January 29, 2009 at 12:10 am Leave a comment

Would you like to be fit and healthy? What is it that is stopping you?

Maybe you say “I can’t exercise because”:

  • The dog is too old/too slow/too fast/doesn’t walk well on a lead

  • The weather is too hot/too cold/too windy/too wet/too humid

  • I don’t like running/walking/cycling/swimming

  • My kids are too little/too big/too whingey/too sleepy/too hyper

  • I don’t have time/energy/motivation/money/the right equipment

Be honest, do these sound a bit like excuses? Are there any of these “reasons” that have not been overcome …….. by someone …… at some time?

Here are some strategies for overcomers:

  • If walking the dog is not an option, choose another activity

  • If you don’t like the weather, choose an indoor activity

  • If you don’t like running/walking/cycling/swimming, choose an activity you enjoy (ballroom dancing, boxing, judo, fencing, tennis, golf …..)

  • If the kids don’t fit in with what you want to do, do your exercise at home in the morning/evening when the kids are in bed

  • I don’t have time – the truth is, we all have 24 hours in a day and we assign time to the things which are really important to us. Why not make a time in your diary for exercise the same as you would book and keep an appointment with a doctor/dentist/physiotherapist? That way you are making your health a priority.

  • I don’t have energy – having had chronic fatigue myself, I know that sometimes this can be literally true. The strategy that worked for me was to make sure I did SOMETHING every day. Not doing exercise because I didn’t have the energy to exercise did not make me feel any better and over time I got worse. If I did something I felt better both physically and mentally and over time I got better. Exercise actually energises you (it is just getting started that is difficult). Some days all I could do was the stretches I would normally do before an exercise program, but I at least did that much. Gradually I was able to do more and more.

  • I don’t have motivation – you DO have to find your OWN why. If your why is strong enough, you will find a way. When motivation is lacking, accountability can help. How about making an appointment with a friend to exercise together? That way you have to show up or you’ll be letting them down. Reporting your progress to a coach on a weekly basis can also be motivating.

  • I don’t have the money – the good news is exercise is one thing that can cost you NOTHING! Going for a walk or run is free. There are many exercises you can do at home without any equipment that will give your body an excellent workout. Some exercise you can even get paid for, eg delivering newspapers!

  • I don’t have the right equipment – I would suggest you save up for an elastic band and a basic set of dumbells, but there are plenty of really challenging exercises using your own body weight for which you don’t need ANY equipment. Some that come immediately to mind are squats, lunges, push ups, star jumps, burpees, and plank hold. Moving your own body weight can be plenty challenging – how many of these exercises have you mastered???

Did you notice my use of the word “activity”? Some people really don’t like the whole exercise thing, but being fit is not all about being a bodybuilder or marathon runner. To increase your fitness level, try increasing the amount of ACTIVITY in each day.

Our modern world is turning us into couch potatoes – we go home from sedentary jobs and sit and watch TV! Try to build more activity into everything you do during the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away from the shops and walk. Find an activity you enjoy and get your body moving. Your body will thank you for it.


Entry filed under: Health and wellness. Tags: , , , , , .

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