5, mid-morning? What about the parents of a newborn? After the birth of each of my three children, the late afternoon was the most challenging time of day. I was lucky if I could get even a minute to use the restroom… and one squat does not qualify as exercise time.
Make exercise work for your schedule
You need to find a time that will work with your schedule. When, in the day, can you consistently commit, ideally, at least 30 minutes? Remember, exercise is activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness. That means you do not have to go to the gym to exercise, unless, for you, that is what will create the consistency. Even if you need to be taking classes to keep you committed, there are virtual options.
I teach weekly online classes and many of my students tell me that if I did not provide that option, they wouldn’t be able to take my class due to schedule and/or distance. A few have told me that they are not comfortable working out in a group setting and would not take class at all if they couldn’t do it from their own home. Which evolves my thought to, that for each, the environment is also a factor. There are students that are now attending my classes in the studio because their consistency taking online classes has grown their confidence.
Maybe you need the support of someone to be consistent, someone who is just as eager to see you succeed in your fitness endeavors as you are. You can find a workout buddy with whom you have similar goals and exercise together. But, be careful not to align yourself with someone that is not as serious about reaching the goal as you, or you may find your routine derailed or even nonexistent. Consider hiring a personal trainer so you can learn from their expertise and consistency. The clients that I train—either in person or online—know that I am going to show up and be ready to coach them, keep them accountable, and encourage them through their fitness routine, so, in turn, they need to “show up.”
One last tip; don’t hold back from making a commitment because your schedule might change. Your schedule WILL change. You may change jobs, your kids will grow and need you differently, life is ever-changing. Make a commitment to yourself, your health and fitness, of at least 3 months. It’s going to be hard, but will get easier, you just need to start. You will begin to feel better and see differences in your fitness. Exercise will become a part of your lifestyle, so when life happens, you’ll adjust your schedule with your fitness in mind. Your new more confident self will thrive and soon your mind and body will know the routine. You’ve got this!
Contributing writer Denise Lum is a Health and Fitness Coach raising her family in Alameda. Contact her via [email protected] or FitnessByDsign.com. Her writing is collected at AlamedaPost.com/Denise-Lum/.