Six most common exercise excuses … busted!
You want to work out regularly, you really do, but something always seems to be standing in your way, right? More often than not, it’s simply your own excuses and negative thought patterns that are holding you back and stopping you from achieving your fitness goals. Personal trainers have heard them all. They tell us the most common excuses people make to avoid exercising – and why they don’t stack up.
1. I have no time
“This is definitely the most common excuse I get for not exercising,” says Dean Kaplan, from Get A Grip Personal Training. “If you have not got time, make time. There are 24 hours in a day. Apart from sleep time are you maximising your available minutes? Most people don’t. If you have work early in the morning train earlier before work. Or after work. Or bring a change of clothes with you and train during work hours. If President Obama the leader of the Free World can do it so can you.”
Trent Langlands, movement specialist at LifeCycle Fitness, adds that you shouldn’t feel you have to wait until you have a whole hour free.
“That really is a fallacy,” he says. “If you only have 20 minutes, that’s great. In fact, you’re more likely to try to maximise that time and go as hard as you can, so you’re probably going to get more out of that training session than if you were to go for 40 minutes at a leisurely pace.”
2. I have to take care of other responsibilities/commitments before I can exercise.
Dean says the most common variant of this excuse is parents saying they don’t get any time out from looking after the children.
“How can you be an effective mother, father or indeed human being if you don’t have the energy to be the best you can be? What sort of role model are you for your children in an age of childhood obesity when you don’t lead an active healthy lifestyle? Know that the more you do, the more energy and motivation you’ll have. Use your kids or loved ones as a reason for exercising not as an excuse for avoiding it.”
Many gyms have creches for younger kids, but if you don’t like the idea of a gym or creche, simply take your child with you. Babies can be taken for a jog or a workout session in the park, while older kids can join in – it’s the perfect way to model an active lifestyle for your kids.
- Workout with Dean on Bodypass
3. I hate the gym/ I get bored of exercise/I hate exercise
Dean says it’s surprising how many people seem to think working out and gyms have to go hand in hand. “There are a multitude of ways you can exercise without having to hit up the weights or the treadmill if they don’t suit you,” he says.
There are so many different forms of exercise that it’s virtually impossible not to find something that suits you – and to keep changing things up.
“Variety is the key, definitely,” urges Trent. “I mix up my training a lot so I never get bored with it. That’s what I try to tell all our members, to try to get a bit of knowledge and education in a few different forms of exercise. So if you’re into boxing, find a good personal trainer who can teach you some boxing moves so you can go and do it with your friend. Or go for a swim, ocean swimming, soft sand running, weight training, circuit training, pilates, yoga, dancing, there’s so many different things you can do.”
4. I’ve tried before and failed
“The past is the past and this precious present moment you’re in right now is all that matters,” says Dean. “It doesn’t matter what happened before unless it’s as a learning tool from which you will sharpen your resolve to succeed this time.”
Dean recommends setting goals that are S.M.A.R.T. – specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and time-based. Other great tips for ensuring success are to exercise with a buddy or trainer to keep you focussed, and announcing your intention to others or in a public forum such as Facebook.
5. I’m too old
“Strength and fitness improvements have been demonstrated in people in their 70s and older who are undertaking a structured exercise program for the first time,” says Dean. “You are never too old to start and to see the myriad of health improvements that come from consistent exercise.”
Newcomers would certainly benefit from seeking a medical professional or fitness expert to help them devise a suitable fitness routine.
- Workout with Trent on Bodypass
6. I can’t afford it
“In an age of fashionista fitness (‘Active Wear’ anyone??) and boutique gyms – especially in Sydney – you could be excused for thinking you need an expensive gym membership and glow in the dark shoes to get fit, but in reality you don’t,’ says Dean. “Anywhere can be a ‘gym’ from your living room to the park, one of our wonderful beaches or your stairwell at work.”
The internet is teaming with information, ideas and motivation so it’s time to stop procrastinating and get doing.
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