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You’ve probably seen the joke that’s being passed around on social media: “I want to open a gym called Resolutions. It will have exercise equipment for the first two weeks of the year, and then turn into a bar”.
While the joke is funny, it makes a valid point about our tendency to give up on New Year’s resolutions within a few weeks. We often set goals relating to weight loss and exercise, but soon find ourselves making excuses to skip workouts. The following 5 excuses are the most common.
“It’s too expensive”. Gym memberships can indeed be expensive. But you don’t have to join a gym to get into great shape! In fact, all you need is a pair of running shoes, and you can go walking, jogging, or hiking. If you have a bike, you can go for bike rides. There are plenty of free videos on Youtube that you can use in your own living room. Body weight exercises like squats, lunges, and push-ups are great for toning your muscles. And of course, the good old-fashioned sit-up is free.
“I have a baby…” Without a babysitter, scheduling workouts can be tricky. But pushing baby in a stroller is a great workout, especially if you choose a hilly route. And of course, you can still do the above gym-free exercises while Baby is napping.
“I don’t have time”. It is said that we make time for whatever we value. The real problem here is that you don’t place high priority on exercise. Examine your reasons for that, and remember that a healthy, happy you is a more productive you! Even just 10 or 20 minutes of exercise is better than nothing. You might find that you become more energetic after a workout and accomplish other tasks more quickly!
“I don’t enjoy exercise”. The real problem is that you just haven’t found an activity you enjoy! If you’re a social person, don’t try to work out alone. Join a class or get an exercise buddy. If you tend to be competitive, sign up for CrossFit or a team sport. Keep trying different activities, and remember to switch it up occasionally. Anyone would get bored of the same exercise if they did it every day for a year!
“I’m too out of shape to work out”. Adjust your mental picture of “working out”. It doesn’t mean that you visit the gym, wearing skin-tight revealing clothing, and strike a variety of sexy poses while your muscles ripple by candlelight. That’s ridiculous! No matter how “out of shape” you are, there is some kind of exercise that you can do. Do whatever is comfortable, and challenge yourself to work just a little bit harder each day. Most of all, remember that exercise is not about competing with anyone else (unless you enjoy that and it motivates you). Compete with yourself, and as long as you put forth consistent effort you will always win!