With all the information online about how to get healthy, you would think the vast majority of North Americans would be in great shape. The sad reality, 2/3 of society are now overweight. Of that, about 1/3 is considered obese. For whatever reason, we as a society have such a hard time with using this information freely available at our fingertips and actually doing something about it.
Although we know we should be working out to get healthy, we as a society seem to have problems sticking to a fitness habit or should I say, we find excuses and reasons not to work out or eat healthier.
Myself, I would make up reasons like, I don’t have time, the energy, motivation, I just worked 12 hours or I have my home business to run and family commitments. Some days, I would feel energized to work out after work, but something would come up. Does any of this sound familiar?
The challenge for me then became, how do I find the time to work out after a long day of work? It’s not an easy solution or is it? I have conditioned myself to give into those reasons.
At the end of December and into January 2013 of this year, I got quite sick with that horrible flu going around. I was off work for 2 solid weeks and couldn’t think about, much less doing any form of exercise. Fast forward a few weeks and I’m still not back to working out. Again, that little voice in my brain is giving me all kinds of reasons as to why I didn’t have time to not work out.
This problem or challenge we face is not limited to eating healthier or working out, it can consume out entire existence affecting all facets of our lives. Take this blog as an example. I initially set it up a few months ago with some in-depth content on losing weight and then it sat there doing nothing. I was like, what the heck am I doing? Why am I not adding more content and making this site better? Again, it comes back to forming habits. It wasn’t because I don’t enjoy talking about this topic; rather I gave into the excuses and reasons.
Over the years, I tried and tested out various exercises and methods. Sometimes I would plan out an elaborate 4 to 6 month routines to maximize my personal goals. Other times, I would start a simple routine and get discouraged after a couple of weeks.
Part of the problem from my perspective, we have good intentions. However, do we simply lack the will power to carry through over the longer term? If you go from that premise, then it would make sense to me that the key ingredient missing is actually the habit of doing it, rather than thinking or planning it. In other words, we get ready to get ready.
You can give people the best equipment to work on or any other fitness program, a great detailed diet, yet we still see a huge failure rate. Why? At the end of the day, what seems to matter most is actually doing something? In other words, we need to form the habit of doing regular exercise. This applies to anything we do in life. Whether its school, work, family life etc.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons your put off exercising.
1. No time – OK, even with a busy work and home life, surely you can squeeze in 10 minutes sometime throughout the day. Do it first thing in the morning because it’s one of the best times to actually work out to help energize you. I saw a recent infomercial for a 10 minute workout DVD program. Cut down on watching another TV or reading the news each day and fit in 10 minutes. You can do quite a bit in such a short period of time. For instance, you could run on the spot for 5 minutes, do some push-ups, sit-ups and squats. There you go – an entire body workout.
2. I have a Family – Welcome to the club. Try and include working out with your kids. Depending on their ages, it could involve taking them to the park and running around with them. Again, you just got a workout and spent time with your kids. Plus, you will be setting a good example for them by planting that seed of fitness. This can be an entire family affair, while enjoying quality time together.
3. My Job takes too much time and energy – Well, mine too because I work 10 and 12 hour shifts. I also work a home business and write content for this blog. One of the best tips I’ve ever had – work out prior to work.
Even if you have to get up 30 minutes earlier, it will be worth it. Try going to bed 30 minutes earlier to fit it into your schedule. I have a buddy who gets up at 5 AM to get his workouts in. Yikes, that’s just a tad early for me. However, he’s not making excuses for not having time. It’s really one of the best ways to start your day.
I remember looking back thinking of my Junior high school days, when I would get up around 6 AM and get to school for 7:30 AM. I was in a running club and our commitment was to run 5 days a week each morning to see how far we could go each day. We tracked or results daily and over the course of a month, it added up to a lot of miles. OK, I’m not a teenager anymore; however, the same principles that applied back then are totally relevant today.
Many people hit the gym right after work too because it offers up a great way to unwind and de-stress yourself. In fact, I would recommend a combination approach. Do something in the morning for 10 minutes. Then after work, hit the gym or at home for another 10 to 15 minutes.
4. I’m too tired – Have you ever worked out when you were really tired? Think about how you felt once you got started working out. I bet within 5 minutes, you felt better and more energized – right? Based on my own experiences and talking with other friends, you actually have more energy. You just need to forget what your brain is telling you and just go ahead and do it. Like the title of this article states – stop thinking and start doing.
5. Gym memberships are expensive and too time consuming – With so many options today, that simply doesn’t hold water with me. You can very inexpensively workout at home and still get healthy and fit. You can easily use your own body weight as the equipment.
Maybe look at buying one of those home DVD programs. They seem to offer good value for under a couple of hundred bucks. This is one of the reasons I no longer have a club membership. Well, there is another reason. At my job, they have a full gym that I can work-out in. There are still many days I never get around to using it. However, I can easily do 10 minutes at home after work minus the excuses.
6. I don’t feel well – There have been times like everyone else when we are not feeling well. If you are really sick, then simply get some extra rest. When you are feeling better in a few days, go back to working out. At times when I wasn’t feeling great, I still worked out to see what would happen. Sometimes it was the right decision, other times I didn’t feel any better. You have to decide, but doing even a few minutes each day can have a dramatic impact long term.
7. Don’t know what to do – Again, just search online and you will find a ton of free information. You could type in phrases like, “online fitness programs”. Go to YouTube and there are hundreds of thousands of fitness videos you could download onto your tablet or smart phone. Think outside the box here and again, don’t let the little voice inside your head make excuses. The key thing here is doing something each day. Go for a brisk walk if all else fails.
8. It’s cold or rainy outside – Ummm… then do it indoors. You could go to your local city gym that will cost you a few bucks for the day. The main point here is, don’t let an obstacle be your reason for not doing it. Be adventurous and run or walk outside, even if it’s a little cold outside today. I guarantee you one thing – if you are tired and its cold outside, you will quickly wake up.
9. I lack motivation – There are all kinds of ways to get motivated. Listen to your favorite high energy song or again, just start doing it no matter what. Don’t over think it and when you feel like quitting before you even get started, just get moving. It’s really your mindset that separates you from not achieving your goals.
10. Stop making excuses – Seriously, stop with why you can’t do something and start doing it. We all have 24 hours in a day. Why are some people so successful in life, while most people are not? Simple – the successful people made a decision and did it.
Change your paradigm – it’s your choice