Having a consistent routine helps to conserve energy, for two reasons. Firstly, having a routine gets rid of the internal monologue that takes place. By internal monologue I mean chatter such as:
“I ought to go to the gym tonight but I could go tomorrow”
“I know I ought to cook tonight but it’s easier to get a takeaway”
“When shall I fit in a run this week, I’m busy all week”
This kind of internal monologue is draining, and a waste of energy. By having a consistent routine that you usually stick to, you can remove the need for this tiresome chatter. Developing a good level of physical fitness takes time, and it’s much easier to maintain than gain. So once you’ve built up some fitness, put in the effort to retain it.
There are a couple of other things I’ll do to maintain my fitness; firstly, I am very strict about not booking anything instead of a session at the gym. If I have to be away that day, I’ll move the session to another day that week. If I’m away for the week, I’ll catch up when I’m back. Also, I pay for those sessions on a monthly standing order, so it’s ‘use it or lose it’, and therefore I’m incentivised to book them in. The other thing I’ll do is adapt. If I’m away, I’ll do the same intensity of workout wherever I am. Tabata is great for this – it’s a high-intensity workout that takes minutes to do. Tabata is a 4-minute exercise that consists of 20 seconds of exercise and 10 seconds of rest. You work as hard as you can for the 20 seconds, and are strict with the 10 seconds rest. You can download an interval app on your smartphone and program in the timings. I recommend this as a quick and easy way to workout and it can be done in a hotel room or larger space.
Environment drives performance is one of my mantras, and this also helps enormously with consistency. Keeping your environment – home and work – clean, tidy and efficiently set up will help you to maintain good habits. Plan ahead, be prepared and know where things are. You can’t maintain a decent fitness routine for example if your kit isn’t in one place and clean, or you haven’t set aside enough time to get there and back before your meetings.
From a nutritional standpoint, you’ll find consistency when your body finds it natural set point. Set point refers to your body’s natural weight; it’s easy to maintain, and the hormones ghrelin (hunger) and leptin (satiety) are balanced and working well. You’ll eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full and you’ll maintain a steady body composition. Your body will naturally find it’s set point if you have a consistent and balanced fitness and nutrition program, and avoid disruptors such as sugar, alcohol, nicotine, excess caffeine, poor sleep, chronic stress and some prescription drugs.
The key to maintaining consistency is to normalise whatever it is you’re doing. Rather than following a special diet, or signing up to a short term program, think of health, fitness and nutrition as something you do because you’re alive. Think about health span not lifespan; our goal should be to maintain good health for as long as possible rather than trying to live for as long as possible. The more you can normalise what you do, the easier it will become, and the more enjoyable. And once you start enjoying it, you’re off to the races.
For more information about Body Shot Performance and how they can help you, check them out at: www.bodyshotperformance.com.
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