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Catch the fitness bug: Get back in – Part 2

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It is not news that exercise is good for your health, so isn’t it weird that excuses seem to pop up when it’s time to get it done? Whether your reason is ‘no time’, ‘too tired’ or just boredom, here’s how to get on track.

At first, there’s so much motivation to start then after a few weeks, months or even years, you find yourself making excuses not to exercise and get out of the habit. It suddenly feels better to stay on the sofa and watch TV instead of exercising, so we choose the former. Whereas, what we really need to do, is to change our view of exercise and its importance in our life.

There will always be work deadlines, family pressures and chores to do, but you need to ensure exercising doesn’t get pushed down the list of priorities as it is essential for good health. The key to sustaining a good exercise culture is to pick something you enjoy and makes you feel good, that, you’re more likely to stick with. It could be biking, dancing, swimming, yoga, running etc. Regular exercise not only lifts your mood and keeps your weight down, it can cut your risk of heart disease and stroke by 20 to 35 per cent, diabetes by 35 to 50 per cent and Alzheimer’s, by 40 to 45 per cent.

Exercising with weights and other forms of resistance training develops your muscles, bones and ligaments for increased strength and endurance. Your posture can be improved, and your muscles become firmer and toned. You not only feel better, but you look better, too!
Are the following any of the excuses you give?

“I’m too tired”
As weird as this sounds, exercising gives you more energy, not less. It releases feel good chemicals, which is why most experts say if you are sad – exercise, it will boost your mood. It gets circulation going pumping oxygen round your body. The trick is to find what works for you. Try different times of day to exercise to find what works best for you: if you’re a morning person, exercise first thing, if you’re a night owl, try evenings. For me, mornings work best as I have less excuses, I am more agile and more likely to stick to healthier meal options.

“I’m too old”
Exercise gets more important with age. It can help prevent falls, protect from heart disease and stroke, lower cholesterol, cut your risk of cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that four years of regular activity boosts your chance of healthy ageing seven-fold. You can create a group of 4-5 people and take daily walks or engage in some sort of exercise of choice.

“I’m too busy”
You don’t need long sessions at the gym to keep fit.  Go for a stroll at lunch time, use the stairs not the lift, brisk walk instead of driving. Buy a pedometer and see if you can build up to 10,000 steps a day.

“Exercise is boring”
Many people join a gym but they do the same thing over and over and then they get bored. You should change your routine every six to eight weeks and do several types of exercise if you can, but pick things you enjoy. If you’re bored with gym sessions, try a fun dance class. Don’t like
running alone? Join a running group for motivation. Joining a team or club is a great way to make exercise feel like a social event.

“I’m not seeing results, so why bother?”
It’s important to take small steps. Think of changing your fitness level a little at a time. Set short-term goals, such as running a mile on a treadmill, not running a marathon.  Remember that making exercise a habit is a journey, not a destination. It’s something you’ll work on every day – some days you’ll do everything right, others you won’t. Strive for consistency not perfection.


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Bunmi GeorgeFitness
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