You know you should exercise but keep procrastinating. You promise yourself you will exercise during your lunch break but get caught up with work. You tell yourself you will go for a run after work, but you feel burnt out after a stressful day. You decide that you’ll go to the gym before work, but you press the snooze button. You are not alone.
Half of all people who start an exercise program quit within just six months. Some people never even get started. With exercise offering so many health benefits, you might wonder why few people stick with it. While five significant reasons could be getting in your way of exercising, it is possible to overcome these obstacles and reach your fitness goals.
- You don’t have enough time
“Not enough time” is a common mantra among people who don’t exercise. Time management is a skill anyone can and should hone. Every day super busy working professionals with demanding personal lives find the time to exercise. You can be one of those people!
The Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day (even if it’s not consecutive). Notice that 30 minutes out of a 24-hour day isn’t a massive chunk of time. You can even break up 30 minutes into smaller 10-minute segments. If time is an issue for you, exercise as soon as you wake up. Like any arduous activity, the sooner you act, the easier it is to tackle. Do it before your brain has a chance to say no!
- You can’t afford a gym
Yes, gyms can be expensive! However, some are reasonably affordable, charging as little as $10 per month. But assuming you can’t afford that, or your local gyms are more expensive, you still have the option to exercise at home. Since COVID-19, working out at home has never been easier! For your at-home “gym,” you can start with just resistance bands and a fitness mat. Studies show resistance bands build muscle as effectively as weights and, unlike weights, work your muscles in multiple planes of motion.
Everyone needs guidance, and exercise instruction is as close as your computer or smartphone. Choose from countless free exercise videos on YouTube and free fitness apps until you find your routine. There is so much free content online that you can do a different workout every day. If you want a more personalized experience and accountability, you should attend the free Arootah fitness classes on zoom! Free, at-home trainings are more accessible than ever! So, money is no longer an excuse.
- You can’t get motivated
If you can’t get motivated, you probably haven’t found your “why.” Everyone needs a purpose to do strenuous activity. Ask yourself why you want to work out. Is it to look and feel your best? Is it because you want to live long enough to see your grandchildren graduate from college? Is it because you want to travel the world and hike the tallest mountains? Know your why and keep it foremost in your mind. This will help you stay motivated on the days you don’t feel like exercising. Let your why propel you to be your best self.
- You don’t know how to exercise
No one is a pro starting out. You must start slowly and build your way up. If you have no idea where to start, a personal trainer might benefit you. They’ll design a plan for you and show you how to exercise correctly. Once you’ve learned the basics, you can do it on your own. Even a few sessions with a personal trainer can get you started down the right path.
Another easy option is to watch YouTube videos at home. Start with basic ones where they show you how to do simple strength training exercises like squats and push-ups. Once you’re ready for more of a challenge, invest in resistance bands so that you can make basic exercises harder. Be sure to stand by a full-length mirror so you can see your form.
As far as cardio goes, one of the most basic ways to get an aerobic workout is to take brisk walks. Thankfully, you don’t need instructions to walk! You can get started right now. The key is to increase the difficulty of your walks over time. After a few weeks or months, add a hill or two or do interval walking, where you pick up the pace for short intervals. Don’t overcomplicate fitness. Have fun and set challenges so you can track your progress.
- You are too tired
If you’re tired most of the time, get a physical exam to make sure there’s no underlying cause for your symptoms. Once you get a clean bill of health, exercise is the best thing for your fatigue. Studies show that exercise increases stamina and can give you more energy to do the things you enjoy. Muster a burst of energy and get moving. You’ll see that movement will snowball into a more energetic you.
Researchers at the University of Georgia found that inactive people who felt fatigued reduced their fatigue by 65% by taking part in low-intensity exercise. They also boosted their energy levels by 20%. Low-intensity exercise is a movement where you’re moving at a slow enough pace that you can still comfortably carry on a conversation. It might be a semi-leisurely walk outdoors or a relaxing bike ride. Not every workout has to be strenuous. Do low-intensity workouts on some days to make your workout regimen more manageable.
The bottom line
While five significant reasons could be getting in your way of exercising, it is possible to overcome these obstacles and reach your fitness goals. Don’t let limiting beliefs or excuses stop you from getting the many health benefits of regular exercise! You don’t have to overcome every hurdle to get in a good workout. It’s the effort and commitment that counts, and if you stick with it, you’ll reap plenty of health and fitness rewards.
Tell us, what falsehood do you tell yourself that prevents you from exercising? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll help you turn that limiting belief into an empowering belief!
“Low-intensity exercise reduces fatigue symptoms by 65 ….” 28 Feb. 2008, news.uga.edu/low-intensity-exercise-reduces-fatigue-symptoms-by-65-percent-study-finds/.
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