There is no denying that a lack of exercise is a significant issue in the western world these days. But it’s also not much of a surprise. After all, we spend more time than ever in cars. We sit at desks all day at work. And then, when we get home, we bury ourselves in the couch and watch whatever is on the TV or tablet. Is it any surprise that so many people in this country are still suffering from stroke, heart attack, or diabetes?
However, there’s a big difference between knowing all this stuff, and doing something about it. A lot of folks out there struggle to get started on a functional fitness and health regime, for the simple reason that they have a book-full of excuses. We’re all guilty of looking away from the evidence and taking the easy path, right?
The trouble is, your health and fitness are critical. Making some changes now will ensure you have the greatest chance to live a long, worthwhile, and happy life well into old age. So maybe it’s time to take on those roadblocks, leap over them – or crash right through them – and stop making fitness excuses. Let’s take a look at what they are, and what you can do about them.
“I hate exercise.”
It’s something of a myth that super fit people love to exercise. It’s not the actual exercise they like – after all, who enjoys putting their body through an hour so of pain and duress every day? The reality is that fit people are active because of the way it makes them feel – or because they love a particular sport. If you want to make a difference in your life, find something that you like. Or make a positive association with exercise by rewarding yourself for hitting fitness goals – not with a week off exercise or a big bar of chocolate or something that will set you back, but perhaps with some new workout gear from Ryderwear or somewhere, because everyone loves new clothes. You just need to find something that works for you. Alternatively, you could learn to love the feeling of the post-workout burn, and appreciate the benefits it brings to your physical and mental wellbeing.
“I have no time.”
This excuse is another hugely popular one. But here’s the thing – we all lead busy lives. You might have to work long hours to impress your boss – so does everyone else. You might struggle to look after a household of kids every day – so do many other moms and dads. But all it takes is a little preparation, and you should be able to find a suitable fitness regime to try out. Try short, high-intensity workouts that only last for 25 minutes if you are pushed for time. Schedule your exercises in, too, just like all the other significant events in your diary. The reality is “I don’t have the time” is just an excuse.
“I’m too old.”
You are never too old to exercise correctly. There are marathon runners in their 90s and people that still play regular basketball in their 60s. The truth is no matter how old you are; there will always be something you can do. Try to find a gym that you feel comfortable with – and a personal trainer who has experience with working with people your age. Try a little weight training or cardio. And even if that’s too much, a simple, brisk walk every day is a great start to more mobile life.
“I weigh too much.”
OK, so this is excuse requires a little delicacy. It’s incredibly difficult to get started on a new fitness or exercise regime when you are out of shape and weigh a lot. The more weight you carry, the harder your regime will seem. But here’s the thing. Physical activity includes a whole bunch of different things. A brisk walk every day is a good starting point, and eventually, you may feel ready for a light jog. Try swimming, too, as it’s a great way to do a genuinely physical workout without any of the impacts. And the reality is that nothing is stopping you from eating less or taking care of your nutrition. What you put inside you is critical, and with a little dedication, you should start shedding some inches within a few weeks.
“I’m too tired.”
Exhaustion is an excuse for not having the energy to workout. But is it a good one? It’s easy to see why you might feel too tired to do some exercise after a long day at work, followed by trying to get the kids fed, bathed and to bed. The chances are all you want to do is to fall asleep on the couch. However, if you’re going to make a significant impact on your energy levels, and enjoy a feeling of being wide awake, bright and sparky, regular exercise can make a big difference. It’s quite simple – the more you exercise, the more alert, active and healthy you will feel.
“I can’t commit.”
One of the biggest reasons for fitness failure is that people start out with good intentions, but can’t commit to the long-term goals involved. There are several good reasons for this happening. The truth is that many people begin their new regimes with entirely unachievable goals. And because these goals seem increasingly impossible after a couple of weeks or so, it’s no surprise that they give up instead. Don’t be like these people. It’s essential, to be honest, and realistic about what can do, and plan your regime accordingly. Do it safely, too. According to research, losing anything more than around two pounds a week can do more harm than good.
“I don’t need to exercise”
Finally, what happens if you don’t feel like you have to lose weight? Unfortunately, just because you might have a thin physique, it doesn’t mean you can say no to working out and getting some exercise. In fact, if you are super thin but don’t do any physical activity, it can be incredibly dangerous. Your muscles could be wasting away, and science suggests that many thin people have excess body fat, cholesterol, and many of the other problems suffered by those who are overweight. Instead, get to the gym. Try some weight training to build up some muscle, and do some cardio to get in better, stronger shape.