How many times have you started the week with all good intentions of exercising then hearing that familiar voice in your head as the week ticks on…”I’m too tired”, “I haven’t got time”, “I’ve had an awful day and just want to relax”. Sound familiar? Yep, most of us will try our hardest to get out of doing a bit of physical exertion. The barriers soon come up and before you know it another week has passed, the bottle of wine comes out and you’ll “be good next week, promise”.
Overcoming these barriers can be tough. If you’re serious about wanting to exercise, consider these strategies to overcome the 3 most common reasons we put off getting out and getting a sweat on.
1. “I don’t have enough time”
Life is pretty hectic at the best of times. Often work, family commitments and domestic chores can leave very little time spare. It’s time to get creative with your time and fit exercise in around your schedule.
Government guidelines recommend 30 mins of cardiovascular activity 3-5 times a week. Fit this in around your working day by going for a 30 min brisk walk on your lunch break or getting off the bus or parking further away.
Get an early night and tear yourself out of bed 30 mins earlier than you would in the morning for a jog. Even if you do this just once or twice a week you’ll soon feel the benefit.
Get the family involved and plan a physical activity each weekend. Kick a ball around a park, enjoy a family swim or don your wellies and go for a long walk in the country.
“I’m too tired after work”
Taking your kit into work and doing something straight after avoids that awful feeling of going home, relaxing and having to drag yourself out again. If that’s not possible, try doing something in the morning or on your lunch break. Getting to bed earlier and eating well during the day, snacking on slow-release snacks mid-afternoon can also help avoid that energy slump at the end of the day.
“I just can’t be bothered”
Ok, think less of it as exercise, more as activity. It doesn’t have to be painful or exhausting. Find something you enjoy – even the strongest-willed would struggle to continue doing something they don’t like.
Research shows that we are more likely to stick to an exercise routine if we do it with other people. Grab a mate and get into badminton or squash. Who cares if you can’t do it? Trust me, you’ll have a great laugh trying to get to grips with it and if you’re exerting yourself more from laughing then hey, who cares!
Group exercise classes are fun, social and often inexpensive. Get into a regular routine and you’ll soon look forward to going. If you like dancing, try a salsa or Zumba class. You may be intimitated the first time you go but experience tells me that everyone there will be feeling exactly the same and I can guarantee you won’t be the only one tripping over your feet at the back.