Coaching Corner: Fitness Excuses and How to Rise Above and Beat them!
1. I don’t have time
This is by far the most common excuse. Don’t get me wrong, schedules do get busy and life gets in the way sometimes, but if something is important and a priority you will make time for it. I don’t have time is the grown-up version of the dog ate my homework. Try making it an appointment in your planner the same way you make meetings or other commitments. There are 1440 minutes in a day, use 30-60 for exercise (2-4% of day). Still no time? How much television do you watch? During your shows, use resistance bands, hand weights, or body weight for strength training, or for cardio do jacks, jog, or high knees in place. Recording your shows and watching them later while skipping the ads will also make time to exercise. If you don’t have a long stretch of time, you could break up your workout into shorter sessions. Some activity is better than none!!
2. I’m too tired
This is also a very popular excuse. But can you believe that working out actually gives you more energy!! Sitting for hours on end without moving around isn’t good for you, regardless of your size. Your body during exercise makes feel-good hormones called endorphins, and gets circulation going. Circulation moves blood therefore oxygen throughout our body. Oxygen brings life therefore exercising provides energy to our bodies. It may help to work out in the morning before your day gets away from you or if you’re not a morning person, find out when you feel best (middle or at the end of the day) and get energized!
3. Exercise is Boring
The best way to avoid boredom when it comes to exercise is find an activity you love. Try inline skating, dancing, gardening, or join a sports league. It doesn’t have to be tedious or unpleasant; there is an exercise for everyone! Every once in a while, try something totally new. Cross training helps to keep variety in your exercise by combining different types of activities. Cross training for instance taking a cardio-boxing class, doing hills/sprints on a treadmill, swimming, biking, or taking Zumba provides a variety of activities rather than doing the same exercises all the time which makes exercise very boring. Varying your exercise routines engages different muscle groups and constantly challenges your muscles in a variety of ways, creating a balanced fitness program.
4. I’ve tried before
Start gradually, going from not working out to working the recommended 5+ days a week can be very overwhelming. Start implementing a workout program gradually. Do one day at a time and when your first day has become a habit (takes 21 days to make a habit) then add another day. Set goals that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely). Make smalls goals with short time frames (1 month, 3 months) which lead to larger goals. These are pit stops where you catch your breath, make new/modify goals, and get back to your path.
Another thing that helps is keeping a log and also posting it somewhere. Maybe that’s at home for your spouse, children, friends to see, maybe it’s on Facebook. Create a “wall of encouragement” for yourself where friends and family can see what you’re doing, ask how it’s going, and support and encourage you along the way. This helps out tremendously when you begin to fall off track by having others who are aware of your progress and goals there to assist you back on track.
Maybe try to get some friends to go with you, or join a group fitness class at the gym. You are 50% more likely to adhere to an exercise program is you have someone doing it with you! You may be more likely to show up for your workout if you know someone is expecting you to be there.
5. I don’t like to move/hurt
First, figure out why.
Is it that you don’t like getting sweaty? There are lots of other options: work out indoors where it’s air conditioned, swim so you won’t notice any perspiration, try a low-sweat activity, like gentle yoga. Remember though sweating is healthy. Sweating is cleansing for the body. When you sweat, you breathe faster, your heart works more, your circulation improves and your metabolism accelerates, all in an effort to resume your normal body temperature. Because your circulation is increased during sweating, many of the toxins and impurities are able to exit your body by way of your open skin pores.
Is it hard on your joints? Head for the pool, exercising in water is easier on your joints. The stronger your muscles get, the more they can support your joints and the less pain you will feel. In fact, strengthening, stretching, and aerobic exercises can build up muscles and remove strain from the joints. Exercise also helps keep off the excess weight that can exacerbate painful symptoms. Every pound you take off takes 4-6 lbs off your joints. For example, regular physical activity is an essential way to treat and prevent common lower back pain. By moving often, our joints and discs for instance in our spine stay lubricated with the oxygen rich blood being brought to them through movement.
If you’re self-conscious about your weight, you could start by walking with friends, working out in the privacy of your home, exercising with a trainer, or taking a yoga/spin class which works out in a dim lit environment. So you don’t look like a supermodel working out? Guess what….. most people don’t! Remember those working out are there for a similar purpose. Wear something your feel comfortable in and consider yourself part of the community working together for a healthier lifestyle.