“The hardest step for a runner to take is the first one out the door.”
We all think about exercise and how much we should be doing it, or why we didn’t get to the gym on our scheduled day, so what’s holding us back? We KNOW the health benefits and how great it makes us feel. We KNOW about the risks of not exercising so what’s stopping us? A famous quote by Ron Clarke states that we could all be runners, or cyclists, or anything we wanted to be, it’s just the lack of motivation or the lack of will power to make the attempt to start.
If you’re like me, we could pull out any excuse under the sun and find a reason not to be exercising. “It’s too hard,” “I’m too tired,” “I have a lot of work to do,” “It’s boring,” “I don’t know what to do,” are not valid excuses anymore! Read this guide on how to get started and you will be on your way to starting a lifelong, regular exercise routine to help lose, and then keep weight off!
If you think…“It’s too hard” you need to turn those negative thoughts into positive ones! Start off by saying, “just getting some fresh air outside” or “just taking a walk to the park.” This sounds so simple and doesn’t sound scary at all! Start saying “I can” instead of “I can’t” and soon you will be able to look at running or biking and say “I can run 5k” or “I can lose weight and get fit.” It’s all in the attitude, and when you tell yourself you can, you will!
If you think… “It takes too much time,” you need to learn to be an exercise ninja and sneak it in, like you sneak in treats occasionally! If you look back and count the times you have met a friend for drinks, or went shopping, or watched TV, you have time to squeeze in exercise. Take the stairs at work, turn your lunch into a 20 minute walk outside, or even get off the bus 2 or 3 stops before. Start doing intervals at home during commercials, try running on the spot for 1 commercial, jumping jacks for the next, skip for another, squats for another. It’s that easy! If you added up the time that commercials take, you could have a full workout done by the end of your favourite shows!
If you think… “I’m tired.” Well, then you need to start today! Exercise gives you energy, and helps you stay more focused on daily tasks! When you’re able to focus, you can finish sooner and it can save you time in your day! Exercising indeed does give you energy! Physiologically, your body creates energy to try and meet the demands of the stress you are putting on your body. With longer duration, and exercise for longer periods of time, your body adjusts and eventually creates more cellular energy creating organelles and in time, you will have more little energy “power houses” to keep you going longer! Basically, exercise is the building block for all great body adaptations!
If you think… “It’s uncomfortable,” maybe you’re doing too much too soon. Start slow, let your body get use to the stress and soon your 10 minutes on the elliptical will turn into 20 and then 30! Maybe an elliptical isn’t right for you, try getting in a pool! Or on a bike! Make your exercise program something YOU enjoy and go prepared! For instance, are you dressed appropriately for the type of exercise you’re doing? Try clothing that’s specifically designed for exercising and getting sweaty. Like Cool-max, or a wick-away material, this clothing is designed to help with the sweat and makes you love your workout and your new outfit!
If you think… “It’s embarrassing,” stop judging and comparing yourself to others around you! Everyone starts out somewhere, and everyone had to learn from the beginning! You may feel intimidated in the beginning but there are ways around it! Invest in a personal trainer, or start at a beginners exercise class and work your way up from there until you can feel confident! Confidence can take a while BUT if you work at it in the gym you’re more likely to feel confident elsewhere! Try purchasing new sneakers or athletic wear or a cool new refillable water bottle so that you can look confident, and then soon you will feel and be confident!
If you think… “It’s boring,” start listening to some fun, upbeat music on your Ipod! Read a magazine or watch the TV while you’re on a machine. If being in a gym bores you altogether, why don’t you head out side to a trail in the woods, or along the beach! Even walking your neighbourhood with a friend chatting counts, as long as you keep walking! Another option is to play a game! Tag with the kids, jump rope or tag football! When you’re having fun the time goes by faster and you won’t be bored anymore!
If you think… “I don’t know what to do,” start with something you do know how to do, like walking! Eventually you will start walking faster, and longer, find yourself taking new routes with up and down hills, inviting friends and maybe have the urge to run one day! If you’re looking to try new things other than walking, look into a personal trainer once a week, or even once a month to show you new fun exercises and different ways to stay on track!
If you think… “I don’t have the money,” you can youtube.com body weight exercises and do them in your own home! Google even provides pictures and explanations of different exercises that you can try! You don’t need to purchase weights or expensive equipment, just use soup cans, your children, stairs and a towel to lie on! Fitness and health are free! You just gotta find a way to incorporate it into your own life!