It's common knowledge that exercise is important for our health. It obviously helps keep us physically healthy, but studies also show it can also make us happier, and reduce depression and stress. But just because we know something is good for us doesn't keep the excuses from piling up. Whether they are physical or psychological, there are real issues, from a busy schedule to having pain in our joints, that prevent many of us from working out and letting our best selves shine through.
1. There's Never Enough Time
It's easy for experts and fitness gurus to say, "Just make time!" And, well... they are right. You can and should make time, especially since the CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking or pushing a lawn mower) every week. You might be thinking that you already wake up plenty early for your busy life, and who wants to skip lunch just to get all sweaty? No, thank you!
Here's the good news: Even fitting in as few as 10 minutes here and there is better than nothing. You can even multitask while doing it. Watch your favorite movie while on a stationary bike or listen to a podcast while going through a circuit of lunges, squats, sit ups and jumping jacks. If you really have no time, try using a fitness tracker to tally your steps or active minutes. You'll be surprised how soon you'll start walking the long way back from lunch or getting off the train or bus a stop early just to get in more steps.
2. You Don't Want To Sweat Excessively
Maybe you sweat so much that it's embarrassing for you to work out in front of other people, or you just absolutely hate the idea of working up a sweat. If so, swimming or water aerobics might be the right fit for you. You're wet already, so nobody can tell if you're sweating. Plus swimming is classified as high-intensity aerobic exercise, which the CDC says cuts your weekly goal in half to 75 minutes. If you're embarrassed to be in front of people, just remember that most people are going to the gym to get fit, so they are probably just as self-conscious as you are! But remember why you're there, to get in shape and increase your overall well-being. If you're really uncomfortable, try sweating it out at home with a fitness DVD or free YouTube tutorials.
3. But I Just Did My Hair And Makeup!
Who wants to ruin a perfectly good hairdo or flawless makeup execution with sweat? Nobody! If you've already done your primping for the day, why not try a low-intensity workout like yoga or Pilates, or get in your strength training by lifting some weights? Make sure you have some oil-blotting papers in your bag to fix any shine and don't forget to use primer on your face and eyelids before adding anything else to help keep your makeup in place. If you want a more "techie" approach, you can even buy mini fans that plug into your smartphone to help cool you down.
4. Everything Hurts
If you have a medical condition, you should definitely talk to your doctor before beginning any workout plan. But if something like knee or foot pain, shin splints or sore muscles are preventing you from working out, the last thing you want to do is stop moving. Join a class that is designed for low-impact exercises, like water aerobics or a stretching class. For sore muscles, focus your workout on the muscles that aren't sore.
For joint pain, look to strengthen the muscles around that joint to take the pressure off the painful spot. A good pair of gym shoes can make all the difference, so going to a speciality running store and having the salespeople help you find the perfect shoe for your feet is definitely worth it. The overall key is communicating with your physician, taking it slow and keeping on the move!