ESSENTIAL ELEMENT: Consistent Exercise Over Time
Critical Concept: The Compounding Effect
Your health is your most valuable physical asset. You get to manage this asset over your lifetime. Think of your wellbeing as if it were a financial account – like a checking account or an investment portfolio. You will make deposits and withdrawals regularly with the decisions that you make every day in your lifestyle. Some lifestyle choices build wealth (health) and some choices build debt (sickness).
Healthy lifestyle patterns make deposits into your health and well-being account.
In the financial world, you either benefit from or suffer under a mathematical function known as “interest.” The rich get richer and the poor get poorer over time, largely due to interest. The same applies to health. Healthy lifestyle choices add to our “wellness account” and our balance grows. This “balance” is subject to the same multiplying effect of interest over time. Healthy habits combine to increase their immediate impact and then multiply over time when done consistently. In other words, it’s not just Eat + Move + Think…it’s Eat x Move x Think, over time = Compounding Wellness.
Unfortunately, the same can be said for our unhealthy choices. Sickness and disease is as much a “holistic” issue as health and wellness. If we consistently make toxic and deficient choices over time, we create deficit – our wellness account gets overdrawn – and we get sick.
Our consistent lifestyle behaviors will compound over time to determine our health experience.
This is true in each aspect of our lives, but nowhere is it more easily observable than in our movement patterns. In the Air Domain of our lifestyle, we get to readily observe the effects of regular exercise – or lack thereof. When we are active, activities become easier. When we work out regularly, exercise becomes easier. When we move regularly, life becomes easier.
Exercises add together – one workout adds to the last. And when they are done consistently over time, their effects begin to multiply. As you become fitter, your workouts become easier. As your cardiovascular fitness improves, your train longer. As your strength increases, you work harder. As your core strengthens, you stay injury-free. As you progress in your fitness, you look better, feel better, and function better.
Your fitness, like your overall health, is progressive. The consistency with which you are able to exercise will determine the trajectory of your progression. The more consistently active you remain, the faster and greater your improvement.
Recruiting a buddy, hiring a personal trainer or coach, joining a gym or following a program like Bonfire are all vital behaviors that promote consistency in your exercise regimen. Setting goals with compelling rewards and penalties in place is a Bonfire best practice. Another best practice is the habit of journaling or keeping a workout log. The simple act of writing down your goals, timelines, performance and progress is an effective nudge to keep your head – and heart – in the game, and your body in motion.
Keep your goals simple: a ‘Bonfire Approved Day’ in the Air Domain calls for you to “Move, Sweat and Pant” for 30 minutes or more. Do this 5 – 6 days per week, and you’re on your way to enjoying the benefits of Compounding Wellness. How you choose to move is up to you. The mode is secondary – “do what moves you.” And remember, it’s about progression not perfection.
The power of the Bonfire lifestyle is found in its truly holistic approach to health – and to living. It is comprehensive and inclusive. All elements of your lifestyle converge and create your health experience. Each domain of your life contributes, or subtracts from the whole. The complete picture of health and wellness must account for each and every lifestyle pattern.
Your choices are either deposits or withdrawals from your wellness account. Make deposits with every choice, every day.
- Add activity every day in every way
- Calculate Energy Balance
- Add Functional Training
- Use variety in your workouts
- Focus on the Intensity of your workouts
- Gradually progress to a higher intensity
- Adopt the Buddy System
- Get your spine checked by a chiropractor
- Do what moves you – have fun
- Employ goal setting and clear standards
- Increase your flexibility
- Commit to consistency in your exercise