Reasons NOT to workout
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I'm sure you can think of plenty of others and we've all used one of them at some point or another (be honest). Fitting fitness into our busy schedules often feels like a battle that can't be won, but there are some things we can do to help the process not feel so overwhelming or daunting. You will however have to do a little bit of self reflection to find what motivates you and determine how you spend your time.
Find your motivation
Think about what motivates you and use it to your advantage. This excellent article in Harvard Business Review agrees that forming habits requires understanding how you are motivated and describes the 4 main tendencies of most people: Obliger, Upholder, Questioner, and Rebel. As a quick overview of the 4 tendencies and how to motivate each type :
- Questioners: "Question all expectations, and will meet an expectation only if they believe it’s justified—they’re motivated by reason, logic, and fairness." Questioners will turn all expectations into their own, if they feel as though it is a worthy cause/purpose.
- Obligers: "Respond readily to outer expectations but struggle to meet inner expectations." As an obliger myself I can attest that I thrive off of external expectations and accountability (for better or worse), but when it comes to meeting my own deadlines - well....
- Rebels: "Resist all expectations, outer and inner alike." This group is a little more difficult to determine how to motivate, because external expectations can back-fire causing the individual do just the opposite of what is desired.
- Upholders: "Respond readily to both outer expectations and inner expectations." These are the folks that are motivated to meet any deadline/expectation, whether it be self-assigned or outwardly imposed. Give them rules and they won't break them (or at least will feel incredibly uncomfortable when they do).
***Still not able to pinpoint a way to get motivated? Here are some additional quizzes you can try: Personality quiz, Oprah's motivation quiz.
Kick the box to the curb
I was going to use the cliche phrase "think outside the box," but really I want you to completely re-imagine what it means to "exercise" & "workout." If you have it in your mind that it is a senseless chore that must be accomplished at some point, well that "some point" will never arrive and if it should you will be dreading it.
Furthermore, there is no set formula for how one must achieve the recommended 2.5 hours of exercise per week (at moderate intensity level). According to the Harvard School of Public Health, those 2.5 hours can be broken up into smaller chunks (even down to bite-sized 10 minute intervals) so long as the activity is sustained for the duration of the time.
So let's break that down into manageable chunks:
- 2.5 hours is 150 minutes,
- 150 mins = 15 sessions of of moderate level activity in 10 min intervals
- Take a 10 min brisk-walk each morning when you get up = 70 minutes
- Lunch-time break - another brisk 10 min walk = 50 minutes
- That leaves 30 min
- 1X 30min sweat session OR
- 2X 15min sweat sessions OR
- 3 more 10 minute walks/other activity
Ways to beat those excuses
Hopefully now you should have an idea of what gets you motivated AND understand that your "workouts" have very few criteria they must meet to qualify as quality exercise.
Think about your go to excuses... Do they stem from a lack of motivation? Or maybe you need to re-invent your workout routine. Perhaps it's a little bit of both. Hopefully the following list of ways to overcome the most common excuses will help you build a regimen that works with YOUR schedule and plays off of what motivates you!
If one or more of the following are your go to excuses to not workout, then be sure to finish reading through this post!
There's no better time than now to break the cycle!
- Not enough time/work crazy hours -> do shorter workouts silly! Remember your workouts don't HAVE to be really long! Depending on your goal you only need 2.5 hours per week to effectively maintain your weight
- We've talked about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) in Laura's review of Kayla Itsines BBG program, but let's revisit this concept. This type of workout is as the title implies INTENSE, but can burn a lot of calories and by keeping your heart rate up you can burn more fat in less time than other types of workouts. This type of workout may not be for everyone, but is quick and efficient, helps boost your metabolism and requires minimal-no equipment.
- Do your workouts in your home! You don't HAVE to go to the gym to see results! There are lots of workouts you can do in under 30 min a day @ home with minimal equipment with several Beachbody programs, including 21 Day Fix (read about my success with 21 Day Fix). Contact Tasha for more tips here!
- I have kids -> Change your workout routine
- Utilize nap time & bed time -> Workout in the morning before the little ones get up or wait until after they are asleep. You can even try to utilize mid-day nap time to squeeze in that workout.
- Let the kids join you -> Again, you can easily do your workouts at home and if your kids are old enough they may even want to join you! Bonus: you are helping teach your kids great self-care habits! If they don't want to join in, you can workout during "homework" time. Get creative! If you make it a priority and actually write it on your calendar and it will happen!
- Too tired -> Make some changes
- Time of day -> Utilize your body's schedule, workout when you feel most awake OR workout first thing in the morning before you've actually fully come out of your morning fog (the workout will be over before you are fully awake).
- Change your snack approach -> Instead of a high-carb, energy-spiking granola bar or yogurt (although greek yogurt does have a fair amount of protein) snack try something with more protein like a protein shake or a handful of nuts or seeds.
- Make your workout fun -> Try a dance class or at-home dance video or maybe even a different type of community class workout that sparks your interest. There are SO many options these days!
- Find a workout buddy in your area. Exercising with a new workout partner can make it easer to stick a workout schedule, according to a recent study by Swiss researchers.
- Travel too much -> Utilize services offered by your hotel
- Hotel fitness center & pool
- In-house fitness concierge -> Some hotels (such as Westin hotels) offer workout clothes and a running shoes for a small fee and some will even arrange a group run if you’re interested.
- Take advantage of handy workout Apps -> MapMyRun, RunKeeper, and USA Track and Field have a feature for local users to load and rate their running routes, so you know they are tried and true.
- Too hard or I have an injury -> Work with your body
- If your workout feels too difficult do NOT push yourself to the point of injury. Take your workouts at your own pace and if need be modify your exercises so that you can still work the same muscle group, but without risking injury (e.g., elevating your hands on a box during pushup, or doing a quarter squat instead of a full squat).
- If you are already injured, consult with your medical doctor to find a workout plan that works of you! Don't forget just walking can be a great workout.
- Gym problems (embarrassed/don't know equipment) -> Don't workout at the gym! Seriously! You don't need a gym to get good results.
- Too expensive -> It doesn't have to be
- The internet makes so much possible! There are TONS of free workout guides and videos that you can follow without paying a single penny. Google and Pinterest are your friends.
- Split the cost of a fitness program with a friend -> Bonus: Now you have a workout buddy!
- Boring/repetitive/don't like it -> Find a way to make it fun
- Find a workout buddy (are you sensing a recurring theme?)
- Join a non-traditional fitness class, like dancing or a form of martial arts
- Find a way to make it more challenging -> a contest or challenge group (contact Tasha to join a challenge group)
- Change up your exercises - > Your body actually benefits by changing up the fitness routine every so often. Your body can get accustomed to your workout routine and after too long resulting in less effective workouts. Beachbody OnDemand is an online streaming option that has hundreds of different workouts for less money than the cost of most gym memberships.
- It makes me sore -> Yes it does, but there are ways to cope/recover
- Stretching -> YES it is important! Seriously! Shape Magazine offers 6 reasons to stretch that illustrate the benefit of stretching for everyday life. Still need more reasons to stretch? Fine listen to the medical doctors at Mayo Clinic: importance of stretching and proper technique. Check out our Pinterest Board for stretching if you need tips.
- Foam Rolling -> Otherwise known as rolling yourself out like cookie dough... ok ok the technical term is self-myofascial release (see isn't my phrase better). It can be painful, but very very beneficial to sore muscles. If you are new to foam rolling go read Paleohacks: Foam Rolling for Beginners. For techniques and different foam rolling exercises, check out our Foam Rolling Pinterest Board (yes I named it after an old song).
- Recovery Supplements/foods -> There are lots of supplements available to help your muscles recover over night and I know it can seem a little overwhelming walking into GNC, but it can definitely be worth it. I can personally attest to the benefits of the Beachbody Performance Recover & Recharge formulas. For SERIOUS - I will write a review about it at some point for you! If you don't want to go the supplement route here are 7 Post-workout Foods you should be consuming. If nothing else definitely drink LOTS of water!