By Fitness Editor Paula Jager CSCS, Owner of Crossfit Jaguar
Several years ago, my life was transformed by traditional diet and consistent and regular physical exercise. I’ve witnessed the same in more clients than I can count since then which is why I can’t fathom why anyone would choose the path of inactivity and poor nutrition.
It is most certainly a route to dis-ease and decrepitness. Having been in the fitness business for almost 2 decades, I have heard every excuse in the book. I’d like to hear from you. If physical exercise is not a part of your life—WHY isn’t it? Here are the top excuses I have heard over the years.
10. I just had a baby. Children are wonderful, they change your life but that doesn’t mean you don’t find time to exercise and eat right. You want to be around for them, setting a shining example and raising them to be the best they can be, right? The nutrition is the easy part—the part of which you have control. It should be the same as yours except for the portions/ratios because they are growing. They shouldn’t have processed snack crackers, french fries from Micky D’s and neither should you. Get your exercise in while your spouse watches the children; if that is not an option, while they are napping or if they are older exercise together. Many gyms have childcare and mommy classes, neighborhood women get together arranging child care and alternating workout days.
9. I can’t afford a gym membership. You don’t have to join a gym to exercise. There are several more affordable options such as your local community centers, walking or running, working out at home, in the park, workout videos and using your own bodyweight.
8. It’s my hormones—I’m going through menopause. That is a normal part of a women’s life—not a disease. I’m 53 and we have several fit females in their 50’s and 60’s at my box. Age is just a number especially when you are moving regularly and feeling great as a result.
7. I have health challenges. In the majority of cases, this is due to eating poorly and inactivity. You can’t sit around and cry the blues as this won’t accomplish anything. I can’t tell you how many people (primarily women) with thyroid/autoimmune issues just blatantly refuse to get off the gluten. That is not always the only cause but it sure isn’t helping matters and is a vital first step. High blood pressure or diabetic? Get rid of the refined carbohydrates and get off the couch. Orthopedic concerns? These are valid, however, there are many ways around them through substituting or modifying exercises. Cancer, chemo treatment etc yes, this is very real and very difficult and something I hope to never experience, but exercising and doing what you can will give you the best chance to overcome and improve quality of life through the process.
6. I don’t know how to exercise. This is a popular excuse but one that won’t fly with the wealth of information at your fingertips. Work with a qualified personal trainer to help you establish a program and learn proper form and technique. Or if #9 is a problem use one of the many free fitness and weight loss programs available online.
5. I want to but I have to take care of the kids and family. Who says you have to neglect your family to exercise? Making the time to workout will not only give you the energy you need for a busy schedule, but it shows your kids and spouse what it means to be healthy. Find a health club with a daycare center, do videos at home or if they are old enough have them participate with you.
4. I don’t see change in my body—it makes me bulky. Weight training/exercising doesn’t make you bulky – cupcakes do. You didn’t put that weight on overnight and it won’t come off quickly either. It could take up to 12 weeks before you start seeing major changes. Make sure you’ve set realistic goals and your nutrition is the first place to troubleshoot.
3. Exercise hurts, I don’t like it. If you haven’t worked out for a decade, ease into it, start light with the weights and volume and progress in small increments. Take a rest day when you need it. Find something you like, it can be group fitness with a social aspect, training solo or a recreational sport or activity. It does not have to take place in the gym.
2. I can’t make the commitment—I keep quitting. Quitters never win although doing too much too soon, setting unrealistic goals, not knowing what you are doing and soreness can definitely be a deterrent. Start slowly with small, short term goals and plan ahead by putting it on your calendar making exercise a priority. Work with a trainer, mix it up, change your workouts and avoid skipping them. Make it a priority.
1. I just don’t have time. Who does these days? While I do not have children I work about 70 hours a week. Fight it though I may, I am sometimes a slave to the 24/7 pace of today’s’ technology driven world. What I have found is that the act of physical fitness 4 days a week enables me to continue at this pace with boundless energy and at a “mature” age. We make the time for things that are important to us. Schedule it in and stick to it. Adapt and be flexible if the routine sometimes needs to be changed. Cut out the unimportant – surfing the net, watching television etc.
Any of these excuses sound familiar? If so, don’t ask others why they do, ask yourself why you don’t. Sound off in the comments section if your reason wasn’t listed or you have additional ideas to share. I want to hear from you.
About the Author
Paula Jager CSCS and Level 1 CrossFit and CF Nutrition Certified is the owner of CrossFit Jaguar. Her exercise and nutrition programs yield life changing results.
You can connect with her on Facebook by clicking here.