I Followed This One Rule for a Year and It Changed My Body (and My Life)

we make fitness way too complicated–this simple advice actually worked
Source: @shoptanlines
Source: @shoptanlines

The fitness industry is riddled with misinformation and contradictions surrounding how to get fit, gain strength, and attain optimal health, so figuring out exactly how to look and feel your best is typically overwhelming. That’s why I took one full year to try my hand at the one piece of fitness advice that made sense to me, and the results were astounding.

A little background: I always thought running was the only way for me to stay in shape. I liked the way my body looked when I ran, and I knew exactly what I needed to do to achieve the level of fitness I wanted. However, when running became more of a chore than a chance to be my best self, I found myself using any excuse to stay on the couch. After tons of trial and error (and time and money), I found the one fitness rule that worked. After following it for a year, both my body and my life changed drastically.

That advice? The best workout is the one you’re most excited to do.

So simple yet so effective, this one rule about ignoring the noise of what’s “best” and focusing on what’s getting you most fired up is by far the best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten. Not only will following this “do what sets your soul on fire” rule keep you excited and engaged on your fitness journey, but it will also help you discover which parts of fitness you’re most passionate about. Whether you can’t get enough of running, strength training, cycling, boxing, barre, or the Taylor Swift treadmill workout, here are three reasons why following your heart (instead of that Instagram influencer or the workout that claims to burn optimal calories) is actually the best way to achieve your goals.


Consistency is key

Any workout you can commit to is better than one you skip. By doing something you love, you’re way more likely to be consistent, and consistency is the number one way to achieve your goals. If you’re simply no longer feeling what you’ve been doing or have the urge to change up your routine, follow your instinct and explore other options! Not only could you reignite your passion for your workout, but you might also discover something new that you love.


Getting “fit” requires progressive overload

Getting toned, getting stronger, increasing endurance, or whatever buzzy term you’re striving for actually boils down to progressive overload, or a consistent increase in the demand placed on the body. In other words, in order to improve, you’ve always got to be leveling up your workouts, whether that’s by using heavier weights, moving faster, or including more complicated movement patterns. Not only will doing something you’re excited about make it easier to challenge yourself, but switching up what you’re doing is a great way to increase the demand on your body while also having fun.


Fitness is a lifestyle, not a task on a to-do list

If your workout feels like something you need to check off your list of things to do, it’s time for a change. An exciting and inspiring workout will bleed into other areas of your life, such as nutrition choices and dedication to your mental health, so making a workout that you truly love a part of your everyday life is a surefire way to improve many other areas of your wellness as well. No matter what fitness trend shows up on your “For You” page or what class a friend swears helped them get toned, there is no workout better than the one you’re excited to do. Consistently moving your body is more effective than doing the “perfect” workout occasionally (which doesn’t exist, BTW).