What’s your exercise excuse?
While we may take out expensive gym memberships and splash cash on new workout gear in a bid to get healthy, sticking to an exercise routine for the long haul is a bit trickier. Even with our best intentions, those get-fit resolutions can slip off our to-do lists.
Need some motivation to recharge your get-up-and-go? Health and wellness coach Joanne Henson dedicates her new book, What’s your excuse for not getting fit?, to doing just that. Full of easy-to-follow advice and smart tips, it’ll help you stick with exercise long enough to see some pretty awesome results. “I wrote the book to help people take a fresh look at their own self-sabotaging behaviours and limiting beliefs, and to motivate them to change their mindsets and move forward,” says Joanne.
Here, she shares five of the most common exercise excuses and her simple solutions to staying on track…
Excuse 1: I don’t have time to exercise.
Workouts don’t have to be lengthy and laborious. A short, sharp sweat sesh will see you bid farewell to hundreds of calories, while targeting a range of muscle groups. “Exercising three or four times per week is ideal – this still leaves another three or four days a week when you don’t have to exercise,” says Joanne. “High-intensity interval training sessions could be as short as 10 minutes, and the best way to ensure that it gets done is to prioritise and diarise. If you can’t find a free spot in your schedule, try keeping a log of how you spend your time and re-evaluate what’s important.”
Excuse 2: I live too far away from the gym.
Prefer a date with your doona instead of dragging yourself to the gym? We get it – especially if getting there involves an epic commute. “There’s no point in joining a gym if it’s a 15-minute drive away, which you might not fancy after a long day at work,” explains Joanne. “It’s better to join the more basic gym at the end of your road. Then you’ve only got to find time for your workout, not the workout and a journey.” If there’s no gym near you, try out a fitness DVD or app for fresh exercise inspo – or better yet, hit the great outdoors!
Excuse 3: I’ve lost my fitness mojo.
A dip in motivation every so often is normal and if that means you miss a few sessions, so be it – but don’t let that derail your efforts to get back on track. “If you do skip a few workouts, remember the longer you leave it, the harder it’s going to feel when you go back,” tips Joanne. “And consider how far you’ve already come – do you really want to waste the effort you’ve already put in? Capitalise on the progress you’ve made so far and stick with it.”
Excuse 4: I find exercise boring.
Workouts don’t have to be a chore. “Find something you enjoy. This is an obvious one, but so many people treat exercise as a form of punishment, as something to be endured not enjoyed,” says Joanne. “But there are dozens of different forms of exercise that you might find fun, from dancing to rock climbing.” And, if you get bored of your routine, switch things up a notch by trying a new gym class, working out different body parts or varying the intensity of your workout.
Excuse 5: I’m not seeing results.
Let’s be realistic – you won’t see results overnight, but the more dedicated you become, the faster you’ll see improvements in your fitness. “Be patient, give it some time and remember that exercise has long-term, ongoing health benefits,” says Joanne. Try keeping a workout journal so you can chart your progress. Write down small achievements after every session, whether it’s running for two minutes longer on the treadmill or reaching a push-up PB.