Corinne Austin | Personal Training

A Plan to better your Exercise Adherence

We all know the main reasons people choose to exercise – to get fit, tone up and lose weight. But did you also know that those of us who focus on those particular benefits of exercise have an average fitness journey of only three months? This is possibly because it takes at least three solid months of informed, structured, and disciplined exercise to actually start seeing results. Sure, we may start feeling results sooner than the three month mark. But, many of us want a visual result asap, and if that ain’t happening, then we’re out of there.

For those of us lacking in the patience department we may indeed benefit from redirecting our focus and altering our immediate goals. The benefits of exercise stretch far beyond where many of us imagine. Exercise should never just be about getting fit, toning up, and losing weight. If we modify the reasons we embark on an exercise regime to include those that I’ve listed below, our fitness journey adherence is not only likely to be lengthened and more satisfying, but we will automatically be getting fit, toning up, and losing weight in the process – without it actually being our main point of focus. Give yourself other reasons to exercise, and the physical changes that exercise promotes will happen naturally.

Alternative reasons for exercising include:

  • Exercise Gives You Energy: Exercise, particularly of a vigorous nature, releases endorphins that enable you to feel more energised for the rest of the day. And by improving your strength and stamina, everyday tasks will be accomplished with more ease.
  • Exercise Shrinks Stress Levels: Exercising will reduce stress in every part of your life. Physical activity produces a relaxation response, which serves to positively distract you, put things back into perspective, elevates your mood, and provides greater mental clarity.
  • Exercise Builds Relationships: Exercise is always more fun if there’s someone to do it with. And fun equals greater adherence, which means greater results. Regardless of whether they are your husband, best friend, or work colleague, imagine the relationship growth that will follow if you exercise consistently with that buddy.
  • Exercise Boosts Heart Strength: Exercise not only gives you a stronger heart, but it will also enable your cardiovascular system to function more effectively. A more efficient heart means more blood, oxygen, and nutrients are being delivered to more cells of your body, which promotes greater energy.
  • Exercise Combats Disease: Put simply, there is no major health problem that exercise cannot positively affect. Exercise slows down or prevents stroke, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure. It also boosts immune function. Exercise is a great drug – get your regular dose.
  • Exercise Improves Brainpower: Exercise increases serotonin levels in the brain. This improves mental clarify, concentration, and focus, which lead to greater productivity. Further, recent neurological findings now show that exercise encourages the brain to grow new nerve cells, or allows older nerve cells to grow dense new networks. This may indeed mean that exercise can actually slow down or eradicate the onset of cognitive issues like dementia and alzheimers.

There are simply too many benefits of exercise to name. I’ve outlined the benefits above which you will observe or feel within just a week or two of embarking on a fitness journey. The choice to exercise should never just be about the physical changes that exercise will bring. Exercise is the epitome of a supersonic drug – it’s benefits and side-effects are far-reaching, and extend well into the physiological and psychological domains too. So before you go jumping on the exercise band-wagon, make sure your motivation to exercise not only has physical elements, but physiological and psychological reasons too.

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