Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Top 3 Excuses not to Exercise and how to beat them.

1. I have no time.
You are busy - you have a job, a family, a house, a dog, parents, friends...... There are not enough hours in the day for all you want to do as it is, so where on earth are you going to fit exercise?

Prioritise.  Exercise is good for you. You know that.  It can prolong your life and make your life so much more enjoyable - that is the bottom line.  Is it more important to watch Holby City or to spend 30 minutes doing something for your longterm health?

Try getting up earlier by 30 minutes and go for a walk or a run or do some exercises in your kitchen while everyone else is still asleep.  Even ten minutes can have great health benefits.  Walk more during the day, get the kids out on their bikes or go for a walk at the weekend.

You rule your life, you set the timetable, take back control and find time for exercise.

2. I'm too tired, too old or too fat.
Tiredness is a big problem for most people and here I am telling you to get up earlier - am I mad?  Not really, exercise will improve and maintain energy levels and can improve your sleep patterns.  Knowing this, you can push through the first week or two of being more tired due to increased exercise because you know that soon your energy levels will rise and your sleep will be deeper and more refreshing.

Age is a number.  Exercise helps your body to maintain muscle, balance and bone strength - essential for older people.  Start slowly and modify the exercise to suit your abilities. Moving is always better than not moving.

Being fat is no excuse either.  Yes, you may need to start slowly and modify the exercise to your fitness levels but you can still do it.  You may be anxious and self-conscious about people looking at you but most people are really not.  In a gym situation, people are usually too focused on themselves and their own exercise to bother looking or judging other people.  If you are really self-conscious, get up early or go out late and walk or run in the dark (make sure you are safe - wear reflective clothing and follow common sense safety guidelines).

3.  I don't know what to do.
There is so much information out there that it can be quite confusing.  You can't beat keeping it simple and going for a walk.  I have a blog on walking here for more information (Walking blog).

Or think about what you would like to do and join a class.  Pilates, circuits, bootcamp, zumba classes all offer great fitness benefits.  Classes are also a great way to avoid getting bored with your exercising.

Exercise videos abound at this time of year.  Give them a try.

Personal trainers (either in a gym or freelance) are an excellent way of cutting through the exercise confusion.  They will help you set your goals and work out a programme to get you there.  They will motivate and encourage you when the going gets tough.

In summary,  you have to make the time, you have to prioritise yourself and your health.  Set some goals for  to work towards - whether it is to walk one mile (or run), to exercise 3 times per week, or to perform a full press up.  Give yourself 3 months to work towards your first goal (it takes 3 months to make exercise into a habit!) and get going.  Good luck.

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