Wednesday, December 7, 2011.
You know it’s good for your health. You know it can help you lose weight faster and keep it off. You know it will give you more energy, make you feel happier, and frankly, live a better life . So why can’t you get yourself to exercise?
According to the British Heart Foundation, only 37% of men and 25% of women meet the current exercise guidelines (30 minutes moderate activity on five or more days a week) suggested by the Government.
And despite the media bombardment concerning the link between a sedentary life and chronic diseases, the proportion of the population classified as sedentary (taking less than thirty minutes of exercise each week) has increased from 30% in 1994 to 35% in 1998 in men, and from 35% to 41% in women.
The goal for every one of us should be to learn how to become more active and love every minute of it! So, dust off your gym shoes, here are some ideas to make exercise excuses into exercises solutions.
Excuse 1: I have no time
This is the number one excuse for not exercising, but if we can find time to do the things we really want to do, like meeting up with friends or catching that soap opera every week, we can make time for exercise. To improve your overall health, the exercise guidelines recommend 30 minutes of cumulative physical activity. All activity counts, so exercise can be broken up during your day.
· Try walking or cycling to work. If an alternate commute is impossible, get off the bus a little earlier and walk the rest of the way.
· Make use of your lunch break. Play a quick game of squash, make a speedy gym visit, take a brisk walk or walk up and down the stairs.
· Turn static time into active time: Grab hand weights and do arm repetitions while talking on the phone. Balance on one foot, then the other, while waiting in a queue. Stretch at your desk.
· Exercise while you watch TV. Put a treadmill or exercise bike in your living room, or do sit ups or stretches. If you watch an hour of TV a day, you will get your daily fitness in!
Excuse 2: Exercise is boring
The way to make exercise a habit is to choose a sport or activity that you love, as well as one that fits into your lifestyle. If you're having fun, you'll keep at it.
Asking yourself these questions may help you find an activity that you enjoy:
· When do I like to workout?
· Do I like to exercise alone, with a friend or in a large group?
· What facilities or activities are nearby or available to me?
· Do I like to exercise indoors or outdoors?
· What do I enjoy more: exercise at home or exercise at a club?
· What types of exercises do I enjoy?
Excuse 3: Exercise is hard work
If “no pain, no gain” is part of your vocabulary, it’s time to strike it from your personal dictionary. Even low levels of exercise can benefit your health. The aim is to enjoy the process of exercising - not just the end result.
· Walking 30 minutes a day can reduce your risk of heart disease by 50 percent, while an hour reduces your risk of diabetes by 50 percent and your risk of cancer by 20 percent.
· Pilates, yoga and Tai Chi improve your muscle flexibility, strength and tone while calming the mind. They combine stress management with exercise.
· Dancing is a social way to get you moving. Try more upbeat classes, such as salsa and jazz dancing.
· Swimming is an all-weather, day or night, activity. Check out your local leisure centre to find out about swimming pools in your area.
Excuse 4: It takes away from family time
You don't have to neglect your family to fit in exercise if you make it part of your quality time. Use it as an opportunity to teach kids the value of physical fitness as well as blow off steam, laugh and play together.
· Involve your kids in social sports such as tennis or cycling so that you can enjoy your sport and they can learn new skills.
· Take 20 minutes after school and go walking or cycling with your kids.
· Walk little ones in a buggy at a brisk pace. Put some dumbbells or water bottles in the pocket and stop every five minutes or so to do some bicep curls or upright rows.
· Plan weekend activities such as hiking, cycling or water sports.
Excuse 5: It’s too expensive
You don’t have to join a club or a gym to get a good workout. Being active can be free!
· Devise your own walking programme. Begin with a daily 15-minute walk and go slowly, increasing to 30 minutes, five days a week over four weeks. Find a local walking association that provides info on public events in your area.
· When you wash your car, run around it twice after each side is cleaned.
· Take the dog for a brisk walk for 20 minutes.
· Buy some exercise videos. Invite friends to join you at your home for that “gym class” experience.
Excuse 6: I’m too tired
Fatigue can be caused by a sedentary lifestyle, so exercise can help jumpstart your body. Over time, your energy levels will be boosted and you’ll feel more energetic.
· Start slowly with a daily walk around your neighbourhood.
· Take a beginner’s class in an activity that appeals to you.
· Aim to fit in fitness in the middle of the day, rather than after work or early in the morning, when you’re feeling most awake.
Whatever you do, don’t put it off. Exercise can help you live to your fullest right now — just take one small step and you’ll grow with it, naturally.
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