With social media posts expounding the benefits of exercise and fitness apps readily available that both educate and train, a higher percentage of the population worldwide better understands the importance that exercise plays as the single most powerful catalyst for stellar health in mind, body and soul.
More and more health and fitness related internet sites surface weekly that continue the mission of waking people from their distorted, worn-out beliefs about health and fitness.
Errant beliefs such as our health is "inherited and out of our control" are now proven false and put to rest as people awaken to the fact they are ultimately in control of their lives, including their health with exercise as the major contributor.
Because of this, exercise has become a passion and priority on many daily calendars and adopted as part of a healthy lifestyle for thousands worldwide.
Although we've seen promising gains in the health and fitness world population, there's still a faction that continues to give in to excuses – creative yes, but weak for sure.
Even with an abundance of health and fitness information and training readily available at their fingertips, deeply embedded and distorted mental hurdles/excuses continue to tease and tempt many when it comes to avoiding fitness/workout or gym time.
Examining and busting workout excuses
"I don't have time" –
What this really translates to is, "Training is less valuable to me than the thing I am choosing to do." Or "The health of my body is not at the top of my priority list." Time is not fixed, it is malleable. That means we are in control of how ours is used – you do have a choice if you take it.
"I am too tired –
This excuse reveals the paradox of exercise because the solution for this problem is to exercise! Yes, it takes energy to exercise, but exercise is what energises us. It increases blood flow and gets our hearts pumping oxygen to our muscles, tissues and our brains.
It helps to release natural endorphins and neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine making us feel happier and better all around. Even moderate exercise is empowered to improve our energy levels. As soon as we begin moving, endorphins kick in and begin to energise us. Repetition increases energy overall. So, "I am tired" may be the lamest of all excuses.
Turning to an exercise buddy as someone to answer to is a great motivator to keep our "tired excuse" at bay. Changing the time of day we work out to our most energetic time of day is another solution that may help.
"It's too hard" –
Difficulty is not an excuse; it is a level of attainment, but many use it as an excuse to skip their gym appointment or avoid their fitness routine. If you fall into this category, the solution is simple. Find an alternative exercise or scale down what you are doing.
All workouts need to be challenging (if we really want to enjoy the benefits), but they should not ruin anyone's mood or day. In fact, they are meant to do the opposite. If your workout is hard to the point that you cannot finish it, pay attention, there's a message there to slow down. However, it's not a signal to quit altogether. It's either not the right workout for you, or you are doing the exercises wrong and making it harder than it should be.
HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts, for example, are notoriously tough but return great results and that's why people love them. If you love your HIIT workout, but find it difficult to finish, don't give it up altogether.
Honour the message your body is sending and just scale back your intensity output to your level of fitness. At some point, you'll grow out of that level, boosting your intensity level up naturally.
There are a multitude of great exercises, equipment, machines and routines to choose from, so doing something we don't like is nothing short of wasting time and serves no one.
If our exercise programme is not making us feel good, it's time to scrap the excuses and adopt a new one. With a little research and experimentation, we can easily find a better fit that's both challenging and something we enjoy doing.
Sweating when exercising is good thing (and a nice signal that we're working hard). It's also the body's way of detoxing and cooling off and the amount we sweat has to do with many factors including genetics and the intensity put forth when we are working out.
However, some people don't like the feeling of sweating and use it as an excuse not to workout. But even that excuse won't hold water because there are many ways of exercising that burn calories and build muscle that don't make us drip in sweat such as strength (resistance) training.
According to the experts, fitness is 90 per cent mental and 10 per cent physical. It's obvious that our minds are, without a doubt, the biggest obstacle we face when adopting an exercise or fitness routine.
The key is to just begin or as Nike says, "Just do it." Any amount of movement or exercise is better than none and chances are, once we begin, we'll feel so good, we'll want to keep that feeling going.
• Carolyn Hansen is co-owner of Anytime Fitness.