» Ways To Bust Your Fitness Excuses
|If you want to lose weight and get into a healthier lifestyle, understand that it starts with “Mind over Matter.” You have to mentally prepare yourself to get into the rhythm of working out regularly. There may be other activities that you enjoy more or other priorities you place ahead of physical activity, but think about it: what will ensure your short and long-term health better than exercise? Here are some strategies for overcoming the five top fitness-related excuses.
Excuse: I don’t have time.
Be creative to find ways to maximize your time. For instance:
1. Get up early to squeeze in your fitness time first thing in the morning before you even have time to conjure up excuses not to workout.
2. Instead of exercising for a full hour, try interval training for 30 minutes – which is where you workout at full intensity for a few minutes, followed by a few minutes of lower-intensity activity. Research shows you burn twice as many calories by changing your pace for 30 minutes than by going at a steady pace for 60 minutes.
3. Find weekend fitness activities you enjoy. Instead of taking the kids to the movies on Saturday afternoons, why not take a family bike ride, go rock climbing, take a swim or schedule a hiking trip?
Excuse: I’m bored.
There are certain personality types that live to exercise. Most of us, however, feel that working out can be a little bit boring at times. Overcome boredom by using these tips:
4. Join a sport. The treadmill can definitely get boring. Instead, learn an active sport like tennis, basketball, volleyball, racquetball, or baseball. Add swimming, cycling, rollerblading and other more enjoyable cross-training exercises to your schedule.
5. Vary your routine. Make sure that you are doing different workouts all week long. Many people make the mistake of doing five days of cardio – which not only is boring, but also bores the body and leads to a weight loss plateau as well. Some days should be cardio days, others strength-training; throw a little core conditioning, yoga and cross-training in and you’ll find it difficult to be so bored.
6. Bring a friend and try a class. Often times, it’s much more fun training in a group setting. Kill two birds with one stone by merging fitness and social priorities. Karate, spin, zumba, power-lifting and kickboxing classes are fun for friends and also great ways to meet like minds. You just may be surprised by how fun they are too!
» Conquer Your Biggest Fitness Barriers
|The excuses to avoid working out come flowing naturally. Added up over time, excuse-making is the #1 culprit for the number of gym memberships that drop off dramatically a couple months into the New Year. We start with the best of intentions, but find it’s hard to keep at it long enough to see results. Here are a few ways to overcome these natural urges to resist what’s best for you.
Are You Self-Conscious About How You Look At The Gym?
• Remind yourself that you’re here for a good cardiovascular workout and to feel stronger.
• Consider going to the gym at low-traffic times — late at night, on weekends, or early morning.
• Join a boot camp where the class is comprised of beginners like yourself.
Do You Frequently Feel Too Tired After Work To Hit The Gym?
• Try working out in the morning by getting up 30-60 minutes earlier than usual.
• Take a brisk walk during your lunch break to keep your mind active and focused.
• Go to bed earlier so you will get enough rest to tackle an afternoon workout.
• Eat foods that are high in protein combined with a complex carb.
• On your days off from work, roll out of bed and right into your workout clothes.
Do You Feel Too Lazy To Work Out?
• Start off slow, walking around the block each day until your energy picks up.
• Plan your exercise around times of the day when you feel more energized.
• Schedule your fitness activities into your day planner as you would any activity.
Are You Bogged Down By Past Failures?
• Set realistic goals for yourself, such as exercising 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week.
• Make short-term goals and reward yourself when you meet those goals.
• Work with a personal trainer who can psyche you up, mentally, and hold you accountable.
Do You Feel You Can’t Afford A Health Club Membership?
• Consider one of the more affordable group classes.
• Break it down and think about how much it will cost you per workout.
• Go with a friend on their “bring a free friend” workout days.
• Use cans and milk jugs at home to provide resistance.
• Try a fun exercise video that includes dance aerobics or cardio-kickboxing.
Are You Afraid You’ll Hurt Yourself?
• Work with a personal trainer who will make sure you are progressing at a good pace.
• Be sure to stretch and warm-up for at least five minutes before each workout.
• Take a group class where you will start from scratch and learn all the basics.