There are probably more excuses for not exercising than there are exercises to choose from. Today, I’m going to squash the most common reasons for letting your muscles turn to mush and your belly to jelly.
- Exercise is hard
Exercise can be hard- but it doesn’t have to be. One of the most common mistakes of novice exercisers is to do too much too soon- and then get discouraged, or injured. Start with a manageable amount of activity, such as 10 minute on the treadmill or a 5-kilometer bike ride. As your fitness level increases, you can up the intensity or length of your workouts. A good rule of thumb when starting out is to make sure you can keep a conversation going during your workout. If you can only grunt, slow down. If you can sing, speed up.
- Exercise is boring.
Not everyone enjoys plugging away on the elliptical trainer, just like not everyone enjoys olives or action movies. If you find exercise boring, you need to find a type of exercise that suits your taste. You can try hiking, cycling, playing a sport such as basketball or squash, swimming, lifting weights, walking outdoors, yoga, or dancing. If you are tired of your current gym program, hire a qualified trainer to give your routine a face-lift. Changing your exercise routine not only prevents boredom, but it also prevents a fitness plateau by constantly giving your body new challenges.
- I don’t have any time.
Unless you are booked solid from 6am to 10am at night (watching the tv doesn’t count), you can probably squeeze a few minutes in for exercise. Usually, finding time to exercise means making it a higher priority. Try rearranging your schedule to fit in 30 minutes of exercise time per day. You can go for a twenty-minute walk after supper to unwind, or do a few strength exercises when you get home from work. Can’t miss Grey’s Anatomy? Set up your treadmill or stationary bike in front of the television, or do push-ups, squats and sit-ups during the commercial breaks. Have a family? You can power walk or run while your kids ride their bikes, or go to the pool together on the weekend.
- I don’t have enough energy to exercise.
Fatigue can be caused by lack of exercise. A single bout of exercise, such as a brisk walk or group fitness class, will leave you feeling alert, motivated and energized. Regular exercise will boost your energy levels throughout the day. If you regularly feel exhausted after a long day at work, plan to get up early to do your workout. Save a de-stressing stroll around the block for your evening routine.
- I can’t afford a gym membership.
Gyms are a great place to workout- but they are not the only place. Exercise videos, walking outdoors, and home exercise programs are great ways to keeping shape. If you are on a tight budget, a set of dumbbells and a stability ball can make a perfect home gym.
Excuses are a great way to avoid exercise. If you want look great and feel fabulous however, take responsibility for yourself and find ways to eliminate your barriers to being active. Your body will thank you.