The key to reaching your fitness goals is simple:
Get started and keep going.
Of course, that’s not how we treat it. It’s this diet and that cardio program … until the next flavor of the month, that is. And the variations when it comes to strength training can be mind boggling.
In reality, it’s not the form of movement, number of reps, or heaviness of weight that matters most. It’s consistency, which is the fundamental building block of perseverance.
According to most fitness pros, challenging yourself to regularly move your body could have more long-term benefits than nearly any other fitness goal.
And the best way to remain consistent is to focus elsewhere than your actual fitness goals. In other words, it’s likely not imagining how thin or buff you’re going to be that’s going to get your there.
Try these three motivators instead to keep going consistently:
1. Feeling Good
In study after study, researchers have found that one of the primary reasons people continue exercising is that they enjoyed yesterday’s exercise or the exertions of the day before; they felt healthier and more physically masterful afterward and wish to relive that sensation.
2. Sleeping Better
The more you move, the better you sleep. “Moving your body in some way every single day can lead to better sleep every single night,” says wellness coach and yoga instructor Donna Noble.
3. Stressing Less
In addition to all the other wonderful chemicals that get released thanks to exercise, movement increases concentrations of norepinephrine, which can moderate your brain’s response to stress.
And Then …
Those three are all highly desirable and immediate “side effects” of exercise. But that’s only the beginning.
- Along the way, your general health improves, which ratchets up your well-being.
- You get more in touch with your body and improve your respiration.
- And yes … you start to look better in the mirror.
Consistency is the magical key to it all. It puts your focus on process instead of end goals, which ironically makes your goals more achievable.
If you miss a workout, no worries. Just do your best not to skip two in a row, as your motivation will begin to significantly drop once you miss out on the day-to-day reinforcements.
If you struggle with consistency, the simple prescription is accountability. We can help with that.
P.S. New to Further? Join us here.
Battle of the Bulge
If you’re around age 50 and have bulging belly syndrome, it’s just part of the cycle of life, right? Well, a new study has found that allowing your middle to expand will do more than send you shopping for the next size up in britches -— it can also harm your physical abilities later in life.
Pump Up the Volume
If you’ve skipped out on cardio because you hate running, you aren’t alone. The truth is, the vast majority of people hate running as much as you do (raises hand). Here are five of the best cardio exercises to keep your heart young as you age, with absolutely no running.
The Long and Winding Road?
When it comes to cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength, the adage is true: Use it or lose it. While regular exercise can improve heart health and increase strength and mobility, taking weeks or months off can reverse many of those benefits.
To the Max (Or Not)
To max out your 401(k) in 2023, you’ll need to contribute $22,500 if you’re younger than 50. If you’re 50 or older, you’d need to kick in an extra $7,500 catch-up contribution — $30,000 total — to reach the limit. But should you?
The Real Path to Happiness
By Trudi Roth
The pursuit of happiness, one of those theoretical inalienable rights, is a favorite topic here at Further. As you might expect from our skeptical generation, we don’t put much stock in fake Buddha quotes like, “There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path.” In fact, we find happiness a bit overrated.
That said, we’re also at an age where prioritizing positive emotions is both practical and preferable — particularly on the heels of a pandemic and in the face of so much uncertainty.
The trick is to understand that uplifting your life experience isn’t about pursuing anything; it’s about understanding what happiness is (and isn’t) and how to better access that “place.”
The Happiness Boomerang
If you’ve ever set your sights on something you thought would bring you joy, like a trip or a new job, you might have found the reality wasn’t as you’d hoped. You missed the people back home, or the new work environment was toxic from day one.
Having your happiness derailed by an unanticipated event or emotion happens all the time, so much so that social psychologists call it “the boomerang effect.”
It’s like throwing a boomerang. It’s obvious that 99 percent of the time, it’ll come back to you. But sometimes, a treacherous breeze or wind can divert its path and it ends up hitting you. Consequently, those experiences you labeled as positive, often don’t turn out to be.
Research shows that life satisfaction doesn’t necessarily align with what you consider “good.” Instead, you can improve your sense of well-being by better managing your emotional responses.
The Real “Happy Place”
Happiness, like every other state of being, isn’t static. Your emotions are continuously in flux, so accepting that reality is a great place to start.
The happiness boomerang effect claims that these counterproductive effects allow you to better adjust your expectations to seek well-being in the appropriate places. It doesn’t mean giving up. It simply means knowing how to better select the kinds of activities, relationships, and lifestyles you should or shouldn’t get involved in.
In other words, learn how to make better choices for emotional well-being. Thomas Henricks, Ph.D., offers three places to focus on:
- Situations: Look for the sweet spot between anxiety-inducing challenges and boredom-encouraging simplicity (aka, get into a flow state).
- Orientations: Adjust your expectations as you gain new knowledge; stop judging things for what you think they should be, and start focusing on the positive aspects of what they are.
- Interpretations: Put things in today’s context, not what was or would have been.
Real happiness isn’t a path or a destination — it’s an open field of bliss that flourishes when you realize nothing needs to change for everything to be OK.
The Happiness Boomerang Effect (Exploring Your Mind)
How We Look for Our Happy Places (Psychology Today)
Queens Of The Stone Age – No One Knows
Songs for the Deaf, 2002
Dave Grohl’s chart-topping trifecta: In late 2002, Nirvana’s final recorded single You Know You’re Right topped the Modern Rock chart. It was eventually replaced at number one by All My Life by Foo Fighters. After a one week break, No One Knows hit number one, with Mr. Grohl on drums. (YouTube)
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