Thursday, September 27, 2007

Consistency (and Variety, too)

I talked myself out of going to the gym on Monday. The treadmill and elliptical just don’t excite me, so it’s easy to find an excuse to avoid these labors. But my heart and lungs need the aerobic activity, and my mind could use the interruption from occupational thoughts.

I recently read an article by Cyndi Schoenhals, a personal trainer and fitness writer. She outlined the many benefits of staying consistent (healthier habits, more energy, mental alertness) and gave excellent suggestions for how to stick with it. You can read her article at

I circumvented the gym and was tempted to miss a day of exercise. After all, doesn’t watching Monday Night Football count for something? No, it doesn’t. I remembered Cyndi’s article, especially the part about having fitness goals, which helped me to remember mine. So I plugged in a new belly dance DVD and before long was breathing heavily (“thank-you,” said my heart) and enjoying myself at the same time.

The world presents us with many demands and choices, so it’s easy to get distracted from healthy behaviors. Consistency is the key to staying in shape, whether that’s staying true to a good diet or regular exercise. However, consistency doesn’t mean everything must be repetitive. After all, we don’t eat the same meal every day. Plus, we can injure ourselves when we engage in the same activity for too long. Variety is needed for the body as well as the spirit.

I’m glad I tried something new, but didn’t forfeit activity.

Next week, I’ll get on the elliptical and after a while will probably even find it pleasant. Afterwards, when I watch the Patriots and Bengals, I’ll feel that I’ve earned it by being staying true to healthy behaviors.

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