E O – If I don’t exercise, it’s like when I’ve skipped a meal, I’m tired and irritable! I find exercise brings balance to my life, it relieves stress and boosts my energy levels. It’s also a time to myself and it’s fun ?
I’ve heard most excuses before…
Even Michelle Bridges has admitted to struggling with her commitment to her daily exercise routine since her baby came along.
And winter time makes it even tougher to stick to that 6am start.
Know that you’re not alone in struggling to motivate yourself to exercise. Even those of us who love to exercise sometimes just have to suck it up and do it.
Do you know what I really think the problem is? Fear.
Fear of failure,
fear of moving out of your comfort zone
and sometimes… fear of success!
Sound crazy? Maybe, but some of us are so conditioned to thinking that we don’t deserve something good happening to us, that we subconsciously sabotage our chances of success.
I’m generally a positive person and am pretty confident in my own skin, but it’s amazing the difference it makes when you tell yourself every day, that you CAN DO IT, you DESERVE to loose weight, fit into that summer frock, (insert your goal)
And the opposite is also true. Keep telling yourself “I can’t “ or “I don’t deserve xyz” and you’ll believe it, and then you end up thinking “see I was right, I can’t do anything”
YOU have a choice to make every day. Make a conscious decision to be positive, have a go and change your thinking to I CAN.
I’ve been asking my clients recently why they exercise. Some of the responses I’ve had include:
M H – I exercise to increase my energy level, my physical strength and my mental well being..thanks for helping me along my journey Anja!
S W – Mental health, weight loss & fitness. I’m prone to anxiety & depression so exercise is really important for me, I feel so good after our sessions.
We all know that leading an active life can help to:
- Reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease; certain cancers; risk of developing high blood pressure/cholesterol
- Reduce/maintain body-fat
- Build/maintain healthy muscles, bones and joints
- Help manage the symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Increase energy levels
Pretty good benefits right?
So, what’s stopping you?
Let’s have a look at those common excuses, any resonate with you? Read on…(and I’ll give you a bonus side effect to counter each argument)
- It’s too cold outside
- I’m not a morning person
- I’m too busy / no time
- I’m injured
- I’m too unfit (!) / I’m embarrassed
- I don’t like it
- I’m soooo tired
1 – it’s too cold outside
Well, I can tell you I hate the cold & get really miserable when my fingers are freezing, but I can guarantee you by half way through one of my 6am classes, everyone has shed their layers and is sweating it out.
It’s not that I flog people, it’s just that getting moving, starts the heart pumping faster, blood moving better and muscles working to warm you up.
Bonus side effect – it kick starts your metabolism too i.e. more calories burned.
2 – I’m not a morning person
Whilst working out in the morning is my preferred time as it gets it done for the day and sets me up feeling great, it’s may not be for everyone.
Whatever time suits you, schedule it in and make it a priority.
No time of day is best, whatever works for YOU is best as you’ll be more likely to stick to it.
Bonus side effect – you have a great excuse to get out of work on time or make sure you take some time off at lunchtime.
3 – I’m too busy / don’t have time
What’s that saying? If you want something done, give it to a busy woman!
We’re all busy so that excuse doesn’t cut it in the long run.
Here’s the key: Schedule!!!
Prioritise, delegate where you can and schedule
Got time to watch TV or check in on social media? Then you have time to exercise.
Block out some time in your diary and STICK TO IT. If one 30 minute block is too difficult to achieve, try 2 lots of 15 minutes or 3 lots of 10 minutes.
You’re probably awake at least 16 hours a day. Find at least 30 mins for YOU
Set your alarm, lay out your clothes the night before and just get up and go in the morning. Some of my clients even sleep in their exercise gear. Whatever it takes, just do it!
I love this quote
Make time for exercise now or make time for disease later
Bonus side effect – the sense of achievement you will get from committing to something and sticking with it!
4 – I’m injured
Ask any of my clients what I say to this excuse – “she’ll find you something you can do”
Injuries should never be ignored and need to be treated, rested and rehabilitated. I know, I’ve been dragging around a running injury for far too long
That said, there is nearly always something you can do
Some of the common ones I get:
Sore knee? Work your upper body
Frozen shoulder? Work the legs, modify your upper body work
Sore back? Depending on why it’s sore, gentle exercise such as Pilates or swimming can be beneficial in getting you back on track
Bonus side effect – you won’t lose all your condition while you’re rehabilitating your injury
5 – I’m too unfit (!) or I’m embarrassed
Now this reason is really called “I’m scared”.
Would you believe me if I said I get nervous joining a new class or trying something different? I’m fairly fit and strong but I still get the “what if they’re all fitter and stronger or faster than me” jitters
Here’s the thing:
- It’s normal
- We all feel that way
- No one actually looks at anyone else and thinks “gee that person is unfit”
i.e. the people you’ll exercise with will have felt the way you’re feeling at some point. I have found that people who exercise or play sport together are very welcoming, encouraging and generally super friendly. It comes from the feel-good chemicals that exercise releases in you.
Think of it this way – even if you only manage half the class, you’ll have done more than sit at home and beat yourself up for not going!
In mind there’s no such thing as a bad workout, only a missed one.
Bonus side effect – you will be sooooo proud of yourself for taking that first step and you’ll feel GREAT (maybe a little tired, and a little sore the next day, but that’s actually ok)
6 – I don’t like it
To that I just say – you haven’t found the right thing for you.
Everything we do has some element of boredom (some more than others! Taxes anyone?)
Don’t do the same thing day in, day out – that IS boring.
Find something you enjoy and make sure there is variety in your program.
You probably don’t eat the same food every day, so don’t do the same exercise every day.
Choosing a variety of exercises keeps you motivated and ensures hat you use more muscles thereby also avoiding injury through repetitive strain.
Bonus side effect – you’ll meet some people who like what you like!
7 – I’m sooooo tired
Refer back to the beginning where I mentioned Michelle Bridges who is struggling to exercise now that she has a little person waking her at all hours and demanding her attention.
I get it, I’m tired too, but I can guarantee that you’ll feel better for moving. If you’re really that exhausted, do a light workout or just go for a short walk. Chances are, you’ll start feeling better after 10 minutes and might even find you can do a bit more.
I can pretty much guarantee your energy levels will soar once you are used to the regular exercise. When you get to the point of missing the exercise-high when you can’t train, you’ll know you’re hooked.
The exercise-high is caused by the endorphins (aka the “happy hormones”) our bodies produce when we exercise. These give us an overall sense of happiness, relaxation and wellbeing.
The trick is to start slowly and build up the intensity gradually so you needn’t suffer too much stiffness while reaping huge rewards.
Keep remember how good you feel when you’re done!
Bonus side effect – Energy, energy and more energy!
So, no more excuses, just get out there and move. I am positive you’ll feel better for it, you’ll be healthier and have more energy.