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Top excuses not to exercise and how to combat this

It seems that when asked to work out, our natural instinct is to think about a reason why we shouldn’t. Often, brownie points are given if you can think of something original, particularly if you can claim it to be medically related. At some point or another in our lives we have all lied to others and to ourselves about why exercise isn’t worth the effort. The common reasons often being:

‘I don’t want to’.

Truth be told, whether we admit it or not this is often the underlying reason behind all others. It’s at this point when we start telling ourselves we are too tired, too busy, or that old footy injury from 10 years ago in high school still gives us grief. Unfortunately, exercise is not something that someone else can do for you, nor is it something that you can do a little of and expect huge results. You will only get out as much as you put in, as the old cliché goes, so it’s important to find something that you love and do it with the people you love. That way the dreaded task of exercise becomes fun, enjoyable and social. Not to mention it’s good for you! Once you get into a routine you will find it easier to keep up the good work and you’ll be seeing positive results before you know it.

‘It’s too hot/cold/windy/rainy/humid’.

Sadly Mother Nature has a mind of her own and the best laid plans can be ruined in a matter of minutes. However not all workouts need to be outdoors. There’s a way to combat almost every weather change – if it’s too hot, go swimming. If you’re finding yourself too cold to work out, ease into it by walking for a while first, then when your muscles are all warmed up you’ll start the blood flowing faster and before you know it you will have forgotten all about the cool air.

Rain is something that you will either love or hate when you’re working out. However it doesn’t rain inside, so it’s a great opportunity to use what we call ‘no excuse’ fitness equipment like a treadmill.

‘I have too much to do’.

This is often the easiest excuse to hide behind, but it all comes down to time management skills. How easily we all get side tracked when sitting behind our desk or at home working on projects. Then before we know it, we are on Facebook, or online shopping because we’ve had a mental block.

When this happens, do a quick workout! Even if it’s only ten minutes, go outside and walk or run around the backyard, do some squats or sit ups, lunges or star jumps-anything that will get the blood pumping and the creative juices flowing!

‘My hair will get all messed up’.

Surprisingly, this is a concern for both men and women! It’s often those with curly hair who struggle the most at bringing themselves to exercise, purely because it takes so long to wash, dry and restyle afterwards. Sadly, there’s no easy way around this. If you are working out, 9 times out of 10 you are going to sweat. However, arranging your workouts for times that won’t require you to be perfectly primped will make the process far less daunting. So if you work full time, take your gym gear to work with you and stop in on your way home. You are more likely to work out if you go straight from work than if you go home first where there are plenty of distractions.   While the recommended daily exercise is 30 minutes, you could instead opt to work out 3-4 times a week for longer periods, and in doing so you can manage two sometimes tiresome tasks in one go.

‘I hate my gym clothes. They make me look fat/frumpy’.

Reward yourself! Promise yourself that if you wear your daggy gym clothes for one week then you can treat yourself to a new shirt or pair of shorts the following week. Keep up this incentive program until you are rocking a whole new outfit and bursting to get out the door.

Alternatively, if you really can’t bear the thought of venturing out of the house in the sweatshirt you’ve had since high school and the gym shorts that have become increasingly tight and faded over the years, buy yourself a whole new outfit at the start of your new workout venture! Something that makes you feel good, and that you want to be seen in public wearing. If you are excited to get dressed you’ll be just as excited for people to see the fab new you.

‘I’m catching up with friends today’.

Exercising alone can often be a large reason why we are deterred from it in the first place. Next time your friends suggest going to see a movie, going for drinks or going out to eat, instead suggest you go for a walk, hike or get a group together and play a game of touch footy or soccer. It won’t seem like you’re working out and you’ll be having too much fun to be noticing the calories burning away.

If there’s a sport you and your friends love to play, look at joining a local team. You’ll be able to catch up at the same time every week and it’s a great way to keep active and meet new people.

‘I don’t have time’.

This is the oldest one in the book, and while it may be true that you don’t ‘have’ time, you can always ‘make’ time. There is always going to be something that pops up that can derail your perfectly good intentions to work out, but be mindful that your body needs exercise just as much as you need to go to the post office or the pub.

However it’s not just our social or work commitments that become a reason not to exercise-parenthood is unpredictable to a point that it can be near impossible to do an impromptu workout.

Again though, this comes back to time management, and getting creative with your workout. Ask your spouse/mother/father/friend if they would be happy to babysit for an hour so that you can go work up a sweat at the gym or Local Park. If you schedule yourself a regular time each week, your chosen babysitter can be prepared and you will have no excuse not to start whipping that body into shape.

If you can’t think of anyone to babysit, it’s time to let the creative ideas out. Head to the park with your child in a pram, and run big circles around the stroller. You’ll possibly get a few strange looks, but you will still get in a workout.

So stop with the excuses and start with action!

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