With New Year’s resolutions perched on our shoulders, we can try to ignore them, shrug them off or embrace their presence. We often take the path of least resistance when it comes to doing something we perceive as uncomfortable or a change in our lifestyles. We do this through excuses.
There are many good reasons to exercise. We’ve all heard them, know them and agree with them. But what about the excuses for not exercising? While the excuses are different for everyone, here are some of the most frequent and the ways to overcome them:
“I don’t have time to work out.” This is the No. 1 reason why people say they don’t exercise. It’s true that many of us have a longer to-do list than time to complete it. The solution takes work. Remember: There’s no other appointment more important than one involving you and your health. Exercising for 60 minutes constitutes only about 4 percent of your day. If someone told you that spending 4 percent of your time each day would help you feel better, give you more energy, make you more productive at work and help you sleep better, wouldn’t you find time? Schedule exercise like you would any other important appointment you just can’t miss.
“I feel intimidated by fit people.” This is a normal feeling, one which everyone experiences when they start out. There are many people in your same boat. But it’s important not to fall into the excuse of trying to get fit before you start at the gym. Contrary to popular belief, there are people of every size, shape, age and fitness level there. Go to a gym where you feel comfortable. Start going regularly, and you’ll feel more comfortable in no time. Stick with it. Anyone can become fit, but it takes time and effort. Set realistic expectations for yourself. Every day you exercise, you get closer to your goal. Remember: You can have results or excuses. Not both.
“I don’t know how to work out.” Walking into a gym and watching people go through their exercise routines can definitely make a newcomer feel wary. There are machines, weights and equipment that’s foreign to many people. The feeling of uncertainty is a strong human emotion. Knowing that everyone has to start somewhere can ease this feeling. Take a gym orientation class. Learn what options are available. Taking a group exercise class that appeals to you constitutes a great start. Most classes have modifications aimed towards your abilities and fitness level. A personal trainer is another tool. They’re educated and devoted to helping people. Find one who can teach and motivate you to learn how to achieve your goals.
“I’ve tried to exercise, but I keep quitting.” Ask yourself why? There’s a reason. Maybe you tried exercise and did too much too soon. Sore muscles can make it hard to keep at it. Try starting again, but slower. Some muscle soreness lets you know you’re working your muscles, and that’s a good thing. Perhaps you didn’t see results fast enough. I can guaranteed there were more results than you realize. Weight loss and toned muscles are a benefit of exercise on the outside, but so are a healthier heart and lungs on the inside. Life has its ups and downs can can sometimes get in the way of our routines. Just don’t let them sideline you for long.
Getting fit isn’t a destination, it’s a lifelong journey. Get started on your journey. No excuses.