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ARE YOU GUILTY OF THESE LACK OF EXERCISE EXCUSES?
IT'S TIME TO LAY YOUR EXCUSES TO REST AND UNDERSTAND THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF A DAILY ROUTINE
For all we know, you might be somebody who exercises daily. This article might not apply to you at all, especially if you do all that you can to involve yourself with some kind of fitness programme, despite the obstacles in your way. You don't make excuses not to exercise, as you fully understand the health benefits of a daily routine. You look good, and you feel good; your hard work has paid off. Well done you; we applaud you.
On the other hand you barely exercise at all. You know you probably should, but you always have an excuse as to why you shouldn't. Maybe tomorrow, you tell yourself, despite having told yourself the exact same thing the day before, and the day before that, and… well, you know where we're heading. You procrastinate, despite knowing the consequences of your inaction. Still, the excuses have to end. Whether they're honest excuses that can be justified to a degree or excuses that are lies you are telling to yourself or to others, it's time they stopped. For your long-term health, for your level of fitness, and for the sake of those who see you as a role model, it's time to lay your excuses to rest. Are you guilty of these lack of exercise excuses?
Excuse 1: "I'm too tired"
Perhaps you have overslept and feel sluggish. Or perhaps you haven't slept at all, and therefore feel exhausted. Or perhaps you've had a busy day, and your mind and body just aren't in the mood for anything that could be considered active. For whatever reason, feeling tired is a reasonable excuse. Kind of. But here's the thing; exercise can actually energise you, so while you might feel tired, once you start exercising and once your heart starts pumping, the natural endorphins that are released will actually improve your energy levels. It's a weird paradox, we know, but it's true!
Tip 1: For starters, if you are tired in the morning because of your sleeping pattern, start to put things right. Go to bed at a decent time and get a good 7-8 hours sleep, as experts suggest this is the optimal amount of time you need to then wake up feeling refreshed. Chances are, you will be more inclined to commit to some form of exercise when you're more energised in the morning.
Tip 2: No matter what time of day it is, if you are too tired to do something too intensive, do something that is of low to moderate intensity. Go for a walk, try yoga, cycle around your local park… do something rather than nothing, as your energy levels will begin to rise, and you will begin to feel better as a result.
Excuse 2: "Exercise is just so boring"
For starters, why should exercise have to be fun? Eating your greens could be considered boring, but you do so because you're putting your health first. Going to work could be considered boring, but you do so because you need to bring home the bacon. And watching Love Island with your wife could be considered boring, but you do because you love her, and because you are hoping she will then let you watch the big game when her favourite TV show has finished! We don't always do things for the fun factor, although thankfully, exercise doesn't have to be boring at all.
Tip 1: Do something that will amp up the fun factor for you. There are all kinds of activities you could take part in, each one of which will stir your excitement levels and keep you fit at the same time. Boxing? Bouldering? Obstacle courses? Check out these and other ideas here, and you will never feel inclined to say "exercise is boring" again!
Tip 2: Find a workout partner; somebody who will train with you, and give you a little bit of adult company at the same time. You see, exercising alone can be boring, but even within the more mundane fitness activities you take part in, another person to banter with can make all of the difference when it comes to your enjoyment level.
Excuse 3: "I don't have the time"
Really? You don't have the time to look after your health? You should always make time, no matter how busy your day. Sure, if you're busy with work and family commitments, then we kind of get it. Life can be busy! But if you're filling your time with things that shouldn't take priority over your health, such as 'just one more' episode of your favourite box set, then you need to get your priorities straight.
Tip 1: If you're busy because of work commitments, consider your windows of opportunity. If you get up a little earlier in the morning, you should have time for a walk or a run, even if it's only a short distance. You might also walk or cycle to work instead of using your car. Or, if you get the bus or the train for your commute, get off a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way. Then take a break throughout the day, and use that time to exercise, be it away from your desk, or by trying deskercise if you are unable to leave your workstation.
Tip 2: If you are constantly bringing work home with you, and therefore putting more limits to the time you have available, find ways to increase your efficiency during the day. This can be done by cutting out any distractions, outsourcing or delegating some of your tasks, and by using IT Support to improve the technology you regularly use. And focus on getting your priority tasks finished first during the day, so anything else can be left on your desk when the workday ends, and you won't feel inclined to bring your work responsibilities home with you.
Tip 3: Create a schedule that suits your lifestyle. Find times in the day when you do have time to exercise and commit to those times above and beyond anything of less priority. And if family life gets in the way, involve your partner and your children in the exercise you do. After all, their health also matters, so find things you can do together, such as going for a family bike ride, taking part in a shared activity at the leisure centre, or by simply playing active games together out in the garden.
Excuse 4: "I'm too self-conscious"
You might think you're too old to go to the gym. You might think you're too fat or thin, and would look stupid in front of others. You might not like the idea of sweating in public. For these and perhaps many other reasons, you are making this excuse because you don't want other people to watch you exercise. Fair enough, but does it really matter what other people think? You are exercising because your health depends upon it, and that's more important than the perceived opinion of others.
Tip 1: If you really don't want to go to the gym, and if you're too scared to step foot outdoors in your running shoes, then exercise at home instead. Create a home gym, exercise to workout videos on YouTube, and research exercises you can do in your living room online.
Tip 2: Don't worry about going to the gym. The other people there are too focused on what they are doing to stop and look at you, and besides, they have probably been in your shoes themselves when they began their gym membership. And don't worry about exercising outside; find somewhere quiet to go for a walk or a run, and if you need to stop for a moment because of a passerby, then do so.
Tip 3: Think of the alternative. You will age faster if you don't exercise. Your body will stay out of shape if you don't start doing something. But after committing to exercise, you will start to look and feel better, so stop procrastinating, and do something today that will relieve you of any future embarrassments.