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Beat YOUR Exercise Excuses by TFG Chief Trainer Zhywee
Wondering how you are going to fit your workouts when there is a gazillion things in your to do list? (Exercise must be in your to do list!).
Don’t despair – you can get to your workout! The trick is learning how to counter the excuses that keep you from exercising. By adjusting your thinking, you can overcome any hurdle.
Take control of your workouts.
It helps you get the body you want and also makes you feel more in control of your life. So stop making excuses-and start making progress!
I’m Too Tired
Unless you’re incredibly sleep deprived or jet-lagged, there’s no reason not to exercise when you’re tired. It may sound counterintuitive, but working out actually gives you more energy Inactivity produces fatigue and lethargy.
In fact, working out will rev you up. Research has shown that even 10 minutes of brisk walking can give you up to two hours of increased energy. If possible, work out in the morning. Based on studies, morning exercisers are better at sticking to a fitness regimen. It may help to work out in the morning, before you get wiped out by a demanding workday.
But if you’re just not a morning person, don’t worry. Do whenever you feel that works best for you.
Exercise promotes vigour and energy. You may have to drag yourself out at first, but if you stick with it, in time you’ll have to hold yourself back. Once you get moving, your fatigue will likely disappear. You’re getting the endorphins [feel-good hormones in your body] to release. And you’re getting the circulation going — as opposed to coming home and crashing on the couch.
I don’t have the TIME
Many people don’t exercise because they feel weighed down with work, but a good sweat session will make you more productive on the job. You’ll have less stress, a clearer head and a better perspective. You can actually get more work done after your workout than before. A recent study suggested that people who thought they were too busy to exercise really did have the time but chose not to make it a priority. Figure out how to incorporate physical activity into your workday. Try exercising at lunchtime, when many of us can steal away without missing too many calls or meetings.
It’s the most common excuse, and it’s a real problem for many of us. Life is busy, and you’ll never find the time to exercise. But you can make the time.
Your exercise doesn’t have to be a formal workout either. Try making small lifestyle changes that help you move more. You can climb stairs, walk from point A to point B, and find many other physically active ways to accomplish your daily tasks. You can divide up your stretching and strength training so it takes just a few minutes a day. And you can also make time for designated exercise.
Give up some sleep, exercise will make you more energetic, and it will help you sleep better, so you won’t miss the shut-eye. Walk with your friends instead of meeting them for coffee or lunch. Spend some of your lunch hour walking. Do more on weekends, holidays and vacations, but do something important for your body and your health nearly every day. If it’s work that’s sapping all your spare time, try exercising on the job. Close your office door and jump rope for 10 minutes, or walk in place.
You can make exercise happen. For perspective, remember that 30 to 45 minutes represents just two to three per cent of your day. And in the final analysis, it’s a remarkable bargain, since you’ll gain about an hour of life expectancy for every 30 minutes of regular exercise. In a sense, exercise will allow you to turn energy into time.
Health Promotion Board recommends at least 150 – 250 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, which may sound daunting, but actually works out to a little over 20 minutes each day. The good news is that three 10-minute exercise sessions work just about as well as one 30-minute one, and can be much easier to fit into your schedule.
I have to WATCH my kids
The answer is to multitask.
If they are infants or toddlers, exercise at home while they nap; invest in at home equipment, pedal a stationary bike while they play or read. Push them in a stroller while you walk. Join a gym that has day care. And when they’re old enough, get them involved in a game of tag or hopscotch, or build an obstacle course and race them through it. Plan family activities that will get you all moving, such as biking or swimming. Use your family time for active pursuit
Walk the kids to school instead of driving them. During their soccer games or practices, walk briskly around the field. Go biking with your kid, sign up as a family for “fun runs,” or just walk around the neighbourhood with your children. When the weather’s bad, try active video games like Dance Dance Revolution and Wii Fit.
And remember that your fitness is good for your kids as well as you. When mom or dad is more fit, has more energy, the whole family benefits. Remember, You are their role models.
Exercise Is Boring
Boredom is one of the major reasons people give up exercise. If you’ve done the same routine day after day for months, it’s time to try something new.
To keep yourself interested, try varying your activity. Experiment with new moves from magazines or books
Give it time. The first steps are hardest, but if you stick with exercise for three months, it’s likely you’ll come to enjoy it. Remember that you don’t have to walk, much less run. Everybody likes some form of physical activity — and the more you do, the more you’ll like.
You should want it and feel good about it before you do it. And it should feel good while you’re doing it.
So how do you get there? First, find an activity you love.
Think outside the box: try inline skating, dancing, or gardening. Join a sports league. Or, if you love music, try ballroom dancing. “There’s an exercise for everyone,” says Recascino. “It doesn’t have to be onerous or unpleasant.”
If it makes exercise more enjoyable for you, it’s OK to watch Phua Chu Kang or read while you’re on the exercise bike or treadmill — just don’t forget to pedal or run. If you like music, hook yourself up to headphones and a portable player. You can also “read” with your ears: rent, buy, or borrow a book on tape and turn it on while you exercise. For extra motivation, listen to the book only during exercise; there’s nothing like an engrossing tale to make the time fly.
Working out with a group also helps many people. To find a group, look through local sports publications or on the web. Or simply recruit several friends. Sign up for a class you’ve never tried, like kickboxing, African dance, yoga, Pilates or Fitness Bootcamp.
And, every once in a while, try something totally new. Mix it up so you don’t get bored.
And if all else fails, just remind yourself that convalescing from a heart attack or colon cancer surgery is significantly more boring than the exercise that will keep you healthy.
I’m too OLD
Not likely. Old age is not an illness, but it does require modifications. It’s never too late to start; before you use the calendar to cop out of exercise, remember that frail institutionalized octogenarians benefit from strength training. Exercise will actually make your body “younger” at any age.
I don’t know how
Sure you do. Almost any physical activity counts. Even if you’ve never mounted a bike or held a racquet, you can walk, climb stairs, and do simple strength and flexibility exercises. You can also learn new skills from books, videos and lessons.
Most likely you’re doing too much too soon or too little stretching and warming up. Learn how to prevent, recognize and correct common exercise-induced aches and pains. If you can’t do it yourself, get professional help. Exercise should not be painful, and No Sweat exercise shouldn’t even feel hard.
Bottom line, you need to make exercise a priority. If you know of any more common excuses and how to counter attack them, share with us! We would love to hear from you!
Your Body is Now Conditioned for Fitness
It’s time to Raise the Standards and Step up to the competition. You are your own competition.
In order to progress you have to STEP UP.
If you keep the level maintain and not increase your Standards. You will be that – at maintanance level. We’re now into the Performance Level.
In order to improve you have to STEP UP!
Walk faster. Jog longer. Climb Higher.
If you think you cant, You MUST. Do you want to get your body to love fitness and endorphins that you’ll crave to exercise beyond these 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and more? Start NOW.
It’s time to Raise the standards. Raise the bar. Raise YOUR BAR.
(a) What can you improve and how much more of it will you do?
Some areas you want to talk about – the domains of your life pertaining to Fitness –
- Physical (Progression, Intensity, Duration, Variety, etc)
- Social (More workout time with family, play sports with friends)
- Psychological (Confident, Self Esteem, Energetic, etc)
- Knowledge (Learn new exercises, Read on Nutrition, etc)
Please include Before, Current and After today plans.
Eg: “Prior to joining the programme, I can’t climb more than 3 floors. Now I’m able to do 10 without panting. I’ll push myself to the next level and will do 15 in my next workout!”
(b) OPTIONAL – What have been stopping you from working out and raising your bar since 4 weeks ago?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours in fitness and health,