Are you a couch potato?

Getting more exercise - What's your excuse?

So a couple of blogs ago I was writing about all the benefits of getting more exercise in your day and moving your wonderful body towards better health, and I was just wondering how that is going for you.

The cold winter months are a really good reason for not getting up and at it but you would be surprised at the many excuses I hear for why its sooo hard to include regular a exercise program in your week.

I would be interested to know which one or multiple reasons you tell yourself why it's to difficult to exercise.

So a quick summary to start with-

  • You are never too old to start being active.

  • There is always a way to fit some physical activity into your day.

  • Build exercise into your daily activities like walking part way to work or parking the furthest away that you can.

  • Choose activities that are not weather dependant on days when it might be too hot or too cold.

So do you have an excuse for not being active? If so I have an answer :)

I'm not fit

All the more reason to get moving!!! Start with walking. It's fun, it's free and you don't need special clothing or equipment other than a pair of comfortable shoes, and you can do it on your own or with someone else.

You could also try stretching, strengthening and balancing exercise. There are plenty of movement activities that won't place too much stress on your body , and yet will help improve your overall fitness levels.

Technology is great these days for motivations, you can track your heart rate, breathing and steps/distance walked.

I'm scared or embarrassed

Start in your comfort zone. Exercise on your own, in the privacy of your home, or even at the park where you have less chance of meeting someone you know. Once you get into a routine, you will build confidence to increase your exercise and start exercising with others around you. I always recommend starting with someone you feel comfortable with. Also joining a beginners class where everyone is on the same level can also help.

Keep it fun and mix it up. Did you know that even dancing or bowl etc. are great ways to get exercise.

I don't have any spare time

You need to have a plan and you need to plan ahead. If you don't schedule in exercise as a priority then yes, it won't get done. Look at your week and see where you could find even half an hour. Work with your family to see where you can fit exercise in.

Try not to get overwhelmed by lack of time. I understand we are all busy. Start small, consider shorter timed sets of exercise a few times a day, every day instead of blocking out longer sessions.

Start with some stretches when you wake up, take a short walk at lunch time, then core exercises at night.

Be kind to yourself, don't worry if you miss a day, just get back into it the next day.

I don't have enough energy

Sure we all know that feeling, but did you know that activity helps build your energy? You will feel better if you get moving.

Plan your exercise for when you have better energy. Are you a morning or night person? Maybe the weekend is better when you feel less stress and fatigue.

What I find is that even when you feel flat at the beginning, in most cases you feel more energized at the end. You will so much better about yourself for pushing through.

Check your diet as well, look at my blog on healthy eating as certain foods will increase energy and others deplete it.

There are lots of other ways to improve energy but if you are really worried, please talk to me and I will investigate other causes.

I'm worried about injury

You can reduce the likelihood of injury by choosing activities that are appropriate for your age and fitness level, as well as skill level and how healthy you are.

It's important that you stretch before and after any exercise to help prevent injury. Many of us forget this or think it unimportant.

Start with low-impact activities that don't impact on you joints or cardiovascular issues, such as walking, swimming or yoga.

If you already have an injury or haven't exercised for a while you must consult a professional such as a physiotherapist, your doctor if appropriate, or a specialist sports physiologist to work on an appropriate program for you.

I don't know how to do anything

Don't worry, start with activities that don't require skills, such as walking or climbing stairs.

If you want to learn new skills or increase your confidence, why not take a class or work with a personal trainer.

I can't afford it

You don't need money to get fit. You can walk and run for free, most places have exercise stations on specific paths that are free.

You could also choose activities that are low cost such as skipping and swimming.

Try using filled cans or water bottles as weights Maybe also look at ways to find funds, try swapping your daily coffee for an exercise class instead.

The weathers not right

I hear, it's too hot, it's too cold, it's raining. You can always consider activities that are not weather dependant.

Such as - indoor cycling, arebics, dancing, indoor swimming, stair climbing, skipping, boxing, yoga or gym work.

Rug up when it's cold, stay hydrated when it's hot!

I travel a lot

Lucky you, try these suggestions

  • Put a

skipping rope in your suitcase.

  • Download an exercise podcast.

  • At your hotel climb the stair or use the gym.

  • Join a gym that offers reciprocal membership with other gyms at your regular travel destinations.

I have small children

I understand this can be difficult but you might find these suggestions helpful.

  • Try swapping or trading babysitting with a friend, neighbour or family member who also has small children.

  • You could exercise with the kids or find a gym with childcare options.

While the kids are in bed you could be on an exercise mat, stretching or following a fitness DVD.

I'm too old

You are never too old, first change your mindset, try to become more active, not less active. Spend time gardening, walking and playing with the grandchildren.

Learn a new skill such as dancing tai chi, or swimming.

Now that you have more time get active every day, go for that walk, every morning or every evening.

You are in a perfect place to start moving.

So, you haven't really got an excuse, have you?

There is always a way to fit in some physical activity into your day. So get moving, no more excuses.

If you need help or have other great tips and ideas you would like to share, I would love to hear from you.

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