Do you have a habit of continually making excuses not to exercise?
I’m too busy, I’m too tired, I simply don’t have enough time, I’ll start next week. The excuses can go on and on. This is a very common trend with a lot of people unfortunately. It is very easy to get too busy with work and family life and put exercise very low on the priority list or not make it a priority at all.
You don’t want to wait until you have a health scare or see a friend or family member get sick or have a serious health condition to make that be the wake-up call you need.
Here are my 10 tips for people to start exercising on a regular basis;
- Be Realistic – a lot of people put off exercising because they think it will take a lot of time and hours training at the gym. Start with baby steps and keep it simple, go for walks, use the stairs instead of the lift, and start with short workouts that you can fit in and achieve with your busy schedule. If you can find half an hour a day to watch tv or read newspapers, then you can find time for a short half hour workout.
- Gradually increase your activity level and once you have worked out the times you can train each week it is best to have a structured program to follow, and this where a Personal Trainer will help you. As you increase your activity level and gain in confidence and self-esteem this will help increase your motivation to exercise.
- Don’t be hard on yourself if you miss a workout or if you have a day of bad eating habits, this can happen, everyone is human. Just get a workout in at your next opportunity and continue, sometimes we hold ourselves back by being too hard on ourselves. As soon as you work out again you will feel re-energized and back on track.
- You can’t out-exercise a bad diet – clean out the unhealthy foods from your fridge and cupboards so you’re not tempted. Then refill them with fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy grains, seeds, legumes etc. If you eat healthier, you feel better and you therefore have another level of motivation to exercise.
- Give yourself a 4-8 week timeframe where exercise may have a real impact on your overall fitness level. After this period, you will feel a shift that will make you now put exercise much higher in your priority list and you will realize how important it is for your wellbeing.
- If you have an existing injury or health condition don’t let this hold you back from training. Sometimes specific exercises prescribed by a Personal Trainer or Exercises Physiologist can be what you need to recover quicker.
- If you suffer from depression or anxiety, you sometimes lose interest in pleasurable activities and withdraw from people. So, consider doing fun activities with other people as it’s an important part of the healing process.
- Give yourself positive reinforcement when you reach a set goal (eg. buy yourself a gift, treat yourself). Once you do this set yourself new goals and set out to achieve them.
- Do exercises that you find fun, exercise with friends, or do group fitness classes. This will make exercising enjoyable and add the social element to it.
- Make sure you get enough sleep so you’re rested and ready to tackle your workout, and so your body recovers more easily.
John Cawley is a certified personal trainer and fitness advisor. He founded his company, Plant Based Life, in 2015 and has gone on to become one of Sydney's top go-to professionals for plant-based lifestyle and fitness training.