We all know that regular exercise is good for us. Not just physically by lowering our risk of obesity, heart disease or diabetes, but mentally too: being physically fit reduces stress levels and combats anxiety, thanks to the increase in our body’s endorphin production when we work up a sweat. So if that’s true, why are so many of us resistant to exercise? Here are the five most common excuses we use not to exercise – and how to get over them:
1. I don’t have time
Yes, modern life is busier than ever, but chances are you still have time for things like watching TV and browsing
social media. While you may think doing regular exercise involves a huge time commitment, it doesn’t have to. Get creative by walking or cycling to work, walk up the stairs rather than taking the lift, sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair at the office, or do stomach crunches while you’re watching TV. Have young kids? Invest in a running pram and take them jogging with you. The best tip for making time to exercise is to schedule your workouts in your diary before the week begins, so that the rest of your life fits around it.
2. I’m unfit
The hardest part is just beginning because once you’re a bit fitter – exercising becomes a pleasure. To make it less overwhelming, start small with achievable goals. Buy a pedometer or GPS watch and try and do a number of steps per week, before moving on to running a few kilometres. As you gain fitness and strength, working out will become increasingly enjoyable as you strain less – and you’ll recover quicker too.
3. It’s not fun or enjoyable
The key here is to ask yourself what it is you don’t like about the exercise you’re doing. Is it boring? Lonely? Not everyone gets the same buzz out of the same sports, so try a variety of things. What about a hip hop class, training with a friend or a trail run up a beautiful mountain? Keep experimenting and you’re bound to find something that you enjoy doing – which will make exercise feel less like a chore and more like a fun activity.
4. I don’t have the perfect body
Firstly, what are we defining as ‘perfect’? Your body and genes are the only ones you’ll ever have, and although we may aspire to be Gisele Bunchen, very few of us have this genetic make up. While you may feel self conscious, this is just in your mind: most people people don’t care what you look like nearly as much as you think they do! Embrace your curves and what makes your body unique and get yourself some gym gear that flatters your shape and makes you feel confident while you exercise. These classic ¾ workout bottoms and relaxed gym top are a great start. And if this doesn't convince check out What I have to say about Body Image here
Yes, we know getting out of the house takes energy but the irony is that exercise actually gives you more energy than you had before and makes you feel less tired. Be honest with yourself and choose a time of day that suits you to exercise – some people have no problem waking up early in the morning, while others prefer to end off the day with it. If actually getting some good sleep is your problem here are 7 tips for a great nights sleep for women
Here at Female for Life, we have these same excuses running through our minds sometimes too but we know deep down that the sooner we get moving, the better we will feel and the more positive outlook we’ll have on life.