“The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins With One Step.”
― Lao Tzu
The Importance of Exercise
To maximize my health, my must consume essential nutrients, have plenty of rest, and exercise regularly. Depending on my fitness level, exercise could be as simple as taking a short walk to increase my heart rate and blood flow.
I don’t need an intense workout such as heavy weightlifting or high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
How I exercise depends on my health goals. For example, if I want to lose fat and gain muscle, I will focus on heavy compound movements. In addition, my diet is extremely critical.
To keep myself motivated, I measure my results. Furthermore, I don’t compare myself to others because everyone’s body is different. Every person has his or her unique different genetics, health, and fitness history. The only person I compare to is my former self.
I focus on my progress.
Persistence and consistency are the two key factors for achieving my goals.
Break Through Your Plateau
After reaching a certain fitness level, your body will stagnate because it has adapted to those changes. This is great if your goal is to maintain. But if you want to break through the plateau, your body must experience a higher intensity or resistance.
This is when progressive overload applies.
To get stronger and have more muscle for a particular body part, your body must experience a higher amount of resistance.
For example, if you can lift 125 pounds for your barbell military press for 4 to 6 reps and you want more strength and muscles in your shoulders, you must increase the weights during your workouts. Along with proper macronutrients fueling and rest, you will gain more strength and shoulder definition over time.
But the process could take longer if you want to increase muscle and strength while minimizing fat. To do so, you can first bulk to gain fat and muscle. Afterward, you can cut to maintain muscle while losing fat.
However, if you’re new to weightlifting, you can quickly build muscle while losing fat.
Focus on Exercises which Excite You
If your goal is to maintain optimal health, then performing enjoyable exercises will be your most desirable and sustainable approach. That’s because you’re more likely to exercise if you look forward to them. Such options might be a dance class, morning group hike, or a run with your dog.
For example, one of my personal favorite hobbies is rock-climbing.
Although it’s challenging, I look forward to going to the rock-climbing gym because I find it extremely fun and engaging. It’s both physically and mentally difficult because I have many ways of finishing the problem.
Working out with a partner can make your exercise session even more enjoyable, not to also mention accountability – you both don’t want to let the other person down. In addition to improving your health, you get to spend quality time with them which further deepends your relationship.
Producing many health benefits, exercise is an excellent way to release endorphins, the “feel-good” chemical, in your body. Similar to morphine, endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body and interacts with brain receptors to reduce the perception of pain.
Regardless of your fitness level, there will be times when you don’t want to exercise.
But a simple solution is to take small steps. It could be as easy as putting on your running shoes if you resist going for a morning run.
Afterward, you can start with running for a minute and decide if you want to continue.
Chances are high you will choose to keep going and complete your workout.
The key to eliminating resistance is to design your environment so that it encourages the positive and healthy behaviors. By reducing the number of steps you have to take to start your exercise, the higher chances you will do it.
Either having your workout clothes nearby in the morning or wearing them to bed the night before increases the chance that you will do that morning workout.
Using small steps will lead to big lifestyle changes.
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