“We know exercise is so important for our health and well-being but often struggle to make it a priority,” says Carolyn Anderson, MD. “We’ve told ourselves the same excuses so often that we start to believe them.” Most excuses can be boiled down to three issues: lack of courage, lack of time, and/or lack of motivation.
Lack of Courage
Have you used one of these excuses for not beginning a new exercise regimen?
- The gym is intimidating
- I will just embarrass myself
- I need to get in better shape before I can go to the gym
- I am just not athletic
Don’t let the gym intimidate you! You’ll find people of all skill levels; plenty who are willing to help you find your groove. If you still think the gym is too intimidating, there are plenty of other ways to get into shape.
“Despite the fitness industry boom, we are not seeing changes in national physical activity levels, so gyms are not the answer,” says Jacqueline Kerr, a professor at the University of California, San Diego. “Sports such as hiking, canoeing, swimming, biking, and numerous other outdoor activities give you more choices for enjoyable exercise, which is likely to keep you motivated.”
Exercise can be social, too! It is always easier to start — and stick with — a new workout routine with a partner.
It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or a seasoned gym rat; there’s something for everyone! So whether you’re aiming to improve your cardio, build muscle or tone up, you just have to find the exercise routine that is right for you.
“For now the important thing isn’t to get caught up in the technical details,” says Dr. Anderson. “In most cases doing something is better than doing nothing.”
Lack of Time
No one seems to ever have time to workout. The good news: You don’t have to find large chunks of time to exercise!
“Remember exercise does have to last hours to be effective,” says Dr. Anderson. “Don’t fall in the all-or-nothing trap with exercise. Even if you don’t have time for an ideal workout it is better to do something rather nothing.” Do 15 minutes here, or 20 minutes there as long as the culmination of your efforts add up to the 50 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of intense activity the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend on a weekly basis. And even if you cannot carve out a little time each day to work on your fitness, you can make up for lost time on the weekends.”
“If you can’t make time to exercise during the week, you can get at least some of the benefits by being a weekend warrior,” says Brian Parr, associate professor of exercise and sports science at the University of South Carolina-Aiken. “Any amount of activity is better than none.”
Lack of Motivation
Starting a new exercise regimen is one thing, but staying motivated for the long haul is the true challenge. It doesn’t take long to lose the progress you make. New research shows that cutting back on exercise can take a toll on your muscle mass and increase your body fat – in just two weeks.
“I think it is astonishing that in such a short time these changes occurred,” says endocrinologist Betul Hatipoglu, MD.
This is why it is so important to find an exercise program that not only works, but keeps you coming back for more. Here are a few tips:
- Use a Fitness Tracker: Using a fitness tracker can help remind you of your goals and motivate you as you track your progress throughout the day. “It’s extremely eye-opening for my patients when they use these devices,” says Dr. Hatipoglu, who recommends walking a minimum of 5,000 steps on weekdays and aiming for 10,000 steps on weekend days.
- Get Creative: Not everyone enjoys the gym or running on the treadmill. Find different, more exciting ways to get your cardiovascular exercise in. Maybe try climbing! According to a 1997 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, climbing is similar to running at a pace between 8 and 11 minutes per mile.
Jump, Swing, Climb, and Sweat at Terrapin Adventures
“People often tend to forget about the importance of spending time outside and underestimate the health benefits,” says Urmet Seepter, goodrelaxation.com.
Conveniently located in Howard County, Maryland, between Baltimore and Washington DC, Terrapin Adventures features the ultimate high ropes course and 43 foot climbing tower with four sides. Visit us to soar through the air, defy gravity, and enjoy Outdoor Adventures!
If you have any questions, please call Terrapin Adventure at 301.725.1313, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
- “Health benefits of rock climbing – Live Well.” NHS Choices, NHS, www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/rock-climbing-health-benefits.aspx.
- “Just Two Weeks of Inactivity Can Affect Your Physical Fitness.” Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic, 29 Nov. 2017, health.clevelandclinic.org/2017/11/are-you-young-and-healthy-but-not-active-it-takes-a-toll/.
- “Top 10 Health Benefits of Rock Climbing.” Health Fitness Revolution, 26 Oct. 2017, www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/top-10-health-benefits-rock-climbing/.
- Seepter, Urmet. “6 Important Health Benefits Of Fresh Air I Good Relaxation.” Good Relaxation, 21 Nov. 2014, goodrelaxation.com/2012/01/health-benefits-of-fresh-air/.