Exercise. It’s one of the cornerstones of a happy and healthy life, yet most of us are failing to get enough of it. In fact, according to recent studies, only 23% of Americans get enough (daily) exercise each week. While this is very disappointing, I can’t call the kettle black. Up until a few years ago, I easily belonged to that same demographic.

Only after I began my own training program I started seeing results, as well as fell in love with athletics and daily exercise. It’s been almost a year and a half since I started my daily workout regime. And as a result, my life has taken on many new dimensions thanks to this salutary habit.

As a matter of fact, my life has changed in 3 amazing ways. And I’m going to share those in this article, but first, a little about me…

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My story

I’ve always been a firm believer in the power of small daily actions. The simplest and smallest of disciplines can create massive life-altering results over time. So on December 30, 2020, I made a commitment to start exercising every day.

Some days, I did rigorous weight training in the gym…

Other days consisted of me running the trails…

And then there were the lazy days when I just did a 5-minute workout in my apartment.

The only thing that mattered was that I showed up – every day.

I should say that I wasn’t particularly well-built at the time. Sure, I was working out a few days each week and was in decent shape, however, I was by no means an athlete. But I kept working out – every day. And soon, I began to build confidence.

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Build Confidence Toward Bigger Goals

Slowly, I began to push myself: I ran longer, I lifted heavier, and as a result, I made progress. This eventually built my confidence to aim higher. As such, I set the goal to run my first marathon. It was a stretch as I had never done anything as physically demanding as that before.

But I was ready for a challenge.

Consequently, I continued on with my daily workout regime; ramping up the intensity and frequency. And in May 2021, I ran my first marathon!

running first marathon as a result of daily exercise

Due to pandemic, my first marathon wasn’t an “official” race. However, I scoped out the 26.2 miles myself using Google Maps, invited friends and family for support, and ran the race by myself on the beautiful spring day of May, 30, 2021.

It was amazing to cross that off my bucket list! I couldn’t believe that I ran a marathon – it was a dream come true.

And the next day, I was back to it again. Back to my daily workout regiment. With a small difference – upon completion of my first marathon, I decided I wanted a new challenge. Something that would really test me and push my limits.

I knew what I wanted to do next: Martials arts. Namely, Brazilian Jiu-Jistu.

On July 7, 2021, I paid my membership fee at a local BJJ gym and become both a willing student and an eager practitioner of the sport.

my Daily Exercise Challenge

Since then, I have competed in two tournaments and earned two stripes on my white belt. BJJ has pushed my physical limits, humbled me in countless ways, and also tested my levels of resolve and self-discipline.

Continue to reinvent myself

As my daily exercise challenge continued, a second marathon was in order. Even though I already accomplished that goal, I wanted the experience of a real, live marathon run. I wanted to experience the atmosphere, the energy of other runners, the encouragement of bystanders, etc.

So on September, 19, 2021, four months after my first one, I ran my second marathon.

marathon as a benefit of my daily exercise challenge

Running two marathon, taking up BJJ and even competing in tournaments all stemmed from the simple discipline of working out every day.

And this is the power of consistency…

3 Ways Daily Exercise Will Change Your Life

Exercising every day has plenty of benefits and can have a cumulative effect on your life, transforming what you believe you’re capable of. I hope my story has demonstrated this simple truth to you. Here are 3 ways how daily exercise will change your life as well.

#1 Daily exercise improves other aspects of your life

Exercise is what is known as a ‘keystone habit’. In his book The Power Of Habit, Charles Duhigg explains that a keystone habit is a habit that sets the precedent for other, similar habits to form.

It’s as if the singular habits becomes a catalyst.

When I started exercising daily, naturally, I began doing other things every day. I started juicing vegetables, taking cold showers, monitoring my finances more thoroughly, and I even began meditating daily as well.

Daily exercise is the keystone habit that – if adhered to – will pave the way for a positive and healthy life.

#2 Daily exercise shifts your identity

I’m a firm believer in the power of daily actions. It’s not what you do every now and then that makes a difference, it’s what you do every day that counts. And when you start exercising every day, it will shift your identity to a sharp, disciplined, and consistent person.

I used to be overweight and lethargic, I never saw myself as a disciplined person growing up – let alone an athlete.

But by sticking to the simple formula of working out every day, slowly, my identity began to shift and transform to the point where I’m running marathons and competing in martial arts tournaments.

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#3 Daily exercise fosters self-respect

Exercise is one of the most powerful acts of self-love and self-respect. There are very few things in the world that communicate ‘love yourself’ more than taking care of your physical body. That was a major revelation I learned during this process.

The more you exercise, the more you will respect who you are and the less you will tolerate poor behaviour from yourself or from others.

Daily exercise has plenty of benefits – it tones your body, builds muscle, makes you healthy, strong, and vibrant. When you adopt these qualities as a result of consistent exercise regime, you will feel a powerful sense of pride and personal satisfaction in the person you’ve become.

That is an invaluable attribute to have. And it can be yours – in addition to all the other daily exercise benefits on this list – with the simple discipline of a daily routine.

Alex Brown

Alex Brown is a self-improvement writer who specializes in health & fitness, goal setting, self-discipline, and high-quality living.