My wife and the other half of the Lynx Fitness duo, Kim, was recently putting together a yoga-inspired workout plan for a client when, during her research, she came across the following passage from a book by Judith Lasater.
“…renew your commitment to practice on an ongoing basis … The highest form of discipline is consistency: powerful transformation can come from regularity.”
That last part resonated with both of us. It is such a simple statement yet it holds a mighty truth, especially as it relates to committing to a lifestyle of health and fitness.
In our time as personal trainers, stressing the importance of an all-in commitment to the routine of a fitness program has been the No. 1 thing Kim and I have to work through with our clients. It’s not easy to convince people that the transformation they desire comes from regularity – a term far too often associated with boredom and stagnation.
Interestingly enough, Kim’s discovery of this powerful statement on the importance of consistency comes as I am working my way through reading the book, “The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business.”
In one section of “The Power of Habit,” author Charles Duhigg describes research performed in 2002 by New Mexico State University in which 266 people who worked out at least three times a week were studied to understand why they were so committed to their exercise regimen.
The study found that while they all had different reasons for beginning an exercise program – for various motivations and goals – they continued because they, in essence, craved how exercise made them feel. So much so that it became a habit as powerful as a smoker’s addiction.
Ninety-two percent of those studied in one group said they exercised because they essentially craved the way they felt after a workout – the endorphin rush. Another group responded at a 67-percent clip that working out provided a sense of accomplishment as they tracked their progress, which they craved.
Here’s what all this really boils down to: To realize the fullness of your body’s potential and to achieve your health and fitness goals, it is going to be hard not only as you begin this new lifestyle, but also at times along the way when your life circumstances change or your goals change or as setbacks arise.
In those times, as Lasater said in her book, commit and recommit to consistency on an on-going basis. Commit to regularity. Commit to just committing.
Because if you do, there will come a point where you forget that it’s hard and you’ll cross a threshold where it – exercise, fitness, health – just becomes who you are. You’ll find joy in the routine of working out. You’ll crave the rush of a completed workout more than you’ll dread starting one.
And that is where your powerful transformation truly begins.