What’s your Excuse?

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” Jim Rohn.

Once upon a time, a tourist was driving around the countryside. He soon realised that he was completely lost when he saw grass growing in the middle of the road.

He stopped at a cottage to ask for directions and in the course of the conversation he noticed a huge hole in the roof of the cottage. He asked the owner why he hadn’t fixed the roof, to which the man replied: “when it’s raining, it’s too wet to fix it, and when it’s dry it doesn’t need to be fixed.” True story.

We’ve all fallen victim to this type of thinking at various stages, and in various aspects of our lives. It’s a kind of comfort zone where it appears that it’ll be too traumatic and scary to make positive changes, so we prefer to stay with a situation that is, at best, mediocre and, at worst, may be a cause of bad health or deep unhappiness.

For the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on the more common excuses we use to avoid making progress in our health and fitness, and throw in some suggestions about how we can overcome them.

I’ll wait till I’m a bit fitter before I join the gym

This is probably my favourite. In my opinion it’s the equivalent of saying “I’ll wait till I get a bit better before I go to the doctor.” I totally understand that many people may feel intimidated about joining a gym, exercise class, or sports club. They imagine that they’ll be the most out-of-shape person there, and that everybody will be watching and judging them.

The fact is that most gyms and clubs will have programmes that specifically cater for beginners, or else they’ll be happy to accommodate them in their regular classes. As far as judgement is concerned, most trainees are so focussed on their own workout and performance that they don’t notice what anybody else is doing. And in my experience, I’ve always been impressed by how helpful and encouraging the vast majority of regular trainees are towards beginners.

Most advanced trainees remember how they felt when they were the “newbies”, and will usually go out of their way to be helpful. So if this is your excuse, pick an activity that you think you’ll enjoy and go for it!

I Don’t Have Time

This is a lot more common these days, and it may be the case that juggling work, study and providing for a family leaves people with very little free time. The fact of the matter is that we all have the same 24 hours in a day. I believe that successful people just manage their time a bit more efficiently, and I also believe that it is an area that everybody can improve upon.

Many people think that a training or exercise session has to last at least an hour in order to be effective. However 5 or 10 minutes every day will get better results than doing a 60 minute burst every couple of weeks.

High Intensity Interval Training routines are typically quite demanding, very effective for fat loss and improved fitness, but don’t need to last longer than 20 minutes. And if you can’t spare that time, just do half the session.

And remember that if you add up all the time that you spend on Social Networks, surfing the ‘net and watching reality TV, you may even find that you could manage to do a full work-out every day!

I’m Too Tired

This is closely linked to the Time issue. Many people are exhausted from a feeling of being stressed-out and overwhelmed. However there is also the more obvious fact that most people are not getting the necessary quality of quantity of sleep.

Like exercise and diet, sleep requirements are very individual, but research recommends that most people will function at their best with somewhere between and 7 and 9 hours of un-broken sleep per night. And it’ll work best if you are actually asleep before 11pm.

This is another area where TV, internet and Social Media are a factor because many people choose to use them “to un-wind”, when in fact they would get more rest and recovery by going to bed earlier.

Another aspect of regular exercise that’s often forgotten is that it actually increases energy levels and decreases stress.

If you’ve found yourself using any of the above excuses, simply cut out the daily activities that don’t add to your health, get to bed earlier, and get training!

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