I use the my.yahoo.com as my home page at work and I have fitness tips at the top and this was today's so I thought I'd share since I find myself full of excuses many times.
It's too easy for some of us to create and accept reasons not to exercise. If you find yourself giving in to common excuses for not keeping active, look at this list and counter each hurdle with ideas to stay motivated, weave movement naturally into your day, and stay on the road to a healthier you.
I didn't have enough time.
• Not even 5 minutes? Every activity you can fit in counts.
• Make a list of passive activities like watching TV, and think of ways to make them more active. Example: At the end of a TV show, take a 10 minute break for a stroll down the block and back. Or, buy a motorized treadmill, and use it while you're watching your favorite shows.
• Wake up 15 minutes earlier than usual, and squeeze in a quick stroll before your morning coffee.
• Call a walking meeting. It works best with a short two-person meeting. Ask your co-worker if he or she would mind walking as you talk.
• Look for moments during the day when you're walking anyway - heading to and from the bus or train, going from your parked car to the mall, leaving the office to eat lunch - and extend each into a mini-workout.
I was too tired.
• Don't think - just do. Put on the shoes, get up and go.
• Exercising will make you feel less tired. Just lying around can make you feel fatigued. Working out is invigorating - it encourages blood flow to the brain and other organs, boosting alertness and energy.
• Energy dips frequently hit in mid-afternoon. A short walk (10 - 15 minutes) will perk you up, but save a vigorous workout for another time.
• Go to bed early enough to ensure you get enough rest - sleep is as important a part of your wellness program as diet and exercise! Millions of Americans are sleep-deprived.
• Eat regular, small, balanced meals. Skipping meals and overeating can cause energy to dip.
• Don't overdo exercise, especially at first. If you've been working out extra hard, or are just starting an exercise program, schedule an extra rest day and/or a light workout.
• If fatigue persists for more than a few days, see your doctor for a full medical checkup to make sure it's not rooted in a specific illness.
• If you are always tired, you may be depressed. Symptoms include lack of energy, and disrupted sleeping and eating patterns. Talk to your doctor about whether you might benefit from talk therapy or antidepressant medication.
I wasn't in the mood.
• Tough it out in the early weeks, and keep reminding yourself that it will get easier. Researchers at the University of Illinois found that people who exercised steadily for three months fell into the habit - and were much less likely to quit.
• Educate yourself about the benefits of regular exercise. Once you understand how much good even a short daily stroll does for your body and mind, becoming active looks more attractive.
• Make your workout time more beautiful. Go to a favorite park or street as often as you can - and stay away from congested roads.
• Bored easily? Chart out several different walking and running paths, so your surroundings seem fresh.
• Reward yourself. As you meet your workout goals, give yourself a special reward - a massage, a new CD, a healthy meal out.
• Remind yourself how much you've already accomplished! Make a list and refer to it.
• Build a support system: Mention your goals to as many family, friends and colleagues as you can, and encourage them to ask you about your progress.
• Break down the barriers. Can't get motivated for a half-hour workout? So take a 5-minute walk instead. Track it. Now see when you can sneak in another...
• Recruit workout buddies, and set up a scheduled time each week to exercise together.
• Join an exercise group or walking club that meets for regular workouts.
• Participate in a club-sponsored or charity walk.
• Draw up a list of possible obstacles to working out and another one of strategies for overcoming them.
• Got an excuse? Write it down! Then, think up a solution to write down next to it. Can't think of one? Take a short walk and it might come to you!
• Draw up an Exercise Contract that spells out your goals. Promise yourself rewards for meeting them. Ask a friend or family member to co-sign it. You are then responsible for checking in on a regular basis to deliver progress reports.
• Get a dog. Walking Fido will get you out the door for sure, no matter what the weather or your own mood happens to be!
I can't work out alone.
• Find a partner who walks at the same pace you do, more or less, and is willing to commit to getting together for regular workouts.
• Send e-mail around your office asking if anyone is interested in starting an exercise program, and setting up regular lunchtime walks.
• Ask friends or family members to hit the road with you.
• Advertise for an exercise buddy at your church, workplace or health club (many clubs have a system for helping exercise partners hook up).
• Contact a local walking club to meet fellow walkers.
• Many malls open early for morning laps. It's a free, safe, social, all-weather venue.
• Think about the positives of a solo workout - it gives you time to meditate or think creatively.