For the fall season, we’re introducing Fitness Focus, a series of blog posts written by Omada Health Coaches on various topics pertaining to exercise and physical activity. We hope this series can complement your fitness knowledge and inspire you to keep pushing down the path of healthy living.
Part 1 of this series tackles a basic problem everyone hits upon when exercise is involved– excuses NOT to get moving. Read on to get some perspective on your mental barriers and start knocking them down.
“I’ll start tomorrow…”, “I don’t have time…”, “I’m not in shape…”. Do any of these phrases sound familiar? These are just a couple of the most common excuses we use to avoid or put off exercising. Oftentimes, these excuses crop up even when we finally get excited or are ready to start! They exemplify “all-or-nothing thinking”, when we feel either complete success or failure with no middle ground. This type of thinking can derail your plans and create a whole host of mental barriers that stop you before you even get started. However, when you learn to wipe away these roadblocks, you clear the way to get yourself on the right path and stick to it.
Check out some of these common excuses and how you can fight back against these hindering mindsets:
Excuse #1: “I hate exercise.”
It’s infinitely harder to make your body do something that your mind doesn’t want to do. So if you are dreading your next workout, it’s unlikely that you’ll be enjoying it or even exercising much at all. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Trying new things and finding activities that you enjoy is the key to making regular exercise a reality. Find your niche and embrace it.
Excuse #2: “I don’t want to run or lift weights.”
When the word “exercise” comes to mind, what do you think of? Running and lifting weights are two of the most prominent choices that we health coaches hear all the time. This is where thinking outside the box comes in handy. There’s no need to be stuck with the same few options. Walking a pet, chasing your grandkids around, and gardening are some prime examples of ways to get your daily activity in.
Excuse #3: “I’m uncoordinated.”
Everyone starts somewhere. From birth, nobody knows how to lift weights correctly, perform the perfect yoga pose, or train for a 5K marathon. It all takes time and effort, but more importantly, you just have to get started. If you want to try something new, ask someone who is experienced to show you the ropes. Instructors and trainers love what they specialize in and would be more than happy to teach you. After all, that’s what they are there for.
Excuse #4: “I don’t want people to judge me for exercising in public.”
“Those who mind don’t matter. Those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss
Many people fear being judged at the gym. It’s a common worry, but actual judgment at the gym isn’t as common as you’d think. I’d argue that most people are either entirely focused on themselves or commend your presence for showing up and being there to improve yourself. Some gyms have even adapted this as a mantra or motto. For example, Planet Fitness has signs that read “No Judgment Zone!” It may be hard to believe, but there are more people in the gym who are happy to see others there than those who would ridicule someone else’s presence. You can also find someone else to work out with, whether it’s an activity buddy or a trainer, to help ease your worries and doubts.
Excuse #5: “I’m just not motivated to exercise.”
Motivation. It’s what gets you up, gets you to the gym, and gets you through your workout. Motivation can come from something internal or external, but it’s all about finding what it is that drives you. Is it your family? Is it a future endeavor or goal? If the end goals of exercise don’t motivate you, try finding other things that might spark something in you. Maybe it’s finding inspiration from other people’s stories or seeing a past photo of yourself. Journaling your journey can also be a great way to see your progress, as writing it down will clearly show that you’re making things happen every day.
Excuse #6: “I can’t fit a workout into my day.”
You know that your health is important. But in order to treat yourself and your body the right way, a commitment is necessary. Yes, there are many other things that you can fill your time with, but your health and improving yourself are two of the most important things that you can do for yourself and for others. The time is there, you just have to add the commitment in. When you schedule exercise into your day, your current self and your future self will thank you.
Excuse #7: “I don’t know where to start.”
Talk to a friend, a trainer, the internet…there are resources everywhere if you take the time to look. And if you are in the Omada program, your Health Coach is the perfect person to start with.
We’ve said that the key to exercising is to find something you enjoy doing. But how exactly do you go about doing that? Where do you even go to get started? Not to worry, we have a whole set of ideas to bring you so keep your eyes out for our next Fitness Focus post!