In my experience, the number one reason/excuse for not working out is time. This excuse just isn’t going to fly anymore. We are ALL busy. It’s just reality. What we need to work on and change is our attitudes and priorities. Fitness should be seen as a necessity, not a luxury.
Adapting the attitude of “today I get to work out” rather than “today I have to work out” is key. It’s also not rocket science! Making fitness a part of your life doesn’t mean that you need to join the trendiest gym and work so hard you feel like you are going to be sick. Sure, you will need to challenge yourself and elevate your heart rate enough to feel like you’re working, but there is no need to put undue stress on yourself.
It's all about balance
Starting a new workout regime can be like starting a new diet. At first you feel great, your endorphins are flowing, and you feel like you have found a new purpose. Then you realize sticking with this diet is not sustainable - you are irritable, tired and ‘hangry’. Working out - if not done properly by easing your way into your fitness regime and starting at the appropriate level of fitness for yourself - can give you the same end results as a failed diet.
Keep it simple
For those who are new to exercise, you can absolutely do your workouts using your body weight only. In fact, focusing on body weight/calisthenic exercises is something we should all do in order to perfect exercises before we add extra resistance. This will help to ensure that our bodies can move through different ranges of motion safely with the correct form. Therefore, calisthenic work is a great way to avoid injuries once you start adding weights to your workouts.
Developing a healthy relationship with fitness is crucial
I have spent the last 10+ years in the fitness industry. I wake up before 5am, six days a week to get to work for 6am, and I also work evenings and weekends. I own and run a strength & conditioning studio/gym 100% on my own, plus I have a family with two young children, a large dog who needs a ton of exercise, and a house that I strive to keep spotless. I am in no way complaining about my life - I do what I love and I love what I do. These are my responsibilities and, wait for it - I still manage to work out 5-6 times per week. However, if I don’t reach 100% of my goals regarding fitness, I don’t feel bad for it. I know that because I have developed such a healthy win-win relationship with fitness, there is no way that I am going to lose all of the progress I have made by missing a couple of workouts.
Make it a habit
The problem with many people is the slippery slope of one day missed, which becomes two days, then a week, then a month or even longer. Often, it’s easier to quit all together rather than getting back on the fitness wagon. I think that the biggest problem to falling off of the fitness wagon is that we make it too hard. We don’t feel accomplished unless we feel like we are killing ourselves at the gym. Fitness should be balanced and within your capabilities while of course still providing some challenge.
If it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you
There is always room for self-improvement. Enough said!
The only bad workout is the one that you missed
I am 100% certain that if we are able to make time to watch TV (and you know you are), we are able to make time for our bodies. After all, the body we have now is the only body we will ever have. We should all treat our bodies the best we can. It’s also important to remember that there is no such thing as a bad workout. You are never going to finish a safe/balanced work out and think “man, I wish I never worked out today”.
Still not convinced that you can make the time to work out?
Here is a workout that you can do without leaving the office!
Equipment: Desk and Desk chair/Body weight
Time: 15-20 minutes
Reps: 10/side minimal
Rest: minimal (because you don’t have time to rest ;))
chair step ups
desk push ups
chair split squats
chair mountain climbers
chair renegade rows
chair plank + hip extensions
chair jump squats
The goal is to keep your body moving.
Regardless of how you choose to exercise, the main objective is to feel great and to stop making excuses!
Jennifer Slauenwhite is a Fitness Professional and a Mother of two with a passion for health and overall well-being. She has spent her entire life in the fitness industry through many family owned and operated fitness centres and has spent the last decade cultivating a community of strong like-minded women. She strives to set an example for women to be the best they can be by channeling their inner athlete and putting up some healthy competition against themselves! She is also the founder and owner of Queens Fitness Strength & Conditioning Studio for Women in Toronto - follow her on Instagram @queens.fitness or on Facebook @ One Tough Mother By Jennifer Slauenwhite. #leadbyexample