Top 5 Reasons To Skip Exercise
...and this fitness professional's rebuttal.
I’M TOO TIRED
If you really cannot peel yourself from the couch then make yourself a doctor’s appointment.
I’m not trying to be cheeky. I had an amazing dinner with my BFF the other night. She told me she went through a phase in which she was beyond exhausted and could not exercise. I asked her if she had spoken to her doctor about this and luckily she had. The good news is that her hormones and the organs they impact (which is all of them) are good to go.
I asked her to imagine that she was lying on the couch when I called to say I happened to be in her neighborhood with an amazing bottle of Rose. I was dying to open it and I have some juicy gossip. Would she be able to peel herself off the couch for a visit? Her giggly answer was “yes”.
If you want to get more exercise in your life, make the decision to do something about it and stick to it. Need help? Phone a friend! Or hire a coach! Do something together. Try a an energetic group fitness or yoga class, 20 minute walk or bike ride or get your kids together and have a dance party!
I DON’T HAVE TIME
You don’t need a ton of it. Choose something you can cut out of your schedule every other day and insert 20 minutes of exercise. Is it reading the paper in the morning? Try getting your news via podcast or radio on the way to work or while making the kiddos breakfast. Get up 20 minutes earlier or go to bed 20 minutes later – it’s only 20 minutes!
Wash and dry your hair every other day instead of every day. Slick that hair back into a tight pony and get on with your day!
Try this 20 minute workout (no equipment required!)
EXERCISE MAKES ME HUNGRY (AND I’M TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT)
If you feel hungry, honor your hunger and your body and eat! You can exercise and eat and still lose weight (provided weight loss is a realistic goal for you). You just need to do it the right way.
If you’re exercising more, prioritize protein (for muscle repair). Eat lean meats and eggs along with veggies and some good fats (like olive oil, nuts or avocado) at every “fueling” opportunity and try to “fuel” your body every 2 – 4 hours throughout the day.
Listen to your body. Eat when you are hungry and stop before you are uncomfortably full. Make sure your pre and post workout meals are balanced (they contain some fat, protein and carbohydrates). How about 1/2 banana with a tablespoon of almond butter for pre exercise energy?
EXERCISE MAKES ME SORE
If exercise is making you too sore, tone it down a bit.
Do fewer sets/ reps of each exercise or reduce the load (if you are using weights). Add 5 minutes of gentle, dynamic stretching before and after exercise. Drink plenty of water.
Keep in mind that doing something new or more than you normally do will likely cause some muscular discomfort until your body adapts (which is why it’s important to introduce the new stimulus at least 2 – 3 times/ week). If necessary, NSAIDs (like Advil) often do the trick to alleviate muscle soreness. If you are chronically sore, see your doctor.
I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO and THE GYM INTIMIDATES ME
Another reason to phone a friend! Or hire a coach!
The gym can be way less intimidating when you have your posse with you. Choose something that looks like fun and take the team approach.
Hire a professional. I’m a fan of working with a personal trainer to ensure proper form and get help to determine the best program (everyone is different). Scope out the personal trainers at your local gym or speak with the personal training manager to determine who would be the best match for you. A good ol’ Google search (if you don’t want to go the gym route) for personal trainers in your area works too. I’m biased but I too would hire a coach to help me embark on something that wasn’t my expertise (like Pilates or Olympic Lifting for instance).
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Keep in mind, there are good reasons to really skip exercise and here are the top 3:
You’ve been exercising (at a relatively high intensity) without any days off for several days in a row. Over training is real and will prevent you from seeing results. Rest is just as, if not MORE, important than the work.
You are injured. Pain is your body’s way of telling you to chill out. It’s a protection mechanism meant to keep us safe. Listen to your body. If you experience pain and can’t determine the difference between exercise induced muscle soreness and an injury – REST. Better safe than sorry in my book.
You really cannot peel yourself from the couch. Reach out to your doctor. Maybe something isn’t right. Again, better safe than sorry. Any medical situation in which your doctor has told you it is not safe to exercise applies here. If/when in doubt, check with your medical provider.