You might love cuddling up to your excuses and wrapping them around yourself like a warm blanket, but here’s why they’re little more than imaginary fluff.
Excuses are never excused. Everybody will encounter obstacles that will make things difficult. Some choose to give up rather than find solutions. Often the thing holding you back from accomplishing great things is yourself. Anything you want to accomplish in life starts in the mind and increasing our level of fitness is no exception. All the knowledge and resources are available to everyone, but that decision has to be made in the mind and then followed through with action. I’ve met with thousands of people over the years and have heard just about every excuse known to man and woman. The good thing is there is a solid response to each one of them. These are the common excuses I hear on a weekly basis and practical ways to solve them like a T-1000.
“I Don’t Have Time”
Make time. Plenty of people are ‘busy’, but there is a major difference between being busy and being productive. Finding time for your health is more important than many of the things currently occupying your time. Yes, you have to work hard to make money and provide for your family, but down the line when your health fails what good are you to your job and family then? If you fail to maintain the machine that is your body, it is going to eventually start having problems and break down. Taking time to do a little exercise is preventative action so you can continue to work at optimal levels and be present for your family. Here are a few quick solutions
Do short workouts
Doing something is always better than nothing. If your schedule limits you from taking a 30-minute walk, try to get in 5-10 minutes. Aim to work in shorter time periods more frequently if you don’t have bigger gaps of time available. Commit to a ‘total daily exercise’ time that you can do and be consistent.
Workout at home or the office
The time it takes to travel to and from a gym could have been used to get a great full body workout. When short on time concentrate on bigger muscle groups that burn more calories. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) would be most ideal when in a time crunch. Workouts can be effective in minutes rather than hours.
Office Tabata Workout
Pick one exercise and do as many reps as possible in 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat one exercise for however many minutes you have free (1-10+ mins), or cycle through these exercises for a 2-minute circuit.
“I Can’t Go To A Gym”
If getting to a gym is not possible because of distance, time, or finances there are always great home workout options. While all the equipment variety at gyms is awesome, they are not required to increase fitness. Exercise intensity does not reside in a location, but in your heart and mind. Home workout gear can vary greatly based on space and budget, but even minimal equipment can be highly effective. Here is a list of minimal equipment with notes on upgrades that can be made only if possible:
Inflatable exercise ball
TRX suspension trainers
Furniture floor sliders
Doorway pull-up bar
You don’t have to purchase all these items. Pick up what you can and get to work. If you don’t have a dollar to your name there are still plenty of great bodyweight workouts
“I Don’t Have Money”
Workouts are not gym-dependant. And despite what you may think, eating healthier is cheaper than fast food, restaurants, and store bought pre-packed, boxed, and processed foods. Vegetables, fruits, lean protein, eggs, whole wheat breads, rice, potatoes are relatively inexpensive compared to boxes of cereal and oven pizzas. You don’t have to get the expensive 100% organic and farm-raised food although that might be the best option healthwise. Save money by taking advantage of coupons, budget stores, and getting off-brand alternatives. If spending too much money to eat better is a concern then add up what you’ve spent on eating out in a month.
“Eating Healthy Is Hard”
Nutrition is often the most difficult part of making a lifestyle change. It’s easy for trainers to say, “You have to make changes to change your body.” More practical guidance is to create some good habits that become lifestyle and lead to longevity. Try these simple changes.
- Drink only water and have zero calories by drink.
- Make it a family affair. Making changes to eat healthier is much easier when done as a team because it provides accountability and support.
- Plan ahead. Most issues can be avoided with proper planning. This starts with having a shopping list and regular shopping days. Each night before bed get your meals planned and think about what roadblocks you might encounter. What can you do now to overcome what your day might throw at you?
You may have tried everything, but have you been consistent with at least one thing? If you’ve been having trouble working out on your own, then seek professional guidance with a trainer certified through a nationally accredited association. You could be inept at fixing anything so when your plumbing acts up you call a plumber, right? Your body is so much more important than ‘stuff’ so it’s foolish not invest into yourself. A professional would not only help you get in your best shape, but also educate you on the process.
“I Don’t Know How To Get Started”
The best time to get started is now. It’s not going to be easy or comfortable, but make a commitment to not quit despite what happens or how you feel. If you can be consistent for at least 90 days you can bet you will feel so much better that moving forward your motivation will come from within. A lot of the previous advice will help you get started, but to summarize: the best way to radically change your health and fitness is proper nutrition, resistance training, and cardio. These three elements work together synergistically for the best, quickest, and most comprehensive results.