How many calories did I burn in my workout today? How much fat? We’ve all asked ourselves those questions at one time or another. Unfortunately, many of us are easily discouraged when our workouts don’t yield fast, if not immediate, results. No matter how good our intentions are, it’s easy to fall into the trap of seeking immediate gratification.
We all know that exercise gets us into better shape. Yet so many of us get off track when we don’t see the superficial results we’re looking for. Our schedules get too crazy, we’re tired, that chocolate ice cream is calling our name—it’s easy to see why patience wears out. Even when we switch things up and try new routines to maximize results, we may not be willing to wait to see the changes. When this happens, you have to get your health and fitness into perspective and then think about what we call the residual effect.
When an actor does a commercial, they often receive a lump sum for the day’s work, followed by residual payments for every time that commercial airs. Those residuals tend to significantly outweigh that initial payment and are the real source of income for the job. Plus, there’s nothing better than going to the mailbox to find an unexpected check.
Our workouts yield a similar response. “After a training session, you may forget about the weights, reps, sets or even the workout altogether. That’s okay, because the residual effect is what counts—truly connecting to your body and intensely challenging yourself will not only give you a great workout, but you’ll experience a sensation and feeling of peace, contentment, achievement that lasts throughout the day,” says Bing Dinh, founder and trainer at Body Mind Architects (www.BodyMindArchitects.com). “This feeling is the residual—it propels you to listen better, feel more, do things with more conviction and enjoy your day with greater depth. In short, it improves your quality of life in ways that the scale can’t measure.”
Need more reasons to stay on your workout plan? That’s easy because the long-term effects of consistent exercise are vast. It promotes longevity, prevents degenerative chronic disease, alleviates stress and fights anxiety. Your energy is greater and you feel more vigorous, while the non-active are more easily agitated and susceptible to depression. The more regularly you work out, the less damage will be done when you’re ill and can’t exercise or when a vacation slows down your routine. That year of exercise you’ve got behind you will hold its ground better. Ultimately, you’re creating strong, deep muscle tissue that will hold its tone and strength for a long term, and each week of sustained activity builds upon the week before.
An undying commitment to fitness yields benefits that are impossible to pass up. Forget about the scale or the calories burned in each session—think about the residual effect: a longer, stronger, healthier, and happier life. That’s a much greater result than what you can achieve in one session.
Chaton Anderson is a Writer, Filmmaker and Beauty & Fitness expert, as well as a product and pop culture addict. She is always looking for the coolest, hippest things on the market, as well as the newest health and fitness trends to hit the scene. E-mail her at Chaton@FusionIntegrated.com with questions or leads on products and services on the cutting edge