No, it isn’t. You are just looking for an excuse. I am not saying you need to go straight into hardcore bootcamps, 100kg squats and burpees, I am just saying you can do something. Everyone can do something! This morning it was raining outside and my alarm went off at 6AM. How easy wouldn’t it be to use the excuse ‘it’s raining’ or ‘it’s to cold’? Well, I hate to tell you, but those excuses are not valid. No excuses are valid. Get over it and get on with it.
I know, starting to exercise is not easy, especially if you are overweight and never really have done anything physical, except getting in and ut of the car for the last few (twenty?) years. Even if you don’t really have any excuses not to start, you might be uncertain what you can do or what your body is actually capable of. It can be quite daunting to start going to a gym (where everyone is superfit and all the guys are lined up in front of the mirror lifting 30k dumbbells in teeny tiny singlets) or joining an outdoor group exercise group.
If you are not quite convinced to why you should be more active, here is a few reasons to help you over the edge; increased energy levels and better sleep, it lowers stress and can get you in a better mood, you’ll get stronger, more flexible and have a better balance, exercise helps control your blood pressure and your blood sugar levels, it strengthens your bones, muscles and joints, builds your heart to become stronger and increases your lung capacity. On top of that, you will get the bonus of feeling and looking better, even losing some weight eventually. But that shouldn’t be your only reasons for starting to exercise. It should be because you want to be healthy, have energy and stay on Mother Earth for as long as possible.
You don’t have time you say? Everyone has time for a few minutes per day. And a few minutes per day is so much better than 0 minutes per day. You can also stand up more at work, walk around. Don’t take the elevator. Go for a walk at your lunch break. When you are catching up with someone, suggest a walk rather than the usual coffee and muffin. Excuse not valid.
“I don’t feel comfortable when I am physically active”. I understand, it’s almost like a rubber band that has been sitting around a glass jar for too long, when you try to stretch it, it will break. If you have been sitting on your ass for too long, this will be a similar feeling. No one is expecting you to do an hour of hard exercise the first time you try. Start easy (baby steps, you need to crawl before you can walk, and babies usually fall on their bum over and over and over and over again before they can actually walk 10 steps – THEN they eventually start running and even then they fall on their bum a few times. Imagine if all babies just gave up after falling on their bum the first time. We wouldn’t have many walkers around, would we?) with walks, doing more vigorous housework (dance around with the vacuum) and walk up the stairs a few times. Anything to get your heart moving. Excuse not valid.
You may think that you don’t like exercise. Well, if exercise to you is synonymous with running, push ups and 50km cross country skiing, then I can understand how you don’t like it. But, exercise can be anything physical. Find something you actually enjoy doing. Ballroom dancing? Curling, zumba or orientering. If every joint in your body hurts, try water aerobics. Make it fun and involve fun people too, nothing better than sharing a healthy habit with a good friend. Excuse not valid.
Maybe keeping your motivation up might be a hard thing for you. I think it generally is for all of us. Why do you think people like Ussain Bolt and Federer has got a team of trainers around them? I am pretty sure they have days where they just can’t be fu**ed doing anything. But they have couches reminding them of why they are doing this. Getting a Personal Trainer for a while might be a good idea, they will help you get started and keep you focused until you start seeing some results (just make sure you do some research and find a good one – they are not all the same!) and results can be very motivating. Also, make sure you set SMART goals, as I wrote about here. Don’t expect too much to start with, but give yourself credit for what you can do. Challenge yourself bit by bit and you will be surprised of what you can achieve. Make sure you reward yourself along the way, but don’t reward yourself with food – you are not a dog (and if you are you must be extremely gifted as you can read, I am surprised I haven’t seen you on Ellen or Oprah!!). Use other means of reward, such as a massage, some new shoes (runners?!) or going to see a musical.
Share with your friends and family what you are doing and why you are doing it. They will be supportive and they will help you. Starting a blog might be a good idea, if you want to share your journey with others (if you do, make sure you let me know as I would love to follow). You will slowly but steady start to enjoy the feeling it gives you to be active (you probably look at super fit people and think to yourself ‘they are crazy enjoying working out hard every day’ – I’ll let you in on a secret; they don’t necessarily enjoy the actual pain of the hard training, but the feeling they get afterwards. The feeling of being strong and alive! It’s addictive!). Start today, there is no reason to wait for Monday to come. Start with baby steps, don’t beat yourself up for failing/not being able to/missing a day, and be consistent. Rome wasn’t built in one day and you can’t expect results from the effort you are not putting in. Good luck – go get them tiger!
Disclaimer; I strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. If you are under 18, pregnant, nursing or have health problems, consult your doctor about specific medical conditions.