It is so easy to make excuses not to exercise. Tired. Busy. Kids. Partners. Work. Not motivated. You can focus on your diet, do Weight Watchers or count your calories and see a few pounds come off but really, if you’re not doing the exercise component as well, the weight isn’t going to come off or stay off. It takes work to lose weight. We can do the bare minimum of each but we’re cheating ourselves of our health.
I made a lot of excuses as to why I wasn’t losing weight (or why I was gaining so much) but in reality it was because I laid on my couch instead of moving my body. I hated sports, I disliked exercise, but eventually I found that I loved it. I loved how it made me feel. I loved feeling strong. It gave me energy I never had before.
There are a lot of evenings when I’m burned out, exhausted; I didn’t sleep well the night before, I had a crappy day…lots of things that wear me down and make me NOT want to go to the gym. But I always always feel a million times better going!
How to Exercise Regularly
1. Pat yourself on the back for your small efforts. You may not run a marathon your first day running, but celebrate the small achievements you make in your journey to become fit.
2. Exercise on Mondays. Starting your week out right gets you in the habit of going to the gym. And it makes it harder to make excuses NOT to go if you just get it out of the way. (I rarely exercise on Mondays because I’ve usually worked out all weekend long.)
3. Set up a workout schedule so that you are exercising at least 3 or 4 days a week to start. Getting into the habit of this will make is easy to stick with it. Eventually add another day.
4. Don’t take multiple Rest Days in a row (unless you are injured). Taking a few days off leads to another few days leads to…no more sweat sessions. And it is HARD to get back on that wagon. Stay consistent!
5. Join a group or class that meets once or twice a week. It also helps if you have friends in the class with you. Social time + sweat time = a fun workout.
6. Pick a sport that you like and will enjoy doing. Mine was swimming!
7. Exercise in the morning. Sometimes getting the workout done right away is a better schedule to have. It’s often easy to make excuses why you can’t exercise after work — laundry, you’re tired, it was a hard day at the office, you want to see friends, happy hours…(I am so not a morning person and I prefer to workout at night, that works for me.)
8. Train for something. Sign up for a 5k and start working toward that goal. It’s so much easier to stay on track with something specific in mind with a specific date.
9. Do it with a partner. Having a significant other or friend workout or train for an event with you makes it fun and easier to stay committed. Choose your partner wisely–someone who motivates and pushes, not someone that convinces you to go out for Starbucks instead of going to the gym!
There is always time in the day to find a way to be active, we just have to be smart and efficient about it. You will be amazed to see what kind of progress you can make with consistent exercise.
QUESTION: How do you exercise consistently? Any tips?
About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.