Today one of my clients reached three of her personal fitness targets and is over the moon. She has made significant improvements in walking speed and core endurance in particular, through her perseverance to be active in between our sessions.
I think she surprised herself as to what she can achieve just by adding in some extra activity to her week, which fitted in with her busy schedule. By being positive of her commitment she has been able to put full effort in to her session with me and supplement that with her own exercise of variable amounts.
What has contributed to the fitness improvements for (not her real name) Mary, is that every time she needs to go upstairs during the day she runs 5 times up and down before returning to the job in hand. So, several times a day this has all added up. She has noticed that in the week where she walks by herself a few times, even for a fast 20 minutes in a few lunch breaks, that her performance when she’s with me is improved. Over the course of six months Mary has reduced her time on a challenging hill walk from 4:20 to 3:35, built up a knee plank to a full plank for 1 minute, and lost 10lbs in weight by roughly following the 5:2 eating plan. She would admit that she’s not been able to exercise as much as she’d like some weeks, but she has been clear in the goals she pursued, which were specific and motivating for her.
I think if you can increase your exercise by even a small amount each week (and that could become a new habit) that long term dividends will be paid. Celebrate what you have achieved and be realistic about whether you can do more. Keep your objectives in mind and aim for small increments in progress. Challenge yourself gradually to improve performance or frequency of activity and believe in your capabilities. In other words, persevere, and reap the rewards, all in good time.