What’s standing in the way of you starting a new exercise routine? Well, usually, it’s you. When you decide to make yourself and your health top priority, getting to the gym or working out in your living room suddenly becomes easier. (You only have one body, so make it the best you can!) Still, little excuses can sneak up on you. Here’s how to squash the 10 I hear most often.
1. “I don’t have time.” Make time. Schedule it and make it a priority. Plan ahead and put it on your calendar as an event that can’t be missed. Don’t have an hour? No worries—it only takes 10 minutes to make a difference. Try to do 10 minutes of exercise 2 to 3 times per day.
2. “Classes and gym memberships are too expensive.” There is no need for a gym! There are so many outlets for no-equipment workouts—check out the FitStar app or visit Grokker for great, online workout videos. And when the weather is nice, take your workout outside. Check out Pinterest for ideas and create a board of workouts to keep things fresh, or try my do-anywhere workout.
3. “I don’t know what I’m doing.” Hire a personal trainer for one or two sessions to learn proper form, and get an exercise sequence you can go through on your own. Lots of gyms and boutique studios have new member specials that make it very affordable to give private instruction a try.
4. “I’m too out of shape.” This is a tough one. It can be hard when you feel too out of shape to attend a class or hit the gym. Try going at off-peak hours when the gym might not be as crowded, or ask a supportive, motivating friend to join you. Exercising not only improves your overall fitness, it boosts your confidence, too. Plus, you have to start somewhere!
5. “I can’t commit.” Sign up and pre-pay for classes. When you register, you’ve made the commitment, and not going means you’ll probably lose what you paid for. No one wants to lose money! And when you make a commitment to a weekly class, the teacher will get to know you and she’ll notice when you’ve gone missing.
6. “I don’t like exercising.” Exercise can be FUN! There is a workout format for everyone. Try out new and different activities until you find your match—group classes, semi-private, one on one, indoor, outdoor, the options are endless. If you enjoyed dance classes as a kid, give Barre or Zumba a try. If you were into competitive sports, CrossFit may give you that sense of team camaraderie you’re craving. Not into monotony? Look for boot camp or HIIT classes—they’re constantly changing it up.
7. “I lack motivation.” Sign up for a race or an event. Having a goal to train towards will push you to stay consistent. Training with a friend or group is another great way to stay motivated and consistent.
8. “I’m too tired.” You might be feeling tired or lethargic due to a lack of movement in your life. It’s true—exercise releases endorphins, increases energy, and elevates your overall mood. Even just a little activity promotes the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your tissue and helps your heart work more efficiently. Which means, getting in a good sweat session might be exactly what you need!
9. “I look goodenough.” Exercising is not just about aesthetics. Yes, getting fit can give you a toned physique, but the benefits of exercise go way beyond a tight body. Exercise reduces stress, improve your cardiovascular health, improve your mood, sleep better, and feel better. Even if you look “good enough” you can always feel better!
10. “I’m too old.” There is no such thing as too old to exercise. In fact, exercise keeps you youthful and mobile! No matter your age or physical condition, there is an appropriate workout for you. As we age weight-bearing exercises become super important to maintain bone mass, making modified strength training ideal. Other moderate activities, such as water aerobics or yoga, can feel really good on stiff, achy joints. Another good option: walking—it’s fairly low impact, but still creates healthy stress on the bones. And don’t forget Pilates! It can be modified to fit the needs of all generations.
Jacquelyn Brennan is a health and wellness expert who shares her knowledge daily at Fitsouffle. She holds a degree in kinesiology, and currently teaches Pilates, group exercise, and is a Certified Personal Trainer. Jacquelyn loves inspiring others to get moving, stay healthy, eat well, and learn how to exercise effectively.