It’s the new year and it’s time to get moving! One of the most common goals that people make every year is to get in shape by exercising more. The benefits of exercise are numerous. We all know that regular exercise is good for us…but actually doing it can be difficult.
What are some of the biggest obstacles we face and how do we get past them?
I Don’t Have Time: You don’t have time to exercise? Do you have time to be sick, feel lousy, or go to the doctor? Stop making excuses! We are all busy, yet some people find time to exercise regularly. One of my favorite quotes goes something like this “If something is important to you, you’ll find a way, but if it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.” Figure out a time that will work for you. Do you prefer exercising in the morning, evening, or at lunch time? Are you able to go to a gym or do you need to do your workouts at home? Put in on your calendar and treat it like you would any important appointment. Tell others about your plans, maybe they will join you! Dismiss the idea that 30 minutes of exercise is wasting your time. If you use your time wisely, you can make 30 minutes very effective.
I Don’t Have Any Extra Money: While some health experts might lead you to believe that you need an expensive gym membership or pricey equipment to get fit…you can find ways to exercise that cost very little. Start with a good pair of shoes and you are ready to start adding walking or running into your routine. Add some free weights and you are on your way to stronger muscles. Jump ropes are inexpensive and provide a great cardio workout. Youtube has a wide variety of workout programs that won’t cost you anything and many strength training exercise can be done with your own bodyweight.
I Don’t Like to Exercise: This can be a tough one…if you don’t like to exercise it can be hard to get motivated to do it. Find something you enjoy, you don’t have to run on a treadmill just because that is what your friend does. Try a rotation of different activities. Keep your workouts shorter if that helps keep you motivated to keep exercising. It is better to exercise regularly for 20 minutes each day than give up because you can’t stand to exercise for 45 minutes. Challenge yourself by signing up for an event. Listen to podcast while you exercise, this is the only way I can get on my treadmill! Grab a workout buddy and turn the music up…make it fun.
I’m Not Seeing Any Results: If you are trying to get in shape after a period of inactivity it may take time to see the results you desire. If you are trying to lose weight, remember; it took time to put that weight on and it will take time to get it off! Slow progress is still progress. Focus on how you feel when you exercise rather than the number on the scale. And most importantly you won’t see results if your diet isn’t nutritionally sound. Don’t exercise just for weight loss. Exercise has many benefits that don’t directly correlate with your weight.
I’m Too Tired: Most people struggle to get enough sleep. Exercising regularly can not only help you sleep better but can help you have more energy during the day.
Plan for the Unexpected: If you are used to exercising outside and you wake up to a stormy day…do you have a Plan B or do you skip your workout that day? If you just can’t get away from the office in time to get to the gym…do you have a backup plan? Have a few DVDs just in case you need to change your plan. Look up some walking paths near your workplace. Be prepared with a backup plan.
Start with Baby Steps: Make small goals that will help you feel successful. Then go from there. In the beginning, consistency is more important than duration or intensity.
Make Your Plan: Do you wake up in the morning not sure what you are going to do that day? Plan your workouts the night before. I will often put out my exercise DVD, sleep in my workout pants and put my shoes and shirt by my bed. If I’m already halfway there when I wake up in the morning it makes it so much easier to make my workout happen.
Making exercise a habit is not easy for most people. But once the habit is there…it gets easier to do and harder to miss those workouts. We are creatures of habit and once the habit is formed, the momentum can help carry us along and it is easier to keep doing it.
Remember that fitness journal I talked about in my last post? Pull that out and use it to track your workouts. I love being able to see how many days I exercised each month. Tracking your progress keeps you accountable and motivated.
The only way you will see results and changes is if you are consistent. Don’t give up on the life you Crave!