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There are many different definitions of exercise success, but for me, there’s a simple formula: Ask yourself whether you are getting results, having fun, feeling good, exercising consistently, and always challenging yourself – even just a little bit – more than you’re used to?

Assigning yourself a challenge can be a powerful motivator for your body to improve.

Results

When we include exercise as a part of our health and wellness program, we want a return on our effort and time. This return is best summed up by “results.” If you’re not seeing the results you’re looking for, then something in your routine should be adjusted. I often use the word “tweak” to describe the small changes you can make to move beyond a plateau and in a positive direction. These changes don’t need to be big; they can be as simple as adding 10 minutes to a workout or one extra workout day.

Fun

Exercise doesn’t need to be slave labor, torture or the dreaded sweat box. It should feel energizing and fun. I realize “fun” exercise isn’t in everyone’s DNA, but we want it to be as meaningful as possible. Find activities and exercises you enjoy so that you look forward to it and make it happen. It’s valuable to explore what you love to do, as well as how and when you can best incorporate activity into your daily life.

Your Health

As we age, the health benefits from exercise become more of a motivator than they were in our youth. We begin to realize that exercise keeps us moving, and allows us to maintain the quality of life and better health that we most desire. When I train people, I often guide them to a focus on the positive health and wellness benefits of exercise rather than just the number on the scale or the time spent working out.

Consistency

For me, consistency is a big part of exercise success. This means being devoted to your health and well-being. Consistency also means maintaing frequent, regular activity, such as sticking to your exercise plan on vacation or when you may be feeling a bit tired. One common trait that life long exercisers share is consistency. Nothing gets in their way; not the weather; time of day or their schedule. Their life revolves around making sure that they maintain the positive health and wellness benefits they receive from regular exercise!

Challenge

Assigning yourself a challenge can be a powerful motivator for your body to improve. If you’re used to walking the dog for twenty minutes three days per week, add another five minutes to each day. Once your body is used to that maybe you can add another day. Challenges can come in little packages, yet they help us to grow. If you can look in the mirror and say you were able to challenge yourself more today than in the past – pat yourself on the back, give yourself a hug, and appreciate the work you’ve put in.

Are you getting results, having fun, feeling good, exercising consistently, and always challenging yourself?

Contributed by

Phil Hardesty
Exercise Physiologist

Have a healthy, happy and fit week!!

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