When you hear the word discipline, what comes to mind? Children, the military or perhaps school? Most adults think they are past learning discipline, until they enroll in martial arts or even an exercise class. It takes a lot of discipline to commit to showing up and working hard and then leaving tired, sweaty and maybe sore, but it’s good for you, so you do it. The real discipline is showing up for the next class, but after three weeks your body craves it and actually misses it if you have to skip a session.
The first three weeks are the most difficult, since that is how long it takes to form a habit. During that time, every ounce of discipline must be used to forge exercise into a habit. In the long run, it will be well worth it! Once the habit is formed, not only is the body addicted to exercise, but so is the brain. Exercise does so much for the body and brain that cannot be gotten through pills or diet, however we don’t always listen. When all of those outside distractions appear, discipline is needed to counterattack the onslaught.
It is too easy to skip class, because the boss is making you work late, you have to pick up the kids, you have a report due in the morning and all of the other things that are a required part of life. You reason with yourself that your exercise plan can skip one night, then two, then a week, and then why bother?
Do not give up! Exercise is part of the solution to all of those situations. When you exercise, you sleep better and have more energy to accomplish more. Exercise induced chemical responses in the brain relate to overall health by working to keep your appetite and blood pressure in line and reduce the negative effects of stress. New studies also show that regular exercise aids in a decrease in loss of cognitive skills as we age! With the extra energy, you can occasionally give up an hour of sleep to use as your exercise time when emergencies pop up.
You disciplined yourself to stay in school and it wasn’t always fun or easy, but you did it because it was necessary. Just like your education, the benefits of regular exercise will last a lifetime.