The benefits of consistent exercise go far beyond improving your physical appearance. It improves how you feel mentally and physically incredibly quickly. The most important, I think, is it’s a way to practice discipline, which is so important in all aspects of life.
I think it’s safe to say the reason majority of people begin exercising is to improve their physical appearance. It’s what we associate as one of the, if not THE, main reasons to participate in exercise. But the thing is, exercise, the kind that results in altering your physical appearance, is really hard.
It takes the daily effort of physical exertion and giving up the pleasure of enjoying your favorite foods. For these two reasons, people will begin to put the cost of being in great physical shape higher than its reward. The issue is looking at exercise as being strictly beneficial to your physical appearance.
If you have ever been in a place where you said “Okay, I need to get my act together with exercise and diet” and actually do it for just a couple of days, you will know that the physical and mental effects exercise has on how we feel happens incredibly fast. I’m talking about a couple of days.
The thing is that this improved feeling quickly gets cast over by a lack of motivation. You had a really busy day and don’t have the time or energy to get your workout in or pack a lunch. Now you’ve missed a workout and had fast food instead of your salad. This is where most people will get lost. You get the feeling that you’ve failed because you didn’t stick to your plan.
Instead of reverting back to your old habits, look at this as a big picture project. Some days will be better than others. Over the span of 1 month, if you have 25 good days and 5 bad days… that’s pretty damn good. Compound that over months and years and you’re going to be alright.
I think the biggest benefit of consistent exercise is it allows us to practice discipline. It’s something that’s essential in all the important aspects of our life. Things don’t just happen overnight, and motivation is a fleeting feeling. In practicing discipline, you do what you’re supposed to do regardless of how you feel. People can fall back into their old habits so easily simply because they’re hard to break. When you get to the stage of lacking motivation, it’s time to kick into second gear and be fueled by discipline.
Soon enough, your discipline will result in the formation of good habits, such as practicing discipline itself. And if you pair it with exercise, not only will you look good, but you’re going to feel great in all aspects.