I don’t believe there are any magic exercises or quick fix solutions with exercise – I certainly haven’t discovered them yet! But….. there is one fundamental principle that I think is vital for successful exercise – that principle is PERSISTENCE. I don’t think it matters what you do, how hard you do it – how long or how often – the key thing at the start is stickability or persistence. I’m so convinced of this, that I’m changing up the acronym that we have used for years in exercise prescription. You may have seen F.I.T.T.E. or F.I.T.T.E.R. in most exercise texts. Those letters stand for Frequency, Intensity, Type, Time, Enjoyment (all hail enjoyment!!) and Rate of progression – sure those are all important elements and considerations to make this exercise thing work, but I’m going with P.F.I.T.T.E.R.
PFITTER – Feels to me that should be a word, shouldn’t it? But…. the dictionary tells me that I can’t use those tiles in scrabble!!.
To me regular exercise is an important pointer to success. I guess persistence is telling me that you’ve got this accommodation thing sorted out (last post) and you are on your way to making the habit stick. There’s a bit of a transition phase where people go from saying that they are ‘giving exercise a go’ to thinking ‘I’m an exerciser and this is what exercisers do’. Persistence says that you’ve probably figured out or noticed benefits that you value enough to keep coming back. It might just be the pride of having a routine, being a role model, feeling better about your self, feeling more capable, the compliments that you’ve had or the joy of moving – it doesn’t matter because sticking at it means that benefits will come in some shape or form – you have to trust me there!. They may not be the benefits that you expected, the benefits that you covet, they may not change the way you look, but they will be positive changes to your life. So working back from that – here’s the advice – if you are going to have a crack at this exercise thing, set your sights on doing something that you think (preferably know) you will be able to sustain. That probably means something that you will enjoy – something that you don’t mind doing – something you love doing, or something that lets you spend quality time with friends and family. Some of that stuff that you see on reality TV may be appealing because the results seem to be very dramatic, but be honest with yourself – will you really be able to sustain that exercise in your life – beware the ‘false hope syndrome’. Wishful thinking isn’t usually useful thinking. Let’s land this exercise thing!