Se7en Anti-Excercise Excuses and How to Tame Them…

So it is the middle of the year and I know for myself that for many years I said, “This is the year I am going to get moving.” And then I didn’t. I am just saying that by the middle of the year that it isn’t too late, in fact I will let you in on a secret… it is never too late. Just put a stop to all the excuses and tell yourself you are going to at least be walking once or twice a week by the end of the year. I think we are too tough on ourselves because it is very rare that someone says I am going to run an ultra marathon by the end of the year and then they actually do… those are the exceptions and that’s why we read about them in the news. The fact is that any moving is good moving and you can start anytime. You don’t have to carry the mountain, you don’t have to climb the mountain… you can just go for a walk on the mountain… really it is enough!!!

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How to Tame Those Anti-Exercise Excuses

  1. When You Have NO Energy: I am just going to say that I tell myself every morning when I get up at 5:30, that I can go back to bed and sleep for an hour or two after my workout if I am still tired afterwards. Can I also just say that after a workout “I think I’ll sleep for an hour or two.” Says, no one ever… the thing is exercise actually energises us, so immediately after a workout I feel more alert and ready to face the day. Exercise is one of those things, like sleep, that we know we need but we choose to forfeit in exchange for all sorts of other not so important things. If you called sleep and exercise work, and committed to it as you do to getting to work on time each day, then you would have a much better chance of actually getting it done. There probably isn’t time right now, but you know you have to make time. I remember someone telling me that in order to make a difference you have to work out for half an hour everyday and I was like – what… that is ridiculous!!! Now at least an hour of everyday is spent exercising. I haven’t suddenly got less to do… but working out has become a priority for me.
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  3. When You Can’t Get Started on a Given Day: Often times once we get going we are fine… its the getting going that is hard. Once I am out the door I can keep going, it is getting out the door that is so troublesome. Set yourself up to succeed… Before I go to sleep I put all my gym clothes ready. Everything… I plonk my gear in a pile in the order I need to put them on and I make sure that I have everything right there… I don’t want to have to open a drawer, walk across the room… my exit must be as smooth as possible. Me, my gear… and out the door. Right now the mornings are really freezing… so I leave a towel on the floor… I don’t even want the cold floor to put me off getting out the door in the morning. Set yourself up to succeed… whatever you need to succeed.
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  5. When You Have One or Handful of Kids: Firstly, do some of your exercising with your kids… I make sure we go for a walk/run twice a week with them and then a ParkRun together on Saturdays. Otherwise, if there is somewhere we can walk I always choose to walk with them, that might be because “cars and kids” have never been my happy place… first they fought car seats, then they fought about who got the window, and that escalated to fighting about anything… It might take a little longer, but not really when you think how long it can take kids to get into a car, and everyone is happier for walking. So if half my workouts in a week are with my kids, then I only have to find time for the other half on my own.
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  7. When You Don’t Have Time for Workouts: Let me just say that I never think of workouts as ME-Time. Workouts at gym are essential to my health, and just like brushing my teeth or getting enough sleep, they are not me-time!!! I do regard gym as a reward… for parenting well done. I have noticed that my kids really appreciate that I take off time for myself, surprisingly they prefer a mother who dashes home in the morning to do school with them, who is energetic and in a good mood after a workout, to a mother that did a whole lot of morning chores for them and slides into breakfast and collapses in a grumpy heap for the day. Try it… my kids get up (mostly) and do their chores and are happy that I am off at gym… they kind of like it that I have my own life. Your kids don’t need you at their sides 24/7 no matter how clingy they appear to be, they kind of enjoy the space too. Whatever works to make it happen… I workout when my kids are still sleeping in the morning, but if I have to miss a morning then I will make supper half an hour later and go for a run then. If my husband isn’t home I feel nothing about swapping a playdate with a friend and while my kids are out playing, instead of catching up on chores or desk work, I go for a run. Make a plan and stick to it. Your family will adapt, maybe not immediately but it won’t take long before they expect you to go out and exercise.
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  9. When You Feel Like You Don’t Know What You Are Doing: Firstly, you can’t worry about what other people think you look like… they are so worried about themselves that they aren’t even glancing at you. And secondly, ask for help… and then take the information you need and leave the rest. When I started running, I know this sounds insane, but I couldn’t even breath… I just couldn’t figure it out. So I googled how to breath when trying to run… trust me, you will have friends who have done this, ask them… read blogs, read magazines… find the help you need to get moving. The point is, the more you move the easier it becomes. Make the effort and you will be surprised at what you can do.
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  11. When You Haven’t Exercised Forever and You Don’t Think You Can Move Anymore: Actually you really can, but you have to start off with really really small goals. When I started exercising a while back my goals were imperceptibly small… just move and keep moving. Now when I try something new, I really start off ridiculously slowly. When I began the stair machine at gym I honestly could not step on it for five minutes… I settled on a minute every time I worked out and slowly built it up. Now I can climb stairs for half an hour, and it is no problem. About three weeks ago I got onto a WATT bike at gym for the first time ever… don’t laugh, but right now I have worked up to about five minutes every time I go to gym. I will get better, but just because I go to gym a couple of times a week doesn’t mean that I can automatically jump onto a new machine and go… it just doesn’t work like that. The trick is if you start too fast you will hurt too much and you will want to quit. Start slow and you can only get better at it.
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  13. When Working Out is So Expensive: It can be expensive, there is no denying that… but it needn’t be. Beginners really don’t need ALL the gear… the truth is you might need to try a few options before you find a sport that you are comfortable with. In fact buy the least possible gear… comfortable shoes are a must and there after, whatever fits. I have to say for myself finding good gym gear has been a challenge all the way… when I find something that works I just grab it with both hands. (But that is a whole ‘nother blog post that I keep putting off, because I feel like I am opening a can of worms).
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  15. When You Have Failed Because You Have Ridiculous Expectations: Walking around the block once is not going to have you feeling like your eighteen year old self, in fact walking around the block twice in as many days after years of doing nothing will leave you feeling pretty stiff and sore. The best relief for that sort of pain is to get out there and do it again. Just keep moving, you have to give your body a couple of weeks to adjust. Give yourself a three month trial… really commit to it. And then you will start to feel better, long before you can expect to drop clothes sizes, or change shape… those are lucky by products. I don’t lose kilos every week, I don’t drop clothes sizes every week… but I do go to gym, in and out of every week. The changes might not be that observable to you… but you will feel better. Take a before photograph, put it away and leave it away. I had a before photo that I didn’t look at for a year… I never once thought I was making a huge difference to my life, until a year later I looked at the before photo and couldn’t even see myself in it. The thing is, exercise is for your overall health… not because you want to look like someone else or be someone else… it is really to enable you to be the best possible you that you can be.

Journey to Health at the Sport Science Institute of South Africa

I Have Been the Brand Ambassador for the Healthy Weight Programme at the Sport Science Institute of South Africa for the past year and you can read about my journey to health over on their website…

5 Replies to “Se7en Anti-Excercise Excuses and How to Tame Them…”

  1. I have loved following your journey, and can I just say – you have been the biggest motivation to me getting moving this year!

    Every single morning I don’t want to do it – but, I do! And I feel fantastic afterwards. Thank you for sharing, and encouraging! xo

  2. Hay Christi, you and me together on far sides of the world… how encouraging is that!!! Fantastic, thank you so much for joining me, gotta say it is mid winter here and while it is so mild compared to yours… oh my word the cold, dark mornings are not nearly as easy to cope with as the summertime!!! Hope you have a fabulous week and soak up some summer for us!!!

  3. I loved this post! The part about being your best you made was perfect. I’ve been following your progress and I’m so proud of you! It’s all about sticking with it. I’m on year 9 of working out and it has completely transformed my health for the better. Sustainability is key and I am so glad to hear someone talking about it instead of pills and quick fixes. 🙂

  4. This is so so true!! No need making excuses. Just start. Interesting I read this today. I started going back to the gym and sprained my foot badly, so have had to stop but today I realised the foot is going to take ages to heal so I’ve decided I would in the meantime do things that don’t put strain on my foot. No more excuses

  5. Oh MrsFF I am so so sorry about your sprain, what a hassle. One thing I have found that when I have an injury, or even the slightest twinge, that would have had me out of action when I was at varsity… I now know to find another machine… there is something for everyone. If your arms hurt then work on your legs and vice versa, and often I have managed a complete workout without going near the muscles associated with whatever pain I am having. I am wishing you all the best, hope you are back on track really quickly.

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