Many of us know the benefits of exercise, yet find ourselves neglecting our physical health. Even with the best of intentions, often we don’t prioritise fitness and nutrition over easier and more fun activities, such as watching TV or socializing with friends and family.
Here are the top five most common exercise excuses and some ideas for overcoming them.
“Exercise is boring.”
Partake in an activity that you enjoy, whether it’s swimming laps, pilates or walking in nature or ballroom dancing! If you like long chats with your close friends, get them out for a walk a few mornings a week and catch up on all the gossip. For extra quick cardio boosts, periodically increase the pace for just 1 minute at a time – then return to your regular speed.
If you haven’t been moderately active regularly, you may want to start slowly and build as your strength, cardio and stamina improve. Nobody expects a couch potato to become an Olympic athlete in a few weeks – in fact, people who attempt too much at the outset of a program often give up in pain or illness from overstressing their bodies.
“Gym memberships and exercise classes are too expensive. I would rather spend the money on other things.”
You don’t have to have a gym membership to commit to exercise. There is a lot you can do outdoors and without special equipment or trainers. The internet is full of suggestions for programs. If a gym program will help you jumpstart your fitness comeback, consider enrolling in a short-term promotional package rather than a full year membership. Remember that you want a balance of activity aimed at improving your cardio health, your core and limbs strength, your flexibility and balance, your stamina and your state of mental relaxation.
“I tried this before and I didn’t get the results I wanted, so I gave up.”
Consider your program step by step. Start with planning your activity for the first month including three sessions a week, depending on your current fitness level. Include any weight change plans, such as reduced calorie intake. Reward yourself when you complete your first target milestone with a massage, a ticket to a concert or a new outfit. You will be working for self-gratification through the prize you have promised yourself rather than through the expectation of immediate results.
“Exercise takes too much time.”
Remember that you can always start small. You don’t have to put in hours of effort – even an extra half an hour here and there may give you a boost. Try to find the time that works best for your bio rhythms and your commitments and build it into your schedule to prevent double-booking and excuses.
As well as the physical benefits, regular exercise also has an amazing effect on strengthening mentality, alertness, and reducing tiredness from the pressures of external factors such as work.