And you make better decisions when you’re less stressed. And you’re less stressed when you exercise.
You also have more energy for work when you kick off the morning with a run or a circuit at the gym. And aside from the productivity and mental boost you get from exercise, there’s the clear benefit of better health.
Consistent exercise is elusive for many people, and it was for me as well. I would turn over a new leaf & work out hard for three months until travel or a cold would knock me off my routine. Then I would take three months off, or however long it took until I got back into the swing of things.
However, since October of 2010 I’ve been consistent and have worked out every week, bouncing back from business trips and sinus infections and what have you. The secret? I signed up for and ran my first triathlon.
Here’s the good news: you don’t have to be psycho anymore to do a triathlon: the distances are not insurmountable, so you can devote 30 to 45 minutes and still be ready.
My first race, the FAU Wellness Triathlon, is what’s known as a sprint: a 1/4 mile swim, followed by a 10 miles of cycling, and a 5k run. It took me an hour and twenty minutes.
When I signed up, I couldn’t swim two laps without my tongue hanging down to my knees. So in order to prep for the race, I followed a 12-week training calendar, and therein lies the key to consistency: each night before I went to bed, I knew what I had to do the next day. The alarm clock was set, the gym clothes laid out in the bathroom so I wouldn’t wake my snoozing wife in the morning.
What I discovered was that having a lofty but reasonable goal was the key to getting me to workout. Once I finished that race, I signed up for a longer race, an Olympic-distance triathlon called Escape to Miami, and followed another, more advanced training regimen.
Granted, for those who haven’t run a 5k, a triathlon, no matter what distance, might seem daunting. The good news is that there’s a “Couch to 5K” movement, which is designed to do exactly what it says – get people from doing nothing to running a 5k.
If you’re trying to figure out a way to finally stay consistent, find yourself a race – and in the process you’ll end up being healthier, more stress-free, and running a more productive law firm.