Why We Aren’t Exercising

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I know that I need to move it. When I’m having one of those crappy days I self-flagellate – reminding myself of the many benefits of exercise. But, I stay, in the chair, on the sofa- a slug. You know the feeling – overwhelmed by life and everything it throws at you – working out drops off your radar. I know- no excuse is a good excuse, but guess what? Maybe, the real reason that you and I are putting off that workout is a true obstacle. So how do we get past them? I have some actionable steps in mind.

Let’s start with real obstacle numero uno:

You are absolutely, positively exhausted. Exercise boosts your health, immunity and energy levels, but what if you are simply too tired to move it? Here are 3 actionable tips to get you (and me) back on track. And no, insomnia is no excuse.

Lights, Camera, Action!

Take 1: The Power Nap

Sometimes, we are too tired to even think about pulling on those yoga pants, exercise sounds like a form of ancient torture and we are really, truly tired. Give it up, give in, and take a power nap. If you’re exhausted, exercising is only going to be a drag (literally) and you won’t be expending the right kind of positive energy, and you risk injury. I know I’ve tripped on the treadmill- admit it- so have you. So cozy on up, cuddle into that soft blanket, and catch some Zzz’s. Not too many, aim for a 20-30 minute power snooze, or you’ll just be even groggier and crankier, and definitely NOT in the “go-get-‘em” exercise mode. Besides, all the experts say the 20-minute power nap won’t affect you nighttime sleep schedule.

Just 20 minutes can refresh you!

Take 2: Find the Root of Your Tired State of Being

If you are excessively stressed or tired, then the benefits of a good workout will be elusive. Pinpoint the “why” of your exhaustion. Create a little plan for yourself to try and remedy your constant fatigue. Maybe you aren’t eating the right foods (that diet of Reese’s PB Cups and Coffee is NOT going to fly), maybe you aren’t sleeping enough? Perhaps you are trying to overstuff your day – remember, there are only 24 hours- plan accordingly with downtime. Be mindful, and make a conscious effort to get enough shut eye and improve your diet.

Obstacle number 2: You literally don’t have a second to spare.

Take 1: Reframing your Personal Definition of “Exercise”

I’m guessing that you have a free moment or two, since you are obviously reading these pearls I am spewing…lol. There will always be days where you just can’t squeeze in that trip to the gym or the 45-minute DVD with Denise. I get it. So when time is not on your side, rethink what exercise really is – make it part of your workday. When I was a kid, it was all incorporated- only bodybuilders went to the gym, the rest of us rode bikes, walked and did basic calisthenics in gym class. Try to make it count- anything that gets you moving, lifting groceries, walking to the corner deli for lunch (a salad with protein of course), don’t forget about the dog walk, and if all else fails, try a quick 10-minute workout. There are loads of them online, just do what you love.

Take 2: Diet Due Diligence

Exercise is critical to our health, but so is what we put into our bodies peeps. If you know you’re going to be time crunched on Tuesday, be extra vigilant about what you swallow. Here’s a little fun fact- a 30-minute workout only burns about 300-400 calories (and that’s if you’re really pushing the envelope) so cut back those calories today!

Take 3: Stand Up!

Just “stand in the place where you live…” yup, REM had the right idea.Your feet are going to be on the ground…” but if you’re trapped at a desk, stand up. If you can’t, try doing some simple chair exercises. March your little feet in place, or do some upper body stretches and rolls. Nobody will really notice, and it keeps you from being sedentary. Oh, and by all means, when you do stand up, walk on over to the coffee machine. It feels good to stretch those legs!

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And last but not least, obstacle # 3: Physical Limitations

This can be due to an injury, your own lack of flexibility (why I don’t do yoga,) or something else. I haven’t got much on this one, but here goes.

Take 1: Creativity Counts.

Sometimes, you can’t do the activity that you love, because you are incapable, or overextended, sore or injured. Maybe you’re just uncoordinated. So start to think outside the box. I suck at aerobics, and yes, I HAVE tried. But guess what? Water aerobics I can totally do! Let’s say you pulled those Charlie Horses…your legs are too sore for words – work your upper body for a few days until you’re ready to get back on your horse. (I know, bad pun) Maybe a seated yoga workout if you’re into that sort of thing.

So let’s recap. I’m a sofa slug. I’m not exercising because I am sooo tired. I tell myself this is OK. But it’s not. So I need to get excited and creative and figure out how to put some healthy workouts into my packed days. My own personal fix? A power nap (sometimes 2), a long walk with schizo dog, and a big mamma salad with some chicken and extra veggies. (Be creative) Feel free to share your plans…I love new ideas!

Stay motivated and caffeinated!😉☕

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