If we lack motivation we can all think of a 1001 excuses for not exercising. Everyone knows the benefits of regular excise, yet not everyone participates. The great thing about exercise, is that there are so many ways to get it. Everyone can find some kind of exercise that they enjoy doing, whether it be swimming, walking, running, playing with your children, cycling, gardening…the list is endless. Given that, there are still so many excuses people give for not exercising.
Here are seven of the most common ones that I hear regularly from my clients:
1) I don’t have the time to go to a health club or gym
It’s true – we all lead very busy lives. However, exercising does not have to take up much time and eat away into your daily schedule. It can easily be built into your everyday life. There are so many ways to do this. For example, you can walk or cycle instead of using the car, train or bus. Or why not use the stairs instead of the elevator. Even household chores such as polishing and vacuuming can add to your daily activity.
2) I’m too tired to do exercise after work.
Sometimes, after a long day at work the last thing you might want to do is something physical because you feel too tired. Instead of reaching for the remote control and vegetating in front of the TV for the rest of the evening, you can energize yourself by doing some exercise. You will be amazed to discover that being more active will actually raise your energy level. However, if you really are too tired after work, then try to increase your activity at a time during the day when your energy levels are at their highest, such as mid-morning or lunchtime.
3). I hate sports
I wish that I had a dollar for every time I hear this. The fact is you don’t have to do sports to be fit. Think of all of the activities that you might do during the day such as walking, cleaning the car or washing the windows, using the stairs, riding a bike, gardening, dancing, playing with the children. All of these are sports-free exercise zones but they keep you fit.
4) I look fat in a swimsuit or leotard.
Low self esteem about how we look can be one of the biggest stumbling blocks. Let me put your mind at rest by reassuring you that you don’t have to wear a leotard to go to your local gym. In fact, some gyms set specific ‘women-only’ times so you needn’t feel self conscious. If you go to these classes you will find that most women wear even a baggy t-shirt and leggings or baggy sweatpants. Swimming pools too, have ‘women-only’ or ‘men-only’ sessions where you will feel more comfortable and less self conscious.
5). I can’t afford to take up exercise.
Walking is great….and it’s free. You don’t need a special kit or uniform or buy expensive equipment. In fact there are many, many activities that you could do without spending a single cent (see point number 3 for some examples).
6). I suffer from back pain
Rather than being something that prevents you from exercise, you will actually find that regular moderate exercise will strengthen the muscles that support your back. Never just go rushing into an exercise regime though. Get advice from your chiropractor, physiotherapist, doctor or other qualified person and ask them what kind of exercise you should do. Swimming and cycling are very effective for people with back pain. However, if you do the breast-stroke, don’t keep your head out of the water all of the time as this will add strain to your neck and make the back pain worse. Your qualified expert will give you all of the advice you need.
7) I have arthritis
Again, arthritis is a condition that can be eased by exercises that keep the muscles and joints working. Low impact exercises such as swimming are ideal as they don’t put any pressure on the joints. Some stretching and strengthening exercises are also good. Your doctor will be able to give you some great advice on which exercises are safe for you.
I know that the thought of exercise might be daunting to you, but remember that over time, it is your everyday activity habits that will define your fitness, weight loss and how you look and how you feel.
Even if the very most you can manage is a five minute walk after every meal it will still be worth the effort. During the course of the year you will burn off 1.8kg body fat. Or try climbing two flights of stairs per day. This will burn 8oz of body fat. Combine this with all of the other activities that you do on a daily basis and it will all mount up.
It might be hard to get motivated at the moment, but please don’t make excuses not to exercise. You will be so pleased that you made the effort.