Tuesday 21 June 2016

Stop with all the excuses and make time for fitness

Oh, the excuses we come up with to avoid exercise. I've heard them all, and I've used them all.

Me, circa 1993: I'm too tired. I don't have time. I have to work late. My loved ones need me. Exercise is boring. I despise the gym. I can't afford it. I forgot my hair scrunchie (Tell me I'm not the only one who's bagged a workout thanks to a missing hair tie). My stomach is upset. (Oddly, my tummy was too off to exercise, but not too sour to go hit Happy Hour.)

Our “reasons” are endless, but let's go over the most common excuse I hear for not working out regularly: “I don't have time.”

Bull-roar, as my mother used to say when we kids were within earshot. The truth is, you most certainly do have time, but you have chosen to prioritize other things over your well-being. I boast a 100 percent success rate at going over clients' schedules and fitting in workouts (to their chagrin). If I can make space on your schedule, so can you.

Take an honest look at what's using up your time, outside of work and family. Surfing the internet, watching TV, going out for drinks, yakking on the phone, scrolling through Facebook, getting a pedicure.

These activities must be pushed down the importance ladder, and exercise moved up. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. You can still go on Facebook or get your nails done, but not in lieu of your workout. No time to get to the gym? No problem. Find workouts you can perform at home (or in a hotel room). A body-weight workout consisting of squats, lunges, push-ups and plank works great.

Any exercise is better than none. Divide a 30-minute workout into three 10-minute sessions that you get in throughout the day. Hire a trainer who can create time efficient workouts for busy people. Take a quick, brisk walk or jog around the neighborhood.

The “no time” excuse is hereby nullified. Now, a barrage on other popular excuses:

“I'm too tired.” This holds no weight. Exercise will give you energy, not rob you of it.

“My family needs me.” Your family needs you healthy, fit and happy. Are you happy with your current weight and size?

“Exercise is boring.” Rubbish. There are endless workout formats available, and you are bound to find at least one of them enjoyable. Email me for routines that are anything but boring. I've got a thousand of them, and I'm happy to share.

“Work is more important.” You'll be far more productive at your job if you are taking care of your body and mind.

“I hate the gym.” Work out at a small fitness center where there are fewer people around. Exercise at home if that's the only place you are comfortable. Exercise in the great outdoors.

“I can't afford it.” You can't afford not to exercise. It is impossible to put a dollar value on your health and happiness, and you can get great workouts for very little money via DVDs, group classes and affordable gym memberships.

And there you have it: a loving- but-firm retaliation against our most common excuses for leading a sedentary lifestyle.

Now bust out a set of 20 burpees.

By Catherine Bongiorno
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