Ever use the excuses: “I hate to exercise,” “I can’t do it,” or “I can’t afford it”?
We all know that we need to take care of our bodies and exercise to lose weight, to increase our strength and mobility, to tone our muscles and keep our shape as we age, to reduce our risk of obesity-related diseases like stroke, heart disease and diabetes. Yet, we have every excuse in the book for why we can’t or don’t do it.
I know this story all to well because I lived it. I used every excuse listed and then some!
I paid for gym memberships for years and never went to the gym. I knew it was the right thing to do but I didn’t believe I could do it. I let my head convince me that I HATED, DREADED, and FEARED the gym.
I also let my head convince me that people were looking at me and judging me at the gym, when the truth is they were probably into their own workouts and could have cared less about what I was doing. And, I let my head tell me that I couldn’t walk half a block outside my house when my friend urged me to just try. To just get moving.
It was also my head, not my physical capabilities, that told me (and my trainers and coaches) about 50 times per day in weight-loss boot camp that I couldn’t do. I said “I can’t” more than I can remember in those first few days of boot camp. And each and every time they proved to me, that indeed, I COULD!
So yes, I was that girl who had every excuse in the book and was convinced I couldn’t exercise, UNTIL I DID!
And I am here to tell you that not only can you push past your fear and get moving. You can find an exercise that you like to do, can afford to do, and have time to do. And someday, like me, you might even learn to love it. To crave it. And you’ll feel so much better when you do it. I promise. But there is only one way to find out: START. Just do it. And keep doing it even when you think you can’t or don’t want to. Then see what happens.
Here are my tips for getting moving. I promise they’ll help you go from “I can’t” to “Yes, I can!”
- Find something you like to do and start moving. For me, it is walking. I love to walk outside — in parks, on trails, around city lakes, on the beach. That turned into a love of getting my cardio workout by fast walking and hiking, and climbing mountains for fun. It’s my go to source and I love it. I crave it. Last week when I was in Maine and we had three snowstorms in 10 days and there was too much snow to walk my normal route, I still took my dog walking every day on a new path — we even ran and played in the snow. Did you know that outdoor cardio in the winter burns more calories?
- Find time to fit it in your life, and just do it. I used to say I was not a morning person and couldn’t possibly get up an hour early to start my day with exercise. Then, I was forced to do it in boot camp. And I learned not only could I do it, but it was the best time of day to exercise because I burned more calories throughout my day. I slept better. I felt good all day for having gotten it out of the way. And weirdly, it made me want to move more throughout my day. Now, I have changed my daily routine and I get up at 1-1.5 hours earlier than I used to and start every day with exercise and “Lori in the equation time.” It helps me get a jump start on my day in both mind and body.
- If you need the motivation and accountability — find a gym or community center that is the most comfortable for you and join. Then go! When I got home from weight-loss boot camp, I knew that the consistent exercise would be the toughest for me because I had myself convinced that I hated to exercise. So I joined a studio and hired a personal trainer to hold myself accountable. And because I re-prioritized me and my life and went “all-in” toward this goal, I found the money to do it. I made it happen even though it wasn’t easy. I understand the money issue, I do. This winter when I wasn’t feeling motivated to go outside and walk every day because of the extreme cold, I rejoined my local community center for just $30 per year. Not $30 per session. Not $30 per month. $30 per year! It’s possible to find an affordable solution but you may have to do some research.
- If money is really not there, find an at-home workout that works for you. And do it! I’ve recently taken up doing at-home workouts with my new The Biggest Loser videotapes in my living room. (I won these two great tapes at the NBC Biggest Loser finale last month and I love them!) I get to do my morning cardio with famous personal trainers Bob Harper and Dolvett Quince (I love Bob and Dolvett!). The tapes are less than $15 and they walk through all of the exercises and modifications if you can’t do it. Plus, they cheer, encourage and push you to keep going. For me, it totally works. I’m loving it right now and will likely give up the more expensive gym and work out at home until it gets nice and I am outside again!
- Find a workout buddy, a dog, or hire a trainer to keep you accountable. For the first few years of my transformation, I worked with a trainer(s) every week, multiple times per week. Friends told me I was crazy to spend all that money on personal training but I knew that not only did it hold me accountable, it pushed me to the next level, helped me learn how to move my body and do exercises correctly, and which exercises were the best for me and my issues. I now feel way more confident working out correctly and safely on my own. I also LOVE to walk with my dog in Maine. We walk, we run, we play in the deep snow. We explore. It’s fun! He looks forward to it every day, sometimes multiple times per day, and that makes us both happy. I don’t have a dog in Mpls. and I sure miss it. If you have one, your dog can help you be accountable. Just look at that face after you walk a few days in a row, and you’ll know what I mean! I also walk my area lake with friends and schedule meet ups with 5 or 6 people to walk the lake and talk about our weight loss goals and progress. It helps everyone to do it as a group and it helps me be accountable every day.
I hope these tips help. I hope you find as I did that you can do it. And soon, you’ll love it. It gets easier and easier until one day you realize — I actually LOVE how it feels to move and take care of my body and my health.
Cheers! Happy moving peeps. Let me know how it goes.