It’s interesting. I don’t know a single person that wouldn’t like to up the ante on their health and fitness levels. If you were to walk up to anyone on the street and ask what they would change about their current fitness levels, you would hear a myriad of answers. Many would like to achieve weight loss, muscle toning, and an overall increase in strength and endurance. Some people’s fitness ‘dreams’ are even more specific. Being able to complete a marathon, do a chin up, lose two dress sizes, and the list goes on, and on, and on.
Most of us have put ourselves through at least a few grueling work out’s, whether it be due to new years resolutions, upcoming vacations, new relationships – or peaks of physical inspiration. What happens to many of us however, is that somewhere between planning to achieve optimal fitness, and actually achieving it – we fall off the wagon.
We’re good at it to – falling off the wagon. We can talk ourselves out of a work out in less time than it takes to put on a pair of socks. Here are some of the most common (and incredibly lame) excuses we use to talk ourselves out of having to work out:
It’s the number-one reason we all blow off workouts. Here’s a little snippet of truth however, to get you up and moving. Numerous studies have shown that regular physical activity can improve energy. Regular physical activity pumps extra blood to your brain, which in turn delivers the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function at optimal capacity. Regular work outs, will actually increase your energy levels on a day-to-day basis.
I Don’t Have The Time
There’s no denying the fact that America has created a culture out of being on the go at all times. Many of us are wearing multiple hats at all times. We are parents, sisters, brothers, employees, colleagues, employers, friends, movie buffs…and so much more. When you look at your schedule, it would be no surprise to see that every time slot appears to be taken.
When you really think about it though, what’s more important than giving your body the nutrients and exercise it needs to help you live a long, healthy, dynamic life. What is more important than your health, and how successful will you be in your multiple roles if you allow your personal health and wellness to go down the drain?
When it comes to promoting your personal health – make time!
The American Heart Association states that 75 minutes of vigorous exercise is what we need to try and accomplish each week if we are interested in improving our overall health and fitness. When you do the math – that adds up to eleven minutes a day if you were to work out seven days a week. Eleven minutes a day seems manageable. Or, if you want to squeeze it into a five-day routine, you still only have to commit to a 15-minute work out.
If we could commit to getting out of bed just thirty minutes earlier than we already do, we would find that we had more than enough get our heart rates up and at ‘em. You’ll also notice, that once you set specific fitness goals, and begin to achieve them, your schedule will open up that much more as you begin to treat your routine as an important part of your day.
I’m Bored With My Work Out Routine
Big deal! So change it! Try swimming, morning boot camps in the park riding your bike to work, Zumba classes, or yoga, go dancing on the weekend…the list is endless! The point is to get your heart rate going and push yourself through the invisible barriers that keep you from achieving your personal fitness goals. If you find yourself bored, switch things up. Just keep moving!
I Feel Out Of Place
If you’re trying out a gym, or a new fitness class for the first time, this is perfectly normal. The important thing to remember is that everyone feels this way when they find themselves in a new situation.
If you’re in a new facility, ask for a tour. Schedule a session with a personal trainer to learn the ropes of new machines so that you can get the most out of what the gym has to offer. If typical gyms are still too intimidating, consider joining a gym that caters specifically to men/women/parents, etc. You can also go the route of your local community centre as many of them have work out facilities, and tend to be more approachable.
If you’re trying a class for the first time, show up a few minutes before the scheduled time and let the instructor know you’re new. He or she will be ale to help you work from where you’re at in terms of technique and fitness level.
Remember, that when it comes to making the decision to choose a healthier, more active lifestyle, everyone is on your side! Nobody sees the new person in the gym, on the track, or in a class and thinks ‘that person is so lame for investing in their personal health and wellness’.
It just doesn’t happen, so get out, and get active – everyone is cheering you on!
I Don’t Feel Attractive When I Work Out
Here’s a tip: nobody does. It’s understandable that you may feel awkward in work out clothes when you’re first getting started – that’s because you’re not where you want to be fitness wise – yet. Nobody starts out with six packs or the ability to run full marathons. Every step (literally) you take towards pushing your fitness forward will help you feel more comfortable in your own skin. Sweating, labored breathing, aching muscles – these are all signs that you’re getting work done. You might not feel like the most attractive person on the planet when you give it your all during a work out, but nothing will make you feel and look as great – as having a strong, lean, healthy body.
I’m Too Sore
When you’re working hard, this happens. The results you achieve from a good work out actually come out of recovery afterwards. Muscles grow and become stronger when they are subjected to forces that cause tiny tears in the muscle fibers. During the recovery period after a workout, the body repairs these fibers and builds new blood vessels to the stressed area. Additionally, the energy-generating components of the cells develop a higher work capacity, and our bone density increases.
Proper rest and recovery is important in order to avoid injury. However, that’s not necessarily a pass to take the rest of the week off!
If you worked the lower part of your body yesterday, whether it be through a run, or weights, use today to work on your upper body strength. This way, you are allowing your body proper recovery, without losing momentum.
It’s absolutely fair to take a day or two (even three) off a week. Just make sure a day off – doesn’t turn into a month, or a year.
Bill Phillips, the innovative trainer who developed the Body for Life program stated one of my favorite lines when it comes to keeping myself on track. He said ‘when you plan to fail, you fail to plan’. If you want to talk yourself out of working out, or out of working as hard as you know you can, you’ll have no problem doing so. As humans, we’re pretty clever people, especially when it comes to talking ourselves out of hard work.
Write down your fitness goals. Be as specific as possible. When your humming and hawing about whether or not you should put on your sneakers and get to work – take a look at your fitness goals and ask yourself if not working out today – will help you get to where you want to be. Then – get to work!
Bio: Sandra Goldstein is a nutritionist and an expert on human biology, nutrition and chemistry. She writes for www.KrillOil.com, a company specializing on the manufacture and distribution of krill oil.