Is Consistency or Intensity Better for Health Strategies?
Which is the best approach to
healing and optimizing health? CONSISTENT EFFORT or going INTENSE for a short
period of time?
You will hear me answer a lot of broad health questions with “well it depends on the situation”. Not on this subject.
Although I’m not going to say the answer is 100% consistency over intensity, I will say that for mere mortals like you and me, CONSISTENCY IS THE CLEAR WINNER 99% of the time.
Patients don’t generally ask the question using the words “consistency or intensity”.
Their questions are much more specific. The more common questions are; “should I do a cleanse”, “should I push through the pain”, “should I do higher intensity training”?
Intensity is great for strength or endurance training if you are a competitive athlete. Meaning, you are actually competing at a high level regularly. But if you just want to be healthy and happy, a consistent moderate effort is a better fit.
Why? Because intense physical training leads to acute injury and physical and emotional setbacks. And frankly, IT’S JUST NOT NECESSARY FOR GOOD HEALTH and aesthetics. I’m not saying “don’t lift heavy weights” or “don’t do more repetitions”.
What I’m saying is slowly increase weight, reps, or distance if you want more fitness. So you can increase your fitness with more resistance or distance. Just RAMP UP SLOWLY.
Jumping right into a high-intensity training regimen from little or no fitness training is setting you up for a potentially long healing process.
If you are working with a trainer, make sure they understand this. I’ve seen good trainers save people and bad trainers give people a reason to need a lot of acupuncture.
I get it… Intensity is exciting and attractive when planning your health goals. Consistency can be a little boring. But you know what’s really boring? Sitting around in pain waiting for X injury to heal and delaying your health and fitness goals.
If your goal is just to enjoy golf, pickleball, surfing, running, tennis, mountain biking etc., you’ll be much happier keeping your body tuned for it with MODERATE WORKOUTS 3-5 times per week.
To me, not much is more frustrating than getting injured working out when I just really want to stay fit enough to enjoy surfing. I’m sure you feel the same about your sport(s).
In terms of DIET. it’s a pretty similar situation. Consistent HEALTHY eating habits 80% OF THE TIME are much more effective than, dieting and cleansing.
Not that you’re going to injure yourself with a cleanse but if you’re using a cleanse to try to cancel out the damage done from poor dietary habits, it’s just not going to work.
If you are not already eating in a healthy way 80% of the time, A CLEANSE… WELL, IT’S A WASTE OF TIME. If you are eating well 80% of the time I think you could benefit from a well-planned cleanse.
When I say “eating well” I mean very low sugar, minimal intake of refined grains, dairy, alcohol, and caffeine. You are eating mostly fresh vegetables, proteins, fats, and a little fruit. You are also staying well hydrated.
When would a cleanse or really intense physical training be appropriate? Think high-level competitive athletes. Or if you’ve decided to try a marathon or some other intense competition.
Even in these cases, you’ll do better if you have a healthy CONSISTENT BASELINE layering intense training and nutritional tweaks on top of that.
Funny nobody ever asks about consistency! Nobody ever asks me if they should meditate daily, drink enough water daily, sleep 8-9 hours daily or get a little exercise each day. That’s because they know the answer!
So we do intuitively know which approach is better. TRUST YOUR GUT.
I don’t mind though. Ask away. I love being a sounding board.
As always, I’m truly grateful to you for letting me help. I’m always here for you and your loved ones.
P.S. Initial consultations are always free of charge. New patients meet with me in person (or via video conference if preferred) to discuss their wellness goals and see if our services are a good fit. Click here to request a free consultation if you’re a new patient. For current patients Click here to schedule your next visit.