Most of us know we should be exercising. But how easy is it for life to get in the way?
Many of us are running in a state of constant busy-ness or stress. We soon forget to listen to our body and what it needs, putting everything and everyone else first. We listen to the voice in our head that tells us that instead of doing something today, we’ll wait until tomorrow, when we have more time, when we’re not so tired, when we’re in a better mood or it’s not so cold or hot or rainy. We can’t find the motivation to exercise so we give up before we’ve even started.
We think of exercise as a chore, a bore or as punishment for eating a certain way. Instead of seeing it as a celebration of what our bodies can do, we become fixated on everything that is wrong with us. If exercise doesn’t change our body the way we want it to – fast – we become disheartened and think, what’s the point?
We have so many excuses to choose from, it’s hardly a wonder so many of us wind up in an exercise slump.
It was after I had children and was diagnosed with postnatal depression, I had to dig deep to find a way to breakthrough all of these excuses so I could do the one thing that I knew was going to help me not only survive, but thrive – exercise.
“I don’t have the time.”
Change the rules you have around exercise and you’ll never use this excuse again. If you don’t have an hour then that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. What you want to do is multitask your moves! When you’re brushing your teeth do some wide squats. When you’re hanging out the washing do some upright rows with the basket. Filling up the sink to wash the dishes – do 20 push ups on your kitchen bench. Binge-watching Netflix – lift your legs and cycle them for a tummy workout. Blending a green smoothie – do 30 heel raises.
“I’m too tired.”
Studies have shown that exercise actually gives us more energy. It certainly helps us keep going for longer than a sugary drink or snack will. So you’ve had a massive day and 60 minutes feels too hard? Tell yourself you’ll do two minutes. Perhaps a quick walk up the street or some side lying leg raises when you’re in bed reading a book. Chances are you’ll want to do more but if not, you’ve sent a signal to your brain that moving your body makes it feel more energised and next time it will be a bit easier to convince that ‘excuses voice.’
“I hate exercise.”
In my years as a personal trainer I’ve heard the words ‘I hate exercise’ many times. You may have said it yourself. More than half of Australians aged 30 to 65 feel they do not do enough physical activity to stay healthy, with almost 40 per cent giving the reason of not enjoying exercise. But what if instead of thinking of exercise as a chore or a punishment for eating a certain way, we approached it as something that can inject a bit of joy in your day. For me, a dance-off around the living room never feels like exercise but it is a fantastic cardio workout. Walking lunges as I sweep the floor turns a boring household task into a bit of fun. When I’m lifting up my wine bottles and using them as dumbbells, I have a big smile on my face as my arms are burning!
Lizzy Williamson is the author of Two Minute Moves: Learn to love your body, keep your sanity and live with vitality - two minutes at a time. For more information visit www.twominutemoves.com or follow @twominutemoves on Instagram and Facebook.