It usually happens after a New Years’ resolution or a severe wake-up call after someone close gets ill or even worse. You realize that you should be exercising regularly. The problem is committing to it. Your enthusiasm gradually peters out, and after a couple of months, you stop altogether.
As the years go by, you find yourself out-of-shape, out of breath, or even worse, discover a severe illness or impediment. By that time, it’s tough to get rolling again. But, there are steps you can take to drive that commitment home and make sure it sticks:
Make a life choice decision to exercise with the help of education. Seeing something shocking on TV or an inspiring YouTube video will affect you emotionally for a limited period. Pretty soon, you get over it.
‘Life-choices‘ that stick requires deep-learning or going through an experience that shakes you to the core. Unless it’s drilled into you when you’re a kid, you make long-term decisions when you understand the ramifications that affect you, on an intellectual and emotional level, together. On a deeper level, and you become self-aware. You know there is no choice but to act or face the consequences.
Here are some tips that can make that ‘Life-choice’ happen.
- Read books, read blog posts, watch YouTube videos. Speak to doctors and healthcare professionals. Understand the massive benefits of leading an active life, as opposed to the consequences of leading a sedentary life. What will it mean for you as you hit your middle years and later? Make it personal.
- Consult with a doctor and professional trainer and make a plan that is realistic and practical for your unique circumstances. What’s suitable for someone else might not be right for you.
- Pick a sport and exercise activities you enjoy. Exercise is easier to maintain if you don’t force yourself to do it. Engaging in multiple types of pursuits is less of a bore than just one single sport or exercise. It will target different areas of the body.
- Make exercise a cardinal habit. Just as eating, sleeping, and showering are essential habits that you wouldn’t dream of giving up, make exercise a necessary part of your daily routine. Treat it as something that comes before everything else. Be honest and make exercise a number one priority at least 3 to 6 times a week.
- Select a practical location. Make sure the place you train is easy and inexpensive to reach, ideally, less than 10 minutes away. If you have to spend a lot of time, money, and energy getting to the gym, it will become a bane instead of a benefit.
- Find someone to whom you are accountable. Ideally, a training partner you are committed to meeting regularly. Set performance and achievement goals together. Encourage each other when enthusiasm wanes.
- Change your transport lifestyle. Try to walk instead of using public transport. Try to use stairs instead of automatically taking an escalator.
- Choose like-minded friends. If you spend most of your time with friends that hang out at the bar, it’s harder to stay motivated. Pick friends you can share your fitness lifestyle with and enjoy an uplift in mindset.
- Use a fitness app or smart-watch as a reminder. You can set yourself micro and macro goals to measure performance. It’s much easier to keep up your training routine if you make a plan and stick to it.
- Set long term macro goals for a weight you wish to reach and performance targets, such as weight-reps, distances, and timings you want to achieve. Make interim micro targets along the way to your macro goal, as milestones for achievement. There are plenty of apps you can download to help with planning and track performance. Try keeping a record of what you achieved; it will help to stay motivated.
Peter Drucker, “What you can’t measure you can’t manage.”
- Reward yourself when you reach your micro and macro goals. Imposing a fitness routine on the body is a negotiation with the ego. If it’s all work and no play, it can become a burden. If you don’t reach your targets, deny yourself something you like, that’s not a reward for achievement. The carrot and stick approach works better than just one or the other.
- If your serious, you will achieve a commitment you never thought was possible.
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
Well, change your routine!
A car serves you only part of the time and for a limited number of years. You’re fully aware you have no choice but to maintain it if you want it to continue operating.
How much more so for the physical body that’s keeping you alive and facilitating everything you do? Your body serves you 24/7/365, regardless of where you are or what you’re doing. If you’re not exercising, you’re not maintaining your body, and sooner or later, it’s going to breakdown.
Just think about your heart. It’s pumping right now, continuously, each second. What happens if your heart stops right now this second, all because you didn’t take care of it. It happens every day.
One person dies every 37 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease. About 647,000 Americans die from heart disease each year—that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.
It’s easy to replace a car. How easy is it to replace your heart?
That should make you sit up. Now do something about it!
Fear is the mind-killer (and the body for that matter). If you ask work colleagues or friends, you’d be pleasantly surprised how many people are in the same boat and will jump at the chance to make a positive change in life. They’re also looking for someone with whom to train.
There are loads of people at the local gym who would love to workout with someone but are also to shy ask. Ask a trainer to introduce you to someone in the same boat.
Fitness classes and clubs offering team sports provided ample opportunities to train with others. Training and sports are a great way to make new friends. Come up with a better excuse. It’s lame!
People generally make choices based on feelings. The mood is often affected by your physical and mental state. Setting aside medical issues, your lack of enthusiasm, energy, and drive for exercise, is limited by your comfort zone, that’s not static and decreases with age.
The desire to do less will increase, eventually disengaging you with life in general. Life will shorten.
Getting into shape with regular exercise increases your energy levels dramatically, both physically and mentally. It wards off illness and strengthens the immune system. Above all, it expands your comfort zone. You become more hardened and can more easily handle what life throws you.
With increased energy, new opportunities arise with a greater desire to go places, meet people, and experience new things. The commitment starts with small changes to your routine and reprioritizing your schedule and activities.
Exercise is not an option. It’s a ‘Must-do‘ on par with eating and sleeping and must come first, not last.
If you didn’t grow up, from a young age, prioritizing exercise as a cardinal activity in life, you might not be naturally aware of its importance.
But life slips by, and it can become too late. From mid-life on, it gets harder to move around and skip down the stairs. There’s a greater tendency towards chronic illness, increased disability, or carrying an extra 25 Kilos everywhere you go. Are you sure you can’t be bothered? You may want to act now before it’s too late!
If you’re on your feet all day serving customers, handling inventory, or continuously on the move, your workday can be exhausting. The last thing you want to think about is going for an intense workout.
Even if you are on the go, it doesn’t mean that you’re exercising the whole body. You may not be doing enough cardio training. Work-based activity may not keep all the muscle groups toned.
Unless you have a career as a cyclist or perhaps moving furniture, it’s unlikely that your daily routine covers all your fitness needs. Stretching is an essential part of keeping the body in shape and toning the muscles.
Training before work can avoid the period of being tired after a long day. It will give you more energy during the day.
If you are very active, one can take up Yoga or Pilates. Both activities are great for both the mind and body.
Swimming is a superb sport that’s good for the whole body, exercising the heart, improving and strengthening muscle tone, and excellent at relieving stress.
Above all, a regular workout is a great way to change the venue from a work routine to exercising for health and leisure.
You may take the attitude that you don’t care about how you look or what people think. But are you being honest with yourself?
Self-awareness is the first step in taking your life more seriously. The human body is a gift of incomprehensible magnitude and needs to be appreciated.
You may not be aware that you have a skewed perspective of your innate value and even those around you.
It’s precisely the reason why you need to make an earnest ‘Life Choice’ and change your lifestyle. The added benefits of taking responsibility for your health are mind-boggling.
Until you change your routine to include exercise or sports and being more active, you can’t begin to comprehend the benefits, both in the short and long-term. Keeping your body in shape will change the path you are on, for the better. Your future is in your hands!
Are you happy with your smoking habit? For the vast majority of smokers, if they are truly honest with themselves, it revolts them. But smokers often feel the compulsion to continue, and powerless to stop.
However, many people continue smoking and work out regularly. Cardio workouts counter the effect of smoking to some degree by improving lung capacity. It can even ward off the desire to smoke cigarettes for a limited period.
Statistically, smokers that take up exercise are twice as lightly to quit smoking.
If you’re serious about your health and kicking a habit, try Alan Carr’s book. ‘How to quit smoking the easy way.’ I know several people that have quit smoking with complete success by reading this book. It’s even available on audio, and you can listen to it while you’re working out.
Quitting smoking has changed many people’s lives forever. They can’t even imagine how they ever smoked and have no inclination to pick up another cigarette ever again.
Feeling guilty about taking the time to exercise is quite common whether or not you’re a salaried employee, self-employed, or a parent at home. Sports England reports that many mums feel guilty taking time out away from looking after the kids.
The way around feeling guilty is to realize that by getting in shape, you’ll have more energy for the kids and that you’re showing them a great example. The kids are much more likely to adopt an active lifestyle if you do.
Playing games with the kids outdoors and in the park will allow you to spend time with them and work out at the same time.
Taking an hour a few times a week away from the kids while they’re at school or friends will provide a welcome break and time for yourself. It will make you a more patient as a parent, as well as venting stress.
If you don’t have the time to go to a health club or spend the money, you can always work out with a YouTube video or LesMills workout plan at home
You are not alone, and exercise is vital. So put on your gym shoes without feeling guilty.
Resetting your lifestyle and making a Life Choice for active living, is not about giving up time for a new routine. It’s about rethinking about how life could be and re-prioritizing what’s essential. You only have one life and it goes by very quickly.
Let’s be perfectly honest and ask yourself, ‘Am I happy with the way things are now?’ Only when you reach your later years, do you begin to feel the effects of being out of shape. You drift into a lifestyle that’s very hard to change.
The time is now. The problem is people often overthink. Do you want a good laugh about something so true? Check out this video from Benedict Cumberbatch. Just do it!
If you’re not exercising regularly and keeping in shape, you’re limiting your quality of life and reducing your life expectancy. As you read this, your body is deteriorating at a faster rate than someone that maintains their fitness. Life-long exercise can have a massive impact on your quality of life and mental outlook.
Check out what Pat McNamara has to say. Pat was in the US Army for 22 years in various operational units. He’s got some pretty simple reasons why exercise is so important.
“First, self-preservation and longevity. It’s good for your health. Stronger-Longer. Motion is Lotion. Second, the ability to save your own life. Having the confidence to say to yourself, ‘I can pull myself over that wall.’ Third, more importantly, the ability to save someone else’s life. Last, if necessary, kicking someone’s ass (in self-defense). Cosmetics is also a good by-product. You’re more confident. You look better. You perform better.”
If you’re looking for a public swimming pool in your local area, try google maps. In addition to public swimming pools, there are many health clubs with swimming pools.
If you happen to live in a remote area where there are no pools available, its still no excuse not to keep in shape. Working-out needs to be part of your weekly routine and is not expendable. It needs to happen regardless of whether there is a pool nearby or not. If swimming is the only sport you’re willing to do as an exercise, then move to an area where there’s a pool. Try putting it into your head, that one way or another, regular exercise is going to happen, without which, you’re limiting the quality and length of your life. You only have one.
If your job involves physical work, it can be hard to find the energy to work out after a long day. For people working in an office and sitting down most of the day, it can be mentally draining. It’s hard to find the drive to go to the gym.
You’d be surprised how you can adapt to new routines very quickly.
It’s better to be pro-active about fitness and avoid waiting for an illness to occur, through not be regularly active. In the UK, on average, eleven people are admitted to the hospital, every hour, with a heart attack.
You can get up half an hour earlier and work out in front of the TV or computer with a YouTube workout. If you get up an hour before, you can go to the gym or do some other sport outside.
If you don’t have the time in the morning, you can even do mini sessions during the day. Most smartphones and watches will also remind you to get moving. Try squats, sit-ups, or a workout next to your desk or outside the office.
It takes about 60 days to establish a habit. Once you’ve established a fitness routine, and getting into shape, the surge of energy will make you less tired at the end of the day. Before you know it, your life will look different.
Not having time to work out is a common excuse. But it’s a matter of re-evaluating your priorities. People just don’t take their health seriously.
The World Health Organization has reported that today’s sedentary culture is having a massive impact on health worldwide.
Insufficient physical activity is one of the leading risk factors for death worldwide.
Insufficient physical activity is a key risk factor for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes.
Physical activity has significant health benefits and contributes to prevent NCDs.
Globally, 1 in 4 adults is not active enough.
More than 80% of the world’s adolescent population is insufficiently physically active.
Don’t be a sedentary statistic. Maintaining your fitness is an essential priority. If you have time for TV or even reading a novel, you have time to workout. Working out just three times a week for an hour can make an enormous difference to your health and may even save your life.
Many kids grow up in an environment that doesn’t drill into them, the importance of keeping fit. Some families don’t have a culture of being active. It’s common for kids to sit in front of a computer screen or watch TV, and it doesn’t improve much as they grow.
But that doesn’t mean you have to stay that way. Some teenagers wake up in time and do something about it.
Look at this video from Merijn. A classic case of someone that found their way in life and realized the importance of keeping fit. You don’t have to give up the things you like. Just rebalance your priorities.
Getting in shape will change your life for the better in ways you couldn’t imagine. You’ll be so much happier when you’re living your life to its full potential.
Many countries have local team sports clubs with leagues for players at all different skill levels. You have to begin somewhere. Regardless of where you live, in most developed countries, team sports are often available for both beginners, intermediate and advanced players. It’s a case of finding the right club and team at your level.
In the UK, Gomammoth offers many types of team sports activities at all levels of ability.
In the unlikely chance there isn’t a club in your local area, then start a team yourself, together with friends or work colleagues. If you want it badly enough, you can do it. It’s up to you to take responsibility for your health, and it can be a lot of fun.
I’ve spent many an evening playing volleyball with a group of friends. We created a WhatsApp group and arranged a meet each week.
If you’re serious about joining a local team, but can’t find one, try searching Google maps. It will list what’s going on in your local area. In the UK, Sport England (the sports council) can provide the locations of available sports facilities around England. Similar organizations like football clubs can provide information on sports facilities in local areas.
You can also establish your own team with friends, neighbors and work colleagues.
It shouldn’t be an excuse not to train at all. If you don’t like going to a gym, you can always workout at home and go walking, running, or ride a bike.
Maintaining fitness is necessary regardless of available sports facilities in your area.
Reading or exercise is not an ‘either-or’. The good news is, you can continue reading and working out simultaneously by listening to audiobooks.
Amazon offers Audible as well as audio tracks you can listen through the Kindle app on your smartphone. There are also many other free audio reading apps available for the phone. Ereader Prestigio or Kobo Forma is available on the iPhone and Android.
So whether you’re out for a run, working out at home or going to the gym, you can put on the headphones and listen to a book while you’re working out.
If you find the particular exercise you’re doing is boring. Then change the activity or change the routine. Many gym-goers make this big mistake. People stick to the same activity and get fed up with it after a while and give up.
Also, doing the same routine isn’t necessarily good for the body. Trying different types of workouts, with a different program can be great for exercising different muscle groups and cardiovascular training.
A routine can include a different sports activity for each day. There are many kinds of exercise classes, some with some bizarre names, but they can be great fun.
To name a few: Zumba, Barre, Bikram Yoga, Pilates, Boot Camp, CrossFit, and Boxing. If you like riding bikes, many clubs offer spinning classes. You can burn up to 1000 calories during just one session.
Neighborhood safety is a big problem, with attacks occurring in local communities in many major cities and towns. Violent crime is widespread. Sexual harassment towards women is prevalent. Personal safety is a concern for joggers and walkers alike.
There are options to reduce the risk of being vulnerable to attack and abuse. Firstly you can run or walk with a partner, or even better in a group.
Detective Superintendent Marie Wright suggests running with a group.
“Exercising in a group can be a great way to help you feel safe, keep you motivated, and deter threatening behavior, so why not join your local running club? Stay alert to your surroundings, and if you’re heckled, try to remain calm. I know this can be hard, but getting angry or entering into a dispute could escalate the situation.”
Attackers are less likely to challenge someone jogging in a group. Additionally, pick a time that is daylight and a public place where there are other people around.
Some neighborhoods have a lower crime rate than other parts of town. In the UK, the metropolitan police provide an up-to-date interactive crime map that shows which areas have the lowest and highest crime rates. You can even see which types of crimes have occurred on each street.
Richmond and Kingston Upon-Thames, have the lowest crime rates in the London metropolitan area. If you take a look at the statistics, it may shock you to know what’s going on. But don’t be too alarmed. What you’re looking for is the risk exposure to violent crime or sexual offenses while you’re out hitting the road.
There may be similar maps for the local city where you live.
The alternatives would be to go to a local gym, sports club, or work out at home. Most gyms have onhand staff with CC TV cameras. In the worst-case scenario, one can work out a home with a stationary bike or treadmill. If you don’t have the budget or room, you can always work out with a YouTube home workout. Try Madfit for a 10 min full body fat burning HIIT class.
Whatever you choose, keep active and don’t give up.
You may be under pressure to reach a deadline at work. You may be working two jobs just to survive. But how long do you think you will last if you don’t take care of your body and level of fitness? Living a balanced life over the long term pays off. You will also perform better at work, both mentally and physically, if you take time to work-out regularly.
Prioritizing fitness along with eating and sleeping is essential, not a nice option.
Years pass quickly and not living a balanced lifestyle, often results in being landed with a serious illness or debilitating ailment that leaves can leave you incapacitated and unable to function at all.
If you feel guilty about taking the time, check out the Sport England survey showing an increase in people’s awareness of the importance of being active. Unemployed are less likely to be active. Being too busy is not an excuse. Many people face the same challenges of maintaining a work schedule, but still, find time to be physically active.
Working hard or taking care of the family is fine. But there’s only so long that you can continue without paying a heavy price. It often happens when you’re least expecting it. Try taking the time to make fitness your first priority not your last.
21. I haven’t a clue where to begin
For someone that hasn’t worked out in a while or not all, beginning an exercise routine can be a daunting prospect. Luckily with the abundance of health clubs and gyms available today with affordable subscriptions, starting to train and setting up an exercise program is quite easy.
Most gyms have trainers that can help you set up goals and show you how to use the equipment. They’ll set up a program with you that’s suited to your personal needs.
Programs usually include set routines, cardio, and muscle training. Professional trainers can provide guidance on warm-up, stretching, how to use the cardio machines, and how to perform sets for resistance and weight training.
Among others, PureGym, the UK’s largest gym club, has over 200 branches and provides professional-quality trainers and guidance for all beginners. You can receive just a one of guide session to begin, or take on a personal trainer until you feel confident to train on your own.
22. I don’t have time to workout, I need to look after the kids
How lucky you are to have kids. That’s Perfect. Working out with kids is a great opportunity to show them a good example, and keep fit at the same time. One can even start with the baby, taking them out for walks and later on playing sports in the local park. Once the kids get to the age of wanting to play on their own, you can work out while they’re doing their own thing.
Even spending 20 minutes a day training with a YouTube video will get a person into shape in a short time, if you’re consistent about it. Keeping in shape will give you much more energy to handle the stresses of raising kids and a busy work schedule.
Check out this Family Fun Cardio Workout!
According to research reported in a publication from the Harvard Medical School, your lack of desire to exercise may be down to genetics.
” Some people have particular genes that may influence how we respond to physical exertion and are more inclined to avoid physical activity.”
That’s not an excuse to not be active. The beneficial evidence for leading an active life is overwhelming, both physically and mentally.
HMS has come up with 27 ways to keep you active even when you’re not inclined to exercise. Here’s a summary.
- Take a far-away parking spot. Use a spot that’s further away. In a multistory car-park head for the roof and use the stairs.
- Walk to the next stop. Are you using public transport? Use a stop to get on or off that’s further away from your destination and walk the rest.
- Hang loose and be less rigid on public transport. Use your “core” back and abdominal muscles to keep your balance.
- Swing your arms while walking at a quick pace.
- Walk and talk. If you’re having a meeting, try walking and talking instead of sitting.
- Walk while you watch. If you’re a spectator at a sports event or similar try circling around and watching at the same time.
- Walk tall. Correct posture while walking erect, will keep your back and abdominal muscles in shape.
- Walk with a partner to keep you motivated.
- Get a dog to force you to walk regularly.
- Play physical activities with your kids and be part of the fun.
- Try a packed lunch in the park, instead of going to a restaurant.
- Go dancing and burn off calories while having fun at the same time.
- Wash and dry the dishes by hand instead of a dishwasher.
- Use mechanical kitchen tools instead of electric for greater use of your hands.
- Clean your home yourself, instead of a cleaner.
- Hide the TV remote and do something less sedentary than TV surfing.
- Go swimming. It great for arthritis and the humid air is good for the lungs.
- Try walking through the water in the sea, lake or pool. It’s great for the legs.
- If possible, go and talk to a person instead of emailing them.
- Stand up while on the phone instead of sitting.
- Do the gardening if you have one. It exercises the whole body.
- Use a mechanical lawn mower and brush the leaves instead of a blower.
- Try several small groups of exercises during the day instead of one major session.
- Use the stairs wherever you can.
- Climb two stairs at a time instead of one.
- Climb steps on the balls of your feet to stretch your calves.
- Whatever works to keep you active.Thank you, HMS
Not being motivated enough is one of the top ten excuses for not exercising. It stems from the context of your life and your perspective on your circumstances.
Motivation to make this life-choice and to start exercising on a regular basis requires a major jolt in your self-awareness.
This change can come about in a few ways. You can have a life-altering event, like a major illness.
A kinder way is to meet someone that’s changed their life in a remarkable way and is now seriously benefiting from a healthy lifestyle, like losing a ton of weight through a fitness regime.
Alternatively, you can read a post, book or see a video on the effects on the body by keeping in shape.
The best way is to absorb the true benefits of regular exercise through education and personal experience. Learning and experiencing, is something you own and not derived through the experience of others.
That knowledge is part of you and carried with you always.
One of the main reasons why you don’t like to exercise is that it takes you out of your comfort zone.
You establish routines that become your current lifestyle. Exercise takes effort, and you can easily slip into a lifestyle that doesn’t include working out regularly.
Exercise will cause you to sweat, get hot and get out of breath. You tire easily, and your muscles ache. It takes will-power to exercise outside on a winter day or when it’s hot. But your comfort zone is relative to what you’re used too and is not fixed in stone. It can change.
The benefits of exercise are not apparent until after a few weeks. Once that period has passed, your comfort zone grows and you’re able to endure discomfort to the point of it becoming a pleasure. You’ll look at exercise with different eyes.
Exercise releases stress and improves mood. The body releases chemicals called endorphins, which act upon the receptors in the brain, reducing the perception of pain. They also trigger a positive feeling to the point where you feel naturally high after a good work out. Try it for a few weeks, and your life will change in ways you wouldn’t have imagined.
Suffering from depression and anxiety is very common. The NHS reports that 37% of adults aged 16-74 with conditions of anxiety or depression are accessing mental health treatment.
The cause of depression can be physiologically or psychologically rooted, relating to stress or existential questions of value and purpose. You should definitely seek professional advice if suffering from prolonged depression.
The irony is that, for whichever cause, regular exercise is a highly effective antidote to depression. The Journal of the Association of Medicine and Psychiatry published a superb article that exactly addresses the positive effects of exercise on the clinically depressed.
It’s really difficult to find the motivation to embark on an exercise routine when you’re feeling depressed. But once you start, the darkness is washed away very quickly, as if by magic. The release of endorphins gives a feel-good feeling. Regular exercise can be an aid that helps towards overcoming depression in the long run. Excuse the pun.
Unless you physically cannot move or shouldn’t move because of doctor’s orders, there are several options for exercising on a regular basis.
One of the best options is swimming, which as the least impact on the joints and exercises the entire body. But there are several other options, as well.
Sports that are more suited to people with joint problems or arthritis are cycling, golf, bowls and walking football. Going for regular walks is a superb way to get in shape.
Tai chi is a wonderful option for exercising and stretching the entire body. Tai Chi has become the national symbol of China and is now practiced by over 300 million people in the world.
The key to maintaining the quality of life, as you age, is staying active.
28. I haven’t trained in years and I don’t know if I can still can
If you haven’t been active in a while, the first thing to do is to get the all-clear from a physician. Especially if it’s been several years and you’ve entered mid-life.
It’s best to check that the heart can withstand intense cardio training and that you can handle physical exertion, that the body hasn’t done in a while.
Start slow and gradually increase the workout intensity over several weeks.
Don’t imagine for a second that you can run or lift what you used to do previously. Don’t even test it, out of curiosity.
A thorough warm of the body and careful stretching is really important. It’s easy to pull a muscle or tendon and even get a hernia that will stop a new training routine right in its track. (Excuse the pun).
If you’re going to a gym, then consult with a professional instructor, who can set-up a training program and give comprehensive guidance on warm-up, stretching and the exact pace and techniques that someone should adopt, after returning to exercise after a while.
None of this takes away from the fact that exercise and training is a must and needs to happen. Just start out wisely with some common sense and consult with professionals before beginning.
First of all your lucky to have hair. My top’s often mistaken at bowling, and I’ve ended up on the wrong side of the lane. It’s the thumb in my mouth that really gets me, and you should see where my mate Dave, shines his.
For those that sport a nice crop, and invest time and money in managing it; messing up a costly hairstyle can be frustrating and time-consuming, to the point that they purposely avoid exercise.
Surveys have suggested that up to 40% of women avoid exercise because they don’t want to ruin their hair. Many of the women surveyed admitted they only train half as much as they’re supposed to and a quarter surveyed don’t exercise completely to avoid the problem, completely.
Some tips from those that do train on a regular basis and are concerned about keeping their hair intact.
- Avoid ‘Ponytail Crimps’ by using ribbon hair ties and spiral hair rings instead of simple elastic bands.
- Choose the right hairstyle for the sport. A high-bun for yoga and pilates to stop hair getting in your face and a ponytail with headband for cardio.
- Spray conditioner on your hair before the workout and the post-workout dryer will revitalize the hair.
- Use a texturizer spray to soak up oil and boost volume.
- Use a training headband or bobby pins to hold the hair in place
- Avoid silicone-based products that attract dirt, oil, and sweat
- Don’t use baseball caps that cause even more sweat on the forehead, unless you’re running outside in the sun. Your health is more important.
- Try to avoid touching your hair with your sweaty hands
- Don’t wash your hair with shampoo every time you train and use a scented conditioner.
- Let your hair cool down, and perspiration evaporate before taking off the headband or hair ring
- Keep a hair kit in your gym bag with ties, pins, a mini-dryer, iron, and spray
- Use hydrating oils to rejuvenate the hair from the sun and salty sweat.
- Avoid wetting your hair in the shower by tieing and covering it up, if you don’t have time to use a hairdryer
- Try low cardio workouts such as Yoga and Pilates to avoid sweating, when you want to keep your hair intact.
Sometimes you’re so buried in the moment trying to cope with the stresses of everyday life, taking time out to workout is about the last thing on your mind. But that’s exactly what might be needed to clear the mind and gain a new perspective on things.
Ya’ think you’re under stress? Try reading Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago and then ask yourself if your life is stressful.
As Gary Vaynerchuk says “Perspective is everything”.
If you’re taking the time to read this, it probably means that your life is relatively fortunate, and you have time to exercise. You’ve been blessed to live in a democracy. You have all the necessary conveniences available to you, for a well balanced and healthy life. By not living that life, to its full potential, you are abusing yourself.
Get tracking and start working out on a regular basis. Your body deserves it. You owe it to yourself.
If you’re looking for an excuse not to make the effort to maintain a fitness routine, it’s never the right weather. But if you’re honest with yourself and serious about your health, you’ll find the way.
The vast majority of serious joggers, runners and cyclists look at getting out in all weathers with a completely different outlook. They’re eager to get out and love the challenge.
There are plenty of indoor health clubs with treadmills for the days that its a risk to health, to train outside.
Health clubs have aerobic machines and weight training facilities. There are also many different exercise classes. To name a few: Zumba, Barre, Bikram Yoga, Pilates, Boot Camp, CrossFit, and Boxing and spinning classes.
So part of the week one can do their workout outdoors and part of the weekly routine indoors. That way you can mix-it-up and never get bored.
32. I always give up after a while. I lack discipline
There are several reasons why people give up training after a while. Firstly, maintaining your fitness is often considered a nice option when it’s really a major ‘Life Choice’ issue. You would never consider giving up eating or sleeping because it affects you immediately and you feel compelled.
The problem is you don’t feel the implications of inactivity until later on in life. By then it’s too late, the damage is done.
When you’re young and you don’t work out on a regular basis, you’re living on borrowed time. As the years start to go buy you begin to notice there’s a debt to pay. All sorts of things start to go wrong with our health. It’s only then when things start going wrong that you begin to understand how much you’ve been neglecting yourself.
You give up on an exercise routine because you get bored with the same routine. That’s why it’s important to mix-it-up. Introduce different types of sports activities in your routine. Train with a partner. If necessary, get someone to remind you. Write it into your Todo-list or the calendar schedule on your mobile phone. If you forget once or twice its not the end of the world. Start again a hundred times if necessary. Never give up!
33. I hate getting up when it’s dark and cold
When the temperature drops and daylight gets shorter, it can be hard to get up to go running first thing in the morning. The mental deliberation starts before you even open your eyes. ‘Just do it’ or “Stay in bed and run in the evening”. But at the end of the day, you’ll have no energy and won’t run at all.
Several things that can help with motivation:
- Set a goal with a training plan, with the distance you need to achieve during the week. Reward yourself if you complete your target. Deny yourself that ‘doughnut’ or something you like, if you don’t.
- Run with a friend, so you’re forced to get out of bed to meet them.
- Use fast pace motivating music on your alarm clock and listen to music with earbuds during the run.
- Watch a motivating YouTube video the night before from someone disciplined, that goes running in the early hours.
- Watch the film Rocky (1976). Both the music and the film will get you going.
Remember the wise words of Jocko Willink, “Discipline equals freedom”.
34. Working out at night keeps me awake
Many people just don’t have the time to work out in the morning. During the day you’re too busy at work, so it just leaves the evenings. By the time you get home, it seems too late as you’ve got to get up early the next day. It leaves no time just to chill-out. Working out late at night makes it really hard to get to sleep makes you wired.
But, there is a way to workout at night by making sure you cool down properly after the workout. The body needs to wind down and relax. If you allow time for your body to reduce the heart rate, then it’s much easier to get to sleep.
One secret to relaxing after a night’s workout is to meditate. In fact, meditating after a workout can be the most relaxing way to clear the mind from all the day’s worries and concerns and will give you the best night’s sleep you’ll ever have. Working out will reduce the stress levels and meditating will calm the heart rate and clear the mind.
If you’re not used to meditating, then try downloading an app. One of the best apps designed to give a good night’s sleep is Calm. There are guided meditations for sleep, which you can listen to. There are also stories read by Tamara Levitt and many celebrities and mindfulness gurus, while you nod off. Just ten minutes of mindfulness meditation focusing on your breathing can calm your mind for a perfect slumber.
35. I don’t want to exercise
You’re not alone. Many people don’t like making the effort to work out on a regular basis. It’s not even a consideration. But what you want is mostly based on feelings and deep down inside, what you really need to ask is ‘What do I really want in life?’
One thing for sure, no one wants to be bogged down with health issues, that can incapacitate you when we’re least expecting it.
You’ve been blessed with a physical body, and have an inherent responsibility to maintain it. Not just for yourself but as part of our contribution to those around you. Do you want to become a burden to others? Would you want to be lumbered looking after someone with a stroke or other serious illness?
If it’s within your power, maintaining your fitness is a moral responsibility. Besides which, when you’re in shape, you see life from a completely different perspective and can handle stress and what life throws at us, so much better. Working out can be a lot of fun. Try something you may never have considered. A round of golf.
36. My workout partner always lets me down
You agree with a friend at the New Years’ party that this coming year you’re both going to work out together and keep each other motivated. Ok so maybe it was the beer talking. A couple of weeks into the resolution and the excuses start. “I’ve got to go somewhere”, “My workload is piled up”, “It’s my turn to babysit the kids tonight”.
Don’t let that be the excuse. It’s low down on the list of justifiable reasons for not working out. If you’re going to the gym, there are always group classes available. It’s a chance to meet like-minded people. Smaller class numbers will help to get to know people better.
Another way is to find a new workout partner in the weight room. Look for a person who’s about your level and start chatting with them. Throw around a few praises about how well they’re doing.
Be open to chatting with people if they start talking to you. If they start chatting during the set, tell them “Just a sec, nearly finished”. They’ll know not to disturb you during a set. If you want to keep your current workout partner, there are some things to consider:
- Just show up at there door at the arranged time. Don’t ring beforehand, allowing them to back out.
- Do activities that your partner also likes, not just your own preferences.
- A reason why some partners stop going is that they’re getting annoyed at the small things, like slamming down the weights or not putting them back where they belong. Be open to listening to what disturbs them about training together.
- Keep the energy levels high and try not to bring too much work or home issues into the gym. The gym may be your partner’s only time to get away from things.
- Make goals together about targets you want to reach. It can be weight-loss or performance targets. Another more flexible option is to challenge each other as to how many times you both work out together a week. After all genuine excuses do occur.
- Unless they’ve asked you to spot, try not to be over-competitive and putting them down by coaching them if they haven’t finished or achieved the same performance target. Let your partner finish at their own pace.
- Avoid overdoing it by sticking to a pre-determined schedule. If the plan is too demanding, then adjust it. If one of you is injured then be sensitive to your partner’s needs and try a work out with a different focus.
- If your partner lets you down once in a while, then give them a second chance.
If you’re feeling claustrophobic in the gym, there’s a whole world out there. A good work out can take the form of a hike in the mountains or a run in the forest.
Pick your venue and get out there. Growing up in the city is so ingrained in your being that you may have lost touch with the outdoors, which accounts for 90% of the world’s landmass.
We live in the most beeeeeautiful world for light-years around and people end up sitting in front of the TV. Get out there and discover life. Go climb a mountain and breathe in the air. It will change your life.
We all respond differently to the thought of exercise. Some roll their eyes in dread.
Genes are part of the reason. Experience is another. If you had a hard time with sports as a kid, then it can be a subject you just don’t want to know about. It will prevent you from exploring alternative options for keeping active, that are more suited to your unique body and circumstance. Some people prefer to be out in the fresh air than stuck in a gym.
Beyond being disabled, a debilitating illness or trauma, that’s not within your control, the state of your physical body, is primarily a result of all the choices we made and lifestyle we’ve led until now.
Try focusing on sport for its fun and not an exercise in exertion. Swimming is a superb option, as well as just go for a long walk or hiking as a break from the city.
I used to hate cross-country running in school. I was overweight and hated the mandatory event each week. It wasn’t until later on that I started to love running under my own initiative, and never looked back.
With the stress of a busy workday at the office or home, it may seem there is little time left for a workout. If you go to a gym and add the time to travel, it can take at least an hour and a half out of the day. But it can be done, and it’s not impossible. It’s vital to work out regularly, without compromise, so here are some tips to make regular exercise a more viable option.
- Try riding to work on a bike, that’s a workout all on its own.
- Traveling to a gym or sports venue shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes each way. If it takes longer try riding a bike, to get warmed up on the way.
- Take a class. It’s easy to spend too much time waiting for machines and wandering around the gym. At PureGym, classes are usually between 30-60 minutes; they’re focused and provide superb all-around fitness, as well as exercising different muscle groups.
- Go dancing. It’ uplifting, great exercise, fun and such a wonderful pastime.
- Play sports activities with the kids in the park; that way you’ll get more time with them and become an excellent example of how to spend one’s time. It’s better than being on the phone or in front of the TV.
- Another option is to train at home. You don’t need much equipment. YouTube is packed with workout videos on every sport you can imagine. You can also pick an online NHS video course.
- If you’re working in an office and don’t have time, there are exercises one can even do without leaving the room
- Even half an hour a day can do the job. Try a half-hour fast pace walk during the day and a simple set of stretching or calisthenics at home.
- Changing the habits of how we get about can also help. Take the stairs instead of an escalator.
- Walk to the next bus-stop before getting on, and get off one stop before last stop before you need to get off. If you’re going by car, then park further away from your destination.
- Do a longer workout on the weekend, when you have more time.
- Wake up a bit earlier and spend half an hour exercising before getting showered and dressed.
- Opt for a DIY yoga class before going to bed. With a ten-minute meditation session, afterward, you’ll sleep like a baby.
Don’t compromise with regular exercise. Find the way. Your life depends on it.
40. I always seem to get distracted
It’s a fact. In today’s world, we are easily distracted. Staying connected is an integral part of our culture. Studies have shown that people check their smartphones an average of 47 times a day. It’s not going to change soon; if anything, it will intensify. Our occupation with smartphones affects our attention span, productivity, and personal performance. Spending time pushing the body physically and staying in tune with the here and now, is the perfect antidote to this cultural obsession. Better still, is spending time without devices, outdoors in nature and away from the city and suburbs. If you can’t get away, at least don’t allow the phone to detract from sports activities or going to the gym. Time quickly dissipates when we’re screen gazing. On average, we spend 4:33 Hrs (273 minutes) per day on smartphones and tablets. The average person spends 71 minutes on cardiovascular exercise per week. That’s a ratio of 27:1, between the amount of time we’re sedentary and the time we’re physically active. It’s a battle between our addiction with these hand-held devices, and the time we allow ourselves for physical exercise.
We get so distracted, from our physical bodies, that we don’t even remember when or how to work out. When finally we wake-up, we often make an excuse to delay exercising until the next day, and the cycle happens all over again.
To keep yourself reminded:
- Make a routine with specific days and time set aside for exercise. Preferably in the early morning after a night’s sleep. Once you’ve had a workout, you can go about our day with a satisfied feeling both physically and mentally.
- Partner up with someone, so you’re also accountable to someone else.
- Write it into your calendar or Todo list with a reminder; so it pops up on the screen. Add several alerts, not just one; that you can quickly flick away.
Ways to avoid distractions during a workout:
- Get out into the outdoors and nature, to maximize the experience and focus on physical activity; away from the phone entirely. The air is better, and there are fewer distractions.
- Pick a sport that demands more concentration. Climbing and ball games such as football, rugby, tennis, squash and team sports, demand concentration and full emersion. There’s no time to look at a text while you’re on the court in the middle of play.
- Put your phone in ‘Flight mode’ or at least on ‘Do not Disturb mode’. Dealing with texts while working out means your addiction is severe, and you’re not aware as to the extent. Texting impacts performance during the workout. Looking at a phone affects one’s posture. The head is looking down at the phone, placing strain on the neck and back; at least one hand is tapping away on the phone.
- Make it a rule not to touch the phone during a workout. There are other effects when using a phone that you’re not conscious of either. When you’re concentrating on the message, the body tenses, increasing your stress levels; it affects the heart rate, insulin levels and pace of activity. Playing with a phone and answering a call or message during a workout can lead to serious injury. Have you ever seen someone drop their phone on a treadmill? Besides smashing up the phone, one can quickly fly off the machine in an attempt to pick it up. Not only can you seriously injure yourself, but it can also be embarrassing. The word ‘prat’ comes to mind.
- Listening to good music increases your performance. Set-up your playlist and volume level before you start your workout; don’t fiddle with your phone in the middle of a session.
- Join an exercise class. Your instructor will soon slap that phone out of your hand. Just try it.
- Listen to an audiobook instead of reading. If a cardio workout is boring, and you’re not in the mood for music, listening to an audiobook can also pass the time. It’s a lot better than craning your neck in concentration and reaching to turn a page every few minutes.
- Change your range of activities. If you’ve chosen an exercise that doesn’t fully immerse you, then change the range of activities you do during the week’s routine. You won’t get bored so quickly and tempted to distraction.
Understand that there is a process going on both physically and mentally during intense physical activity. Exercise works on your heart, blood flow, muscle groups, tendons, ligaments, and joints. But you’re also clearing your mind from those revolving thoughts and resetting mental processes. Controlling distraction is part of personal growth and requires discipline while learning and forming new habits.
41. I’ve managed fine until now
Claiming to live a healthy life without exercise is a loaded statement. A lot depends on how you define health and the context of your age and lifestyle.
It’s quite common for young adults to think they have all the time in the world; they have few physical illnesses or difficulties. It may be that you’re born with good genes and a robust immune system.
If you have a healthy diet and you’re physically active, then you may not be subject to the ill-effects of a sedentary lifestyle, and eating processed foods.
As the years go by, the body deteriorates. For those that are not active and regularly eat commercially processed food, the aging process accelerates. By the time we reach midlife, our fitness declines dramatically. We realize that we’re not as young and energetic as we used to be. Line’s form in our face and the body’s skin starts to sag.
We only see what’s going on externally. Gravity wears down our joints, muscle tissue and organs, including the heart. When we try to climb a long flight of stairs or engage in an activity that’s beyond our comfort zone; we begin to understand how out of shape we’ve become.
Age brings with it a deterioration of not only the body but our brains as well. As we reach our 60’s and 70’s, our memory and cognitive faculties decline.
Being born into our sedentary lifestyle of smartphones, tablets, and screens have led us down a path that historically, humankind hasn’t faced before.
Years ago, people didn’t have the conveniences, that today’s technology provides. The information age is wonderous. We’re much more knowledgable, and life is physically much more comfortable than ever before.
The downside is, we are much less active. Before today’s technology, people had to work much harder to achieve the same results. Machines have taken over the chores.
Developments in healthcare have enabled us to live much longer. There are drugs to ward off diseases that were never available before. But it’s not just about living longer; we also need to consider what it means to live a quality life. The elderly tend to visit a doctor much more often. As we become older, the frequency of visiting doctors is often linked to whether or not we’ve led an active lifestyle and our eating habits. Exercise doesn’t just prolong the effects of aging. It also strengthens the immune system, preventing severe illness and disease.
To enjoy the benefits of longer living, we need to be selective about the food we eat and measure how active we are. Regular life-long exercise is key to living a quality life as we age. There are no short cuts, and we shouldn’t kid ourselves otherwise.
If you don’t want to end up sitting in a chair, staring into space and drooling at the mouth, then you need to take responsibility for your health while you still can.
42. I haven’t got a clue what to do at the gym
When starting at the gym, it’s highly recommended to meet with a professional instructor. At the first meet, the instructor will acquaint you with the gym layout and show you the available equipment. Upon request, the instructor can set-up a training program with you.
Based on your goals and individual circumstances, you’ll create a routine together. The instructor will show you how to use the cardio machines, free weights and weight machines for each scheduled exercise. Your routine may include the use of resistance bands, other gym accessories and time for stretching.
For example, if your target is to lose x amount of weight in a certain amount of time, the instructor can advise on a realistic goal. He or she will help you write a suitable training schedule to meet the goals and what you’ll need to do to achieve them. PureGym offers a weight-loss course that can help you understand calories and how many you need to manage your weight.
It will take time to achieve your goal and will require consistent effort. But if you stick to the plan, you should reach it.
43. I’m worried about the Coronavirus. There are too many germs at the gym.
There are many germs at the gym, and it’s a legitimate concern. Especially with the outbreak of Coronavirus. The gym equipment is rife with bugs and viruses can cause colds and other infections. But if you think about it, you can pick up viruses from anything you touch, whether it’s at the gym or not. A gym is undoubtedly a place where we are more exposed to surfaces than many other places. We perspire, and our skin comes into direct contact with equipment, that’s been handled by several others. The best way to prevent being infected is to wipe off the equipment with a disinfectant spray or carry an antibacterial gel. Rub it into your hands before and after your workout. You can also wear sports gloves while working out. It’s important to wash your water bottle thoroughly. If you reuse the bottle without washing it, bacteria can quickly build up. So clean and sterilise the bottle thoroughly before each time you use it. If you use a swimming pool make sure it’s cleaned regularly. There are chlorine resistant pathogens. Ironically the stronger the smell of chlorine, the higher the chance the pool has not been cleaned enough. Chlorine gives off a strong odour when it reacts with microorganisms. Wear goggles and earplugs in the pool. While you’re in the locker room and shower area, wear flip-flops. Try to avoid sitting on a bench while undressed. Try the following tips to avoid germs:
- Always use your own towel and bottle and don’t lend them to others
- Wash your water bottle thoroughly before use
- Always use a clean towel
- Cover-up any cuts or broken skin
- Try to bring your personal exercise mat
- Wash your hands with antibacterial gel before and after using the machines
- Wipe machines before and after use and if possible use a disinfectant spray
- Always wear flip-flops or footwear in the changing room and shower
- Avoid shaving at the gym or just before going
- Don’t sit naked on the changing-room bench
- Spray your bag with a disinfectant and wipe it down after use
- Examine your skin regularly for inflamed, red areas, and consult a doctor if necessary.
Even though it’s a concern, getting into shape can actually raise your immune system’s resistance to germs, so keep up the training. If you’re still obsessed about coming in contact with germs, you can always try a different sporting venue that has less risk of contact.
44. Everyone at the health club is so young that I feel out of place
Once you reach a certain age, everyone around you starts to appear younger. That’s just the way it is. The fact is if you are still training and you’re the only person of your age in the gym, it’s a compliment and you should feel proud of yourself.
Instead of sitting at home with a pot-belly and being a couch potato, you’re mixing it up at the gym and getting into shape.
It shouldn’t be an excuse, but if it really bothers you, then ask a friend of your own age to come and train with you. Or find out if any of your friends are working out and go and train with them.
Think of it this way. You’re setting a great example for younger folks to hit the gym as well. Show them what you’re made of.
45. It’s a hassle going to the gym
If it’s truly difficult to get to the gym, for whichever reason, working out doesn’t require you even stepping outside the house.
Today there are many videos on YouTube, that provide an active training guide for a home workout. Try The Body Coach with Joe Wicks. If you want to try something less intense and easier on the joints, then try Yoga with Adriene also on YouTube
There are many apps one can download to your phone that are a great workout guide. Here are a few: Pear Fitness app, Skimble’s Workout Trainer or The Nike Training Club app.
46. I don’t know to which exercise class to go to
Confused about which fitness class to join? Don’t let that put you off.
The first question to ask yourself is, what I’m doing already? If you already doing a cardio-workout such as running, power-walking, biking or swimming you may want to go to a class that includes strength training and working on flexibility. A cross-training class can help with this.
If you want a general all-around exercise class that focuses on cardio, strength training and stretching, then try Zumba, kickboxing, Spinning, boot camp or step aerobics
If you want something that is more targeted for specific muscle groups, look for a class that focuses on those areas “Upper body”, “Lower body or “Abs class”. There are classes that focus on weight training and muscle toning and include dumbbells and apparatus to achieve those goals.
Yoga focuses on postures that will aid in strength, flexibility, and balance. Barre workouts work on individual muscle groups and stretching.
Yoga stretches muscles in a way that no other class can achieve, as well as breathing and meditative techniques. There are several different forms of Yoga, so choose one that suits your needs.
Barre workouts are good for strength training and core conditioning. These classes focus on stabilizing, lifting and lengthening the body.
47. I’d rather spend my money on something more useful than a gym membership
Gym memberships are peanuts they days.
Pure Gym, is the largest health club in the UK, with over 200 branches. Membership starts at as little as £8.99 a month. For a couple of pounds extra, Pure-gym offers multi-location membership so you can attend near home or work.
There are no long-term contracts or commitments. If you want to dip your toe, you can subscribe on a monthly basis. Besides being fully equipped, with professional instructors and loads of different classes, it’s open 24/7.
There is nothing more important than your health. Keeping in shape is a critical life choice, and should be one of your highest priorities.
If you’re living in the UK, there are over 1500 health club and gym branches all around the country. PureGym alone has over 200 locations.
In the worst-case scenario, there is no local gym or the local gym isn’t suitable, you can or join a different type of sports club, and if necessary, eventually move.
You can even start a local sports group with friends or work colleagues. If that’s not an option you can work out at home with a YouTube video.
49. I prefer Yoga and they don’t have any classes in our neighborhood
No problem. There are plenty of Yoga classes you can subscribe to, free of charge on YouTube. It’s perfect for those that don’t have the time to go to a class, or that don’t have a Yoga class locally.
Try Yoga with Adriene. The advantage is that you can repeat the lessons for anything you don’t understand. There are many forms of Yoga. The most popular Yoga forms are Hatha, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Bikram, Hot, Kundalini and Yin.
50. I look terrible in lycra
Seeing a sexy looking fitness guru with a perfect body in tight lycra doesn’t mean that you should opt for the same outfit. If you’re paranoid about how you look in a tight gym outfit, then wear clothes that feel comfortable.
Loose-fitting shorts and tracksuits are just as good. Clothes shouldn’t be the reason to not go to the gym.
It may take six months or even a year to get down to your target weight. But, nothing is going to change if you don’t start an exercise routine and establish new eating habits.
Wear something practical for training and suitable for your current shape. There are plenty of gymgoers that are overweight, so there’s no need to feel out of place.
Just keep focused on how you’ll look after six months of consistent training and a corrected diet. You’ll soon be in a position to wear the sexiest gear available and will look drop-dead gorgeous.
It’s natural to compare yourself with others. That’s how you learn about yourself, buy putting things in perspective. The problem is when you choose the wrong perspective, that devalues your self-esteem.
The vast majority of trainees that look in great shape and work out regularly don’t start that way. It takes hard work and discipline to train regularly and maintain your fitness. A better perspective is to be proud of the fact you’re making the effort. Something to be respected and admired.
The majority of mainstream health clubs have all sorts of members at different levels, shapes, and sizes. The culture at the vast majority of health clubs is one of inclusion and encouragement. It’s in the interest of the club to attract as many members as possible.
If you go to a club with a culture that alienates newcomers, then change clubs. There are plenty of clubs, that are extremely happy to receive members, and will give you all the encouragement you need.
52. I’m ashamed of my body and embarrassed to even go to the gym
Being ashamed of your body is quite common, especially for people overweight. You’re so sure that everyone is looking at you and judging you.
The truth is, most people are lost in their own world with their minds elsewhere.
Even if someone is looking you with judging eyes, so what? Those who think their superior are the ones with a limited point of view. I personally feel sorry for them. There are plenty of others that will look at you and say, ‘well done for making an effort’.
It takes courage and discipline to go to the gym regularly. Just turning up, is already a major achievement. The harder it is, the more you can be proud of yourself.
Walk around the club and see how many other trainees are out of shape. They’re still making an effort.
If you can’t get your head around that, then find a beginner’s class, with others at the same level. Above all, smile. Never be ashamed of who you are. Your life is a miraculous wonder.
53. The women at my gym lift heavier weights than me. It’s embarrassing
Just for the record, women are often tougher than men and have a high pain threshold. Many women weight-train regularly and can press a high weight. They didn’t start that way. It took hard work and a lot of sweat.
It’s all down to perspective. For some guys, it’s inspiring and a challenge to see women that are ripped and raising the bar.
If it bothers you so much, stop whining and do something about it. Rise to the challenge.
It can be a pain to have someone stare all the time, while you’re working out. It’s a form of sexual harassment and an invasion of privacy.
If you do happen to experience someone lacking self-control with their eyes glued, and it’s a bother, you can either confront the person or report them to the gym’s management.
You can also work out when the club is less crowded. Many clubs are open 24/7. At off-peak times, you can work out on your own, in peace and quiet.
There are clubs that provide same-gender sections. Another alternative is to join a same-gender sports club. These two options may reduce the frequency, but may not eliminate it completely.
The right thing to do is complain about it, especially if you are being harassed. It will prevent it from happening to others.
Local gyms aren’t always so ‘local,’ especially if you live away from town. But there are quite a few ways to get in a good workout instead.
- If the distance isn’t too far, try riding a bike or jogging to the gym. It’s a perfect warm-up before weight training or an exercise class.
- You can also use public transport. Many people do, and it saves on fuel and parking.
- Try different sport or swimming clubs as an alternative. There may be clubs that are closer to home or work.
- You can work out at home, with a spinning bike, treadmill, or rowing machine, and set up an area for weights and use a yoga mat.
- There are plenty of exercise videos on YouTube which are great for a workout, where you don’t even need any special equipment at all.
If you’re serious about your health and getting into shape, ‘having the right gym clothes’ from a known brand is a poor excuse. Your body doesn’t care one iota about any brand.
If you’re looking to buy expensive brands for gym clothes such as Nike, Adidas or Under Armour, then you will pay extra for the brand name. There are loads of offers for inexpensive gym gear available online. Amazon.com lists many brands of gym clothes suppliers a great prices.
If generic brands are not your thing, try T.K.Maxx, which offers overstocks of branded sports gear at reasonable prices. Also try any of the following: Sportsdirect, CAMPMOR, The CLYMB, Sierra Trading Post, Steep and Cheap, and GearTrade
It’s quite common at popular health clubs that the cardio and weight machines are fully occupied during peak hours. However, clubs like PureGym are open 24/7/365 and have memberships with multiple locations for just a few extra pounds.
Some members prefer quieter periods to workout and choose to go at off-peak times in the early morning, afternoon or late evening. PureGym is offering an Off-peak membership that’s even cheaper than a regular membership.
Not only is it a much nicer time to work out; if you need assistance, trainers are much more available to help out.
58. I don’t like crowded places. That’s why I don’t go to health clubs
Many people don’t like crowded places and don’t feel comfortable working out with a lot of people around them. It’s understandable. It’s still not a good excuse for not being active.
There are many alternatives to health clubs— walking for leisure and swimming being the most popular.
There are many sports that don’t involve crowds, such as running, jogging, golf, yoga, tennis, rowing, to name a few.
59. Going to the gym takes so much time out of my day
Let’s say you go to the gym for an hour’s session, 4 times a week. Add travel, showering and dressing, and round it up to 8 hours a week.
That’s 8 hours out of 168 per week, which is less than 5% of your time.
It all about perspective. Think long-term. If you’re serious about your health and you’re self-aware, you’ll conclude that you won’t be young forever. The latter half of your life will be severely affected by your lifestyle when you were younger.
It’s a bit like ‘Value Investment’. The human body has an intrinsic value that isn’t appreciated at the moment. If you contribute to your body’s investment fund as the years go by, you will reap the reward later on.
Try calculating the yield on the activity you can do for years to come, by remaining active and in shape. How much can you achieve when you can still move around and live a quality life?
If you subtract 8 of sleep per day and another 3 hours for eating. It leaves you with 91 hours of activity a week. That’s a 54% return on a 5% investment. Not bad.
However, if you keep trading your fitness for expedient rewards, not only will you not benefit from the body’s intrinsic value, ‘your health’, you’ll spend your most valuable asset on the trading costs. You won’t active when you’re older and will be stuck sitting idle, with no quality of life.
60. I get claustrophobic in the gym
The gym at peak hours is often pact with trainees vying to use the machines and free weights. It can be both frustrating and claustrophobic, trying to use the weights and breathing the stuffy air, in close quarters to everyone else working out. If you want to avoid those conditions, then you can train off-peak, when the gym is relatively empty.
If you can’t stand the gym, then choose another outdoor sport or perhaps go swimming. There are many alternatives to working out at the gym, including running, jogging, walking, tennis, and outdoor team sports. Working out at home can be done on your own, with the help of Youtube guides, with and without gym equipment.
61. I have a disability and it’s difficult to go the gym
Besides being a legal requirement for all health clubs to provide access and facilities for people with disabilities, many clubs go out of their way to assist. Gyms have professional trainers on hand that can help trainees throughout the workout session.
Just one example is trainers assisting trainees with Multiple Sclerosis. It’s hard for the trainees to use the machines without running the risk of falling over or managing the weights correctly. A professional trainer can assist the trainee throughout the session and tailor the training activity to the trainee’s individual needs.
There are shining examples of athletes with prosthetics still working out and competing at the highest levels of athletics. So don’t let your disability put you off.
62. The changing rooms at our gym have a smell mould
If the changing rooms smell of mold, it is probably due to poor ventilation and damp within the walls of the room or changing area.
Damp is a problem that requires the immediate attention of the club’s management.
Mold is a health risk. Mold spores can cause nasal stuffiness, irritation of the throat and lungs, and even cause coughing or wheezing. It can also cause eye and skin irritation. Mould is commonly found on tiles and in the corners of shower rooms and needs cleaning regularly.
If you suspect there is mold, then don’t use the changing rooms. The chances are that if a club is lax about cleaning the changing rooms properly; lacking in the maintenance and cleanliness in other parts of the gym. It’s quite ironic considering it is supposed to be a ‘health club’. If the management refuses to do something about it, then it needs to be reported to the health authority.
If necessary, change clubs.
63. The health club I go to has worn out and broken equipment
It’s quite common for health clubs to have equipment that’s out of order. The questions you need to aks are:
- How many machines are faulty?
- How often does it happen?
- Are the machines placed ‘out of order’, or are they still being used?
- Does it affect my training?
- Is the club doing something about it?
Cardio or weight machines that are constantly out of order could mean the club hasn’t invested in quality machinery. It can also be that the club is very busy and needs a more frequent maintenance routine. If you do notice a machine out of order and still available for use, then it needs to be brought to management right away. Poorly maintained machinery can be dangerous and a hazard to trainees. If the management is not doing anything about, change the club report to management, the reason you’re leaving. There are plenty of clubs that operate with superb facilities. You can even ask to check the club before subscribing.
But don’t let the state of equipment be an excuse not to work out. It’s your responsibility to take care of your fitness, not the gym.
64. The equipment in my health club is cheap with limited functionality
There are plenty of health clubs that have first-rate equipment. So if you’re club has poor equipment, then try to find another one. If it’s the only club in your area, then speak to the management.
If there is nothing you can do about it, then it’s not the end of the world. The most important thing about fitness maintenance is not sophisticated sports facilities, but what you do during your workout and how frequently do you train.
We can make all the excuses we want as to why we don’t train, but the bottom line is that it’s your body and health and it’s only your responsibility for taking care of your health. Don’t let simple gym equipment become an excuse, not to workout.
A perfect example is Pat Mac. (Patrick McNamara). Pat spent 22 years in the United States Army in a myriad of special operations units. It is simply amazing how he trains with the simplest of equipment. Check out this video.
65. The club never has enough weights to train with
During peak hours at a health club or gym, it’s often very crowded. In the free-weights area, there are a limited number of weights at each increment. It’s quite common one has to wait to use the dumbbells needed for a workout. It can be frustrating as it disturbs the flow of the weight training routine.
However, that’s not an excuse to give up. There are several options:
- Do a different exercise while waiting for the weights to become available.
- Consolidate which exercises use the same set of dumbbells while you still have them in your possession.
- Ask oneself, is there an alternative way to do the same exercise, but in a different way, that doesn’t require the same weights? This is a superb way of expanding your repertoire of exercises and creating options for achieving the same goal.
- Change attendance from peak hours to off-peak hours.
The point is, to stop finding excuses that say how I can’t and start asking how I can. It’s a great attitude both for the workout and life in general.
Check out this video from a podcast with Joe Rogan and Pat McNamara. This is creative weight training.
66. The gym subscription is too much of a commitment
Health clubs are not what they used to be. The terms of joining clubs are much more friendly and considerate of members’ needs. You can subscribe on a month by month basis with no long term commitments.
If that’s too much of a commitment, you can pay for a day pass. Alternatively, you don’t have to go to a club. You can workout outdoors on your own or at home.
One way or another, there is no excuse but to start exercising. So put on those shorts or whatever it is that floats your boat and start training today. Your conscience is clearly telling you, it’s an essential part of your life.
Here’s a link to PureGym. No time to waste. No contract Leave anytime.
67. The membership fee at the gym is too expensive
Gym memberships are now at an all-time low. But for any reason you happen to be on a tight budget, you don’t have to join a health club to workout. There are many outdoor sports you can do on your own or with friends. Going for a regular run, jogging or just a brisk walk, will all contribute to achieving fitness and the essential habit of regular exercise.There are plenty of free exercise videos for a home workout. You just need the desire, willpower, and discipline to work out regularly. It’s important to cover cardio workouts for the heart, respiratory system, and general fitness. Additionally, resistance and strength training will maintain muscle mass. It’s also essential to stretch on a regular basis to ease the muscle tissue and joints before and after a workout. There are many forms of exercise that will achieve your fitness goals one way or another. Check out some of the following ideas.
- Martial Arts
- Join a local rec team
Fires have become a concern with some major disasters taking place in the last few years. Clubs are required by law to fulfill fire regulations to receive a permit to operate. Health clubs that are open 24/7 don’t always have staff on the premises, but CCTV cameras are working all the time with security keeping watch. Buildings have emergency fire doors for a quick escape with mandatory extinguishing equipment.
Nevertheless, if you don’t feel comfortable working out at a gym for whatever security reason, one can still train outside the framework of a gym, even at home. One way or another, you can still get a good workout wherever the location.
69. The changing rooms and toilets are full of germs
Changing rooms are full of germs, but you don’t have to use them and you can get changed and shower at home. If that’s not convenient, there are precautions you can take.
- Wear flip-flops everywhere in the changing room, shower, and toilets.
- Wash your hands with antibacterial gel before and after entering the changing room
- Use antibacterial soap or shampoo
- Always use a clean towel
- Use anti-fungal cream and powder after you dry.
- Don’t let your towel touch surfaces in the changing room
- Use a separate towel for showering
- Try to avoid sitting on a bench while undressed
- Avoid shaving at the gym or just before going
- Spray your bag with a disinfectant and wipe it down after use
- Examine your skin regularly for red and inflamed areas, and consult a doctor if necessary.
Don’t let full or overcrowded classes put you off your exercise routine. It can be annoying especially when you’re so motivated to make an effort. There are several things you can do to circumvent the frustration.
- Try off-peak hours. Training when the club is not at peak evening hours is a much more pleasant experience. Clubs like PureGym are open 24/7 and offer a cheaper off-peak membership. You can book exercise classes for eight days in advance. We’re used to doing things according to a specific routine. Try creating new habits by shuffling around your calendar. You’ll discover life from a different perspective and learn what goes on at times you normally wouldn’t do activities. It can be quite enlightening. Don’t follow the herd.
- Another option is trying an external exercise class. Regardless of the time of day, if a particular class is not available, there may be alternative options in your local area. It may even be a better experience than going to a crowded club. The classes may be smaller, and the instructor will give more attention to individual trainees.
- Try a different type of class. Some classes are popular because they’re a fad and heavily promoted. There may be classes you’ve never considered going to, that will change your life entirely. For example, there are at least fourteen different types of Yoga; some of which you can end up in a real sweat by the end of the session.
- Crowded classes are often seasonal. After the Christmas season, people start their new year resolution to do more exercise. The new season begins in January after the holiday eating fest. March is also busier when people start losing weight before the holiday season in the summer. Plan your calendar for those busy periods. You can change to a new type of exercise class you may never have considered before and learn something new.
- If all else fails, there are always Youtube videos. The plethora of exercise class videos available online is breathtaking. You can do the class with a couple of friends at home or on your own. It can be much more convenient.
If you’re on a tight budget, hiring a personal trainer for each workout session can be expensive. It usually costs between £30-£65, for a forty-five minute to a one-hour Personal Training Session (PTS). Prices in London can be slightly higher.
A personal trainer will help you write a program designed for you—taking into consideration your current form and the goals you wish to achieve. A PT will help you keep pace, and there is a higher likelihood you will reach your goals.A PT is not essential for every workout, and certainly not on account of not having a work out at all. Another option is to occasionally hire a PT for just one or two sessions when you want to check your progress. Another less expensive option is to higher a group-personal trainer that will train several trainees simultaneously.
Most health clubs will provide a one-off free instruction with a PT—to set up a training program and explain the exercises and how to use the machines. Trainers are available at the gym for general advice. You can follow the program on your own and occasionally ask a trainer to check on your technique, and if you are on the right track in reaching your targets.
Some tips as to what to expect from a personal trainer:
- Be clear about your goals, e.g. to lose weight, build muscle or improve fitness
- Get to know your individual needs
- Have a good understanding of nutrition
- Set reasonable goals to cope within a realistic time frame
- Be a good listener
- Be knowledgeable and continuously researching new training methods
- Push you to develop and improve
- Cover the basics before starting with advanced training
If you’re starting with exercise class, you need to pick a class for beginners. The focus will be more on technique, and the pace will be more comfortable. Only progress to an intermediate level once you have the basics nailed down.
Each type of exercise class will have different movements and pace. If you are looking for a type of exercise that operates at a slower pace generally, then choose Pilates, Yoga or Stretching.
There are several types of classes from which you can choose. So pick one that’s more suited to your needs. The majority of clubs will advise on the available classes. Here are a few options—Pilates, Yoga, All-in-One, HIIT, Stretching, Fit Ball, Full Body Workout, Fat Burning, Box and Shape, Zumba, Functional Training and more.
To maintain regular training for a prolonged period, you need to train at a level of intensity with which you can cope. If you’re going away from the class thinking that’s it’s hell; inevitably you’re going to give up.
By definition, exercise does mean getting outside one’s comfort zone; otherwise, you wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning.
It could be you are setting a bar that’s too high for yourself, and you should reduce your expectations and targets. If you’re finding your exercise routine too challenging to maintain, then speak to the class instructor or personal trainer. Life-long exercise is not a life-long punishment. It’s something you should thrive on and enjoy.
The last thing you need is to feel uncomfortable at the gym around trainers. There should be no uncertainty about this.
Trainers are supposed to be professional and friendly. However, there is a difference between friendly and flirting. If you feel uncomfortable with the way your trainer is relating to you, and you don’t have the courage to explain how you feel, then speak to management. This principle applies to all trainers, whether it a personal trainer or a general trainer at the club. You’re there to work out and have a positive experience. That should be the focus, with no distractions.
It’s quite common to find trainers with different opinions on how to train. Doctors and other professionals often give conflicting advice. It’s good to get a second opinion, but seeking advice from too many professionals, can be confusing.
Check that the professional trainer you start with is qualified.
Besides exercise techniques, the trainer should have in-depth knowledge about anatomy, nutrition, and is a person that listens to your needs. They should have a professional trainer certificate from a reputable physical training association or the equivalent experience. You can also ask for references from other trainees.
Once you start with a trainer; you feel comfortable with them, and you’re happy with your progress, then stick with the trainer.
‘If it’s not broken; don’t try to fix it.’
A good time to switch trainers is; when you want to try a different type of sport and your trainer is not a specialist in that area.
76. My trainer is difficult to talk to and is unfriendly
Trainers are human as well, and we all have an off day. But, if your trainer is unfriendly then before putting it down to poor chemistry, consider the following:
- Is the trainer listening to you?
- Do you hesitate in speaking your mind?
- Ask around. Does the trainer have a good reputation?
- Is the advice and guidance you’re receiving, professional and tailored to your needs?
- Could it be the trainer is trying to push you towards your goals?
- Are you over-sensitive with unreasonable expectations?
The most important characteristics for a trainer are that they listen, that they are professional and help you achieve results, by reaching your goals.
Training is not a holiday camp. You are here to exercise and push yourself. If you’ve checked all the above, only then consider speaking to the trainer about your concerns, and if necessary, switch to a new trainer.
77. My trainer doesn’t know anything about anatomy or nutrition
Each club has its standard for the trainers it hires. A personal trainer should be qualified and be an experienced fitness instructor.
Recognized qualifications are
- Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing – Gym
- Level 2 Diploma in Health, Fitness, and Exercise Instruction
- Level 2 Diploma in Instructing Exercise and Fitness
- Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training
- Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training
A fitness instructor and personal trainer should be a member of a professional organization, such as the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) or National Register of Personal Trainers (NRPT). A fitness instructor is not the same as a personal trainer. A personal trainer has passed a higher level of training to level 3. A personal trainer must also have public liability insurance and a first aid award, including a cardio-pulmonary resuscitation certificate (CPR).
78. I need to loose weight before I start exercising
Even though being overweight does place a greater strain on the heart and additional stress on the joints, one can still do exercise suited to one’s condition. The right eating habits and diet are even more important. It’s best to consult with a doctor or professional dietician for specific advice related to your condition. One superb sport for losing weight and getting in shape is swimming. It can go along way to minimizing strain on the body and impact on the joints.
There are several benefits to swimming.
- Swimming is good for the whole body.
- It exercises the heart
- Improves muscle tone
- Increases strength
- Improves overall fitness
- Swimming burns calories
- It is less stressful on the joints than other forms of exercise
- Swimming is more suitable for injuries
- It is more suited to people with disabilities
- It’s relatively safe during pregnancy
- It’s suitable for all ages
- Feeling stressed out. Go swimming.
- Swimming greatly improves mood.
- It’s a great skill and is a lot of fun
79. I don’t like getting out of breath
As you age, maintaining fitness through regular exercise is essential. The lack of routine activity that exercises the heart will result in a deterioration in breathlessness with exertion.
An increased level of fitness will reduce how easily one get’s out of breath. The fitter you are the less you will get out of breath doing everyday activities.Heavy breathing on a workout is a small sacrifice, and it will eventually become much more comfortable and enjoyable with regular workouts. It’s imperative to seek advice from a doctor if there is any doubt about your ability to partake in physical exercise and especially if you haven’t exercised for a prolonged period.
80. Exercise makes me sweaty. I don’t like it
Perspiration is the norm for most people that train. Some have a hard time with it. From another perspective, sweat is yet another miraculous design of the body, that is often underappreciated.
Perspiring is the body’s cooling system. The body is equipped with sweat glands, which can be triggered for a number of reasons, some physiological and some psychological. If you’re worried about the odor, it’s down to the apocrine sweat glands that produce protein byproducts such as urea and ammonia.
The odor comes from the bacteria breakdown into fatty acid. Men tend to sweat more easily than women. The smell can be controlled by changing some of the foods consumed that cause the odor— alcohol, veggies such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, asparagus, garlic, red meat, spicy foods can produce body odor.Sweating is actually beneficial. It cools the body down and prevents heat stroke. It also fights germs by producing an antibiotic, dermcidin. Sweat glands also play a role in healing with the production of stem cells from the eccrine glands.Having a good workout to the point of sweating, increases endorphin levels, a hormone that makes us feel better and produces the ‘runner’s high’ — sweating limits the amount of salt and calcium buildup in the kidneys, preventing kidney stones. Sweating makes many people proud they had a good workout and lifts the spirit. So while you’re working out, think about all the benefits of sweating.
81. I have too many aches and pains to start exercising
If you haven’t exercised in a while, it’s natural for the muscles to feel sore for the first few sessions. But, if aches and pains in a particular part of the body persist, then consult a doctor. If soreness is due to an age-related condition such as osteoarthritis or similar, it’s not a case of not exercising, but rather, changing the type of exercise.
Running can be tough on the joints and even a fast pace walk. However, other sports, such as swimming, are ideal for a good workout and far less stressful on the joints. Aside from walking, swimming is the most popular participant sport in the UK and has many benefits, including a full cardiovascular workout and total body muscle toning.
Muscle soreness after a workout is a bit of a paradox. We exercise to get in shape and end-up more incapacitated than before we started.
Bear in mind what’s actually happening. The body is rebuilding itself. There are two types of post-workout soreness — the pain we can expect from unused muscles and the soreness that comes from overworking the muscles.
Muscle soreness peaks around 24-48 hours after a workout. The body is repairing the muscle fibers. Protein replenishment and good rehydration can affect how quickly the muscles rebuild themselves.
Someone just starting to train after a long time of being dormant are much more lightly to feel stiff all over. After working out regularly, the body becomes educated. We learn to differentiate between the rewarding feeling of muscle toning; knowing we’ve challenged the body and the sense that we’ve overdone it and need to give the muscles a rest.
It’s important not to overwork the muscles, so consult with a professional trainer and describe as clearly as possible what you’re going through. That’s why it’s recommended to break-in to the new routine with a comfortable workout. It takes time to develop a workout routine that suitable for your personal needs.
Cardiovascular and weight training are essential for becoming fit and strengthening the body.
However, if your goal is to lose weight, then the type of diet you eat, is more important and a greater determinant as to how much weight you will lose.
Shawn M. Talbott, Ph.D., nutritional biochemist states. “As a rule of thumb, weight loss is generally 75% diet and 25% exercise. An analysis of more than 700 weight loss studies found that people see the biggest short-term results when they eat smart.”
It is often the case that people get even more hungry when they train. If you don’t change the type of food you eat and the quantities, there is a good chance you will actually put on weight. It doesn’t mean you need to eat rabbit food to lose weight. It may just mean changing the type of food, such as reducing sugar and carbohydrate intake. Hydration and drinking plenty of water is also essential as part of any diet.
If you’re having trouble losing weight while training, then seek professional advice about a diet that can be maintained while you continue to train. It can take 2-3 weeks for a diet to kick-in and starting seeing results. The pounds will roll-off at first. The closer you get to your goal, it takes longer to lose weight. But with persistence, it will happen.
It will take time to achieve your goal and will require consistent effort. But if you stick to the plan, you will reach your target weight.
Going to the gym is about maintaining fitness, building muscle strength and keeping the body limber and general good health. Even though there’s a natural tendency to compare ourselves to others, we need to be aware that we are all built differently with genetic differences from birth.
People come in all shapes, builds, and sizes and therefore are suited to different types of sports and training than others. A person shouldn’t base their value on how they look, for that can quickly change and will naturally happen as we age.
We can’t change the body we have, but we can make the best with what we’ve been blessed. The situation can always be a lot worse, so we need to put things in perspective. That’s why the right attitude is essential to maintain motivation and keep up a training routine.
If you’re not reaching your goals, then maybe consult with a professional trainer and re-access your goals, so they’re more realistic and suited to your capabilities.
Above all, we need to be patient. It takes time to achieve training goals. It doesn’t happen overnight and can take months to reach the target. Persistence pays off, so keep going.
As Lindsay Vastola says “Your body achieves only what your mind believes!”
You may be spending hours everyday weight training and you never seem to make any progress. But it’s not just about how many hours you put in. It may mean you’re not lifting heavy enough weights to initiate muscle development. Using lighter weight develops endurance, but you need heavier weights to build mass. A simple way to know if you’re challenging your muscles is if you are struggling to lift the last 2-3 reps on each set.
One hour’s workout with the right weight is sufficient to build muscle mass. Training 3-5 days a week is sufficient. Plan around 5-7 exercises with 2-4 sets in each exercise and 8-12 reps in each set.
Try compound exercises that work on several muscle groups simultaneously, for example, squats, deadlifts, hip thrusts, shoulder press, back row, and bench press. Consult with a trainer to plan suitable compound exercises and schedule.
Recovery is essential, so make sure you’re getting a good 7-8 hours of sleep a night. The correct nutrition after your workout is also important with the right balance of protein carbs and fat. This will differ according to the type of training you are doing and the context of your body weight and genetics. It’s advisable to get professional advice on the correct nutrition for your individual needs.
Running on a treadmill or using an elliptical cross-trainer can get monotonous. But it could be down to not challenging yourself enough. If you’re comfortable using a cardio machine to the point you start to get bored, it may mean you need to increase the pace and intensity. You should feel the need to keep up the pace but not to the point that it’s painful.
Many clubs have machines with tv screens. Another alternative is to do cardio workouts outdoors. Running or fast pace walking in a forest or the country can be breathtaking.
Good music really helps and can motivate and help with rhythm and pace.
One can mix the type of cardio routines. Each type of exercise will focus on a different muscle group, creating a much more rounded routine for the entire body. You can include, running, elliptical, cycling and swimming. Each type of exercise affects the body in a different way and makes the routine much more interesting.
Many people take their training seriously, but some go along just to be able to say, “I go to the club all the time”. In actual fact, they do very little training.
If you fall into the second group, you are only kidding yourself. The best way to check yourself is to measure.
Often attributed to Peter Drucker “What gets measured gets done”.
Write a detailed program including each exercise, detailing the reps, weights, intensity, and length of time. Then be really honest and check off your schedule and development each time, either on your phone or a card.
In theory, you should be upping your game regularly with incremental improvements. Better still ask someone to check your progress and workout with you. You are the only one that really knows how much you are training.
You may be going to the gym, but did you take the time to assess how your training while you’re there?
Did a qualified trainer plan your training program?
Many trainees go along to the gym and attempt a workout, without consulting beforehand with a trained professional.
First, without a clear goal, it’s not clear what you are trying to achieve. Second, you can injure yourself or others with bad form, by mishandling the machines and weights.
Unless you are knowledgeable about training, it’s best to consult with a qualified professional before you start and stick to a clear goal and program.
89. I hate getting too hot
Getting hot when working out is a natural side effect of the muscles producing excess energy and the metabolism reacting to anaerobic and aerobic exercise. The blood vessels in the skin dilate, increasing the blood flow to the skin. Men and women that are fit tend to sweat to a greater extent when exercising in comparison to people that are unfit. People that are fit also tend to start perspiring earlier. The cooling process kicks in faster.A fit body will allow the body to work harder and longer by generating more sweat to compensate for the output of heat. People that are overweight tend to generate more heat.
Another major issue is training outdoors in a hot and humid climate. This can be a serious issue if the body is not cooling down, as it may lead to heatstroke.
Drinking water is essential in mitigating heat build-up. Hot weather stresses the body as it increases the body’s core temperature. Humid weather stresses the body even further, as the heat doesn’t evaporate as well through perspiration.
Symptoms of overheating can be heat cramps, exhaustion, dizziness, and confusion. Heatstroke can come on suddenly or gradually with the body’s temperature rising above 40° C (104.0 °F).
Medical help is critical in these instances. It can also occur if you don’t allow for a cool-down period at the end of a long workout or run. Additional signs are experiencing shaking, nausea, vomiting, weakness, headache, fainting, muscle cramps, sweating and cold, clammy skin. Pay close attention to any of these symptoms, especially in hot weather or intense workouts indoors.
You must drink liquids, preferably water or a sports drink and go to a cool area and seek medical assistance. Remove clothing or anything preventing the heat from escaping the body. Fan the body and cool down with water, a cool towel and ice packs at the neck, forehead and under the arms.
Ways to avoid this are:
- Pay attention to the forecast for heat and humidity likely to arise during your exercise period.
- Become acclimated to the local conditions of where you are training. If you are used to training indoors, your body may not be used to training outside. Understand your level of fitness and tolerance to heat.
- Wear cool clothes, put on sunscreen and a hat.
- Train outdoors in the early morning or evening, when the heat is less intense.
If you are training indoors and overheating and have taken all the necessary precautions along with consideration of your fitness level and weight, it may be due to a medical condition, and you should consult with a doctor.
Under normal circumstances, the body’s ability to expel heat through perspiration will improve as you reach your optimum weight and your level of fitness increases.
90. My knees and hips hurt when I run
There can be several reasons why your knees start to hurt when you run. It can get to the point where you stop exercising, especially if running is the only sport you enjoy. Problems with the knees can occur for several reasons, ITBFS (IT-band Friction Syndrome), Tendonitis, Runners Knee, and a Meniscus or ligament tear.
Many of the problems that cause injury to the knees, tendons, cartilage, and ligaments are due to not performing the right stretches and warming the muscles before exercising.
The right footwear is also important. Over the years we’ve been convinced us that we need well-padded running and sports shoes for arch support and cushioning of the heels.
Christopher McDougall is a proponent of bear-foot running, following the outstanding performance of the Tarahumara tribe in Mexico, that run extreme distances of hundreds of miles.
We run differently wearing running shoes than running bare feet. The heel-strike has long been considered the best running style. But in studying how the Tarahumara achieve such long distances with bare feet, suggests something else entirely. When we run in shoes with a heel-strike style of running, there is more impact on our legs and feet, producing a higher chance of a running-related injury. The extra support that traditional running-shoes provide works against us.
When the shoes are over supported, the muscles aren’t working so hard and become weak. When running barefoot, we run more midfoot and forefoot. There is less impact.
Several running shoe manufacturers have redesigned running shoes based on the original research carried out on the Tarahumara tribe.
Vibram FiveFingers running shoes and have become popular amongst professional long-distance runners, providing a more natural running experience resulting in less sports-related injuries to the legs, hips, and back.
91. I hate blisters and calluses
Blisters can be a big problem. They’re caused by the friction between the socks and skin as they rub together over a period of time. The most common areas are at the ball of the foot and the hallux valgus (bunions), the arches, toes and at the heels. The faster you run, the worse it gets. It can be caused by shoes that are too tight or too loose. The heat and salty water from sweating exacerbate the problem. Bad blisters can put you out of action. The worse thing you can do is peel the blister or pop it with a dirty needle or sharp instrument. The open blister becomes infected, and the problem becomes even more severe. The fluid in a blister can be bled by pricking the skin with a clean needle. The needle should be immersed in alcohol and not burnt with a flame. The carbon from the flame can agitate the wound. Once drained, cover the wound with a plaster or gauze dressing to prevent infection. While the wound is healing, you can soak the foot in Epsom salts once a day, to absorb the weeping fluid and let the wound recover until new skin is formed. If it’s a small blister, you don’t need to pop it. Just let it dry and cover it with a plaster to prevent further rubbing against the shoe. Leaving a closed blister that hasn’t been popped, exposed to air at night (without rubbing against the sheets), will let it heal even faster. Advice from professional athletes to prevent blisters:
- Moisten your feet with skin creams before putting on your socks
- If you run more on your forefoot, wear large pads on the balls of the feet secured along the edges with surgical tape
- Use circular Curad bandages on prone areas
- Clean your feet with alcohol and then cover your feet with Vaseline or similar before a run.
- Cover prone areas with padded tape or plasters before a run
- Wear your socks inside out, so the seams don’t rub the toes
- Or use blister-free socks from cotton with reinforced heels and toes.
- Try Orlon acrylic fiber socks to keep the feet dry and blister-free.
- If necessary, try two pairs of socks for less friction against the shoe.
- Make sure you have the right size of socks and shoes.
- Another alternative is to do nothing and run regularly to allow the skin to toughen.
Whatever you do, don’t let blisters become an excuse to give up running or training.
92. I hate running in the rain and getting all wet
Running in the rain can be a bother to a newbie, especially if you haven’t prepared. There are steps you can take to ameliorate feeling like a soaked dog and make running in wet weather a lot easier.
Getting the right rain gear for running will help for a start.
- Wear a peaked running cap, to keep the rain out of your eyes. A cap designed for running will be porous, allowing for airflow and keep your head relatively dry and protect your head from the wind.
- Wear a couple of top layers when it’s cold and raining. Choose a water-resistant outer jacket with a fabric that still breathes. The inner T-shirt or Tank top should also be a breathable fabric and size to prevent underarm chafing. Don’t overdress with heavy clothes. You’ll get hot, and water-soaked clothes will weigh you down.
- Wear reflector bands on your clothes, so you’re visible to traffic. There are running jackets with fluorescent or reflective fabrics.
- Wet clothes can cling to your body, causing chafing. Use Zink based skin creams or vaseline under the armpits. Guys can wear plasters over the nipples to avoid the shirt rubbing, and girls can wear a sports bra.
- Don’t hang around in your running shoes before the run. Wear older running shoes before the race and start the race with dry socks and shoes.
- Watch the course ahead to avoid large puddles, muddy patches, wet leaves, loose rocks, and stones. Be more conscious of how you tread to prevent slipping, especially when it just starts to rain when oil residue may rise to the road’s surface.
- Change out of your wet clothes and shoes right after the run to avoid losing heat and risking hyperthermia.
It will take a couple of times to get used to running in the rain, but eventually, the experience will change your perspective for the better. Running in the rain toughens you and makes you more resilient to bad weather. It actually can be a lot of fun and quite refreshing.
93. I don’t have enough energy to run
If you’re motivated to run but feel like you never have the right energy, the reason could be physical or mental fatigue.
For physical energy, it can be down to eating the right type of food in general, especially before a run.
Generally, longer distances, require a higher intake of calories.
Another significant issue is what type of run are you going to do. Intense training sessions require more energy in the form of carbohydrates. For low-intensity jogging or walking the body tends to burn more fat and the body needs proteins.
There are tools online that will help you calculate your Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR). It’s even better to seek professional advice on your personal recommended calorie intake and type of food you should be eating.
Instead of eating sugary foods that provide high energy spikes that quickly diminish; eat whole grain foods such as rice and legumes such as lentils. These produce a complete protein with a low glycaemic rate that will distribute your energy levels over a longer period.
Eat honey. The body digests 100% natural honey more efficiently and will provide an energy boost just before a run.
Nuts provide healthy fats, protein, and fiber and are a superb source of energy for runners.
Try to avoid caffeine just before a run as it will create a spike and then drop in energy during a long run.
Stay hydrated with plenty of water before training. Dehydration can seriously affect your energy levels during a long run. Avoid drinks such as alcohol and coffee that will dehydrate the body.
Eat about 2-4 hours before a run to give time for food absorption. Eat the right amount of food according to your activity level and timing.
Do a thorough warm-up with stretching before training to kick in the metabolism. Warming the muscles and increasing flexibility allows the body to work with greater efficiency.
With intense training sessions, you need to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep, to allow your body to recover and reach your peak energy levels.
Mental stimulation and energy are also important. Mixing up your routine with an alternative type of training session will cure boredom. Music that creates a strong emotional response will kick in the body’s adrenaline level. If you watch Youtube videos of professional athletes, it can be a powerful motivator that will drive you during a long run.
So you feel like you have butter-fingers, you’re shots are never on target and you’re always out of rhythm with play.
It could be that you have a problem with your eyesight and need an examination. A pair of glasses or contact lenses may well make a big difference to your level of hand-eye coordination.
Beyond the need for improved vision, there are ways to improve coordination, even as an adult, and practice goes a long way to help.
Try throwing or kicking a ball against a target on a wall and catching or receiving the ball in return. Practicing with a partner can be even more effective and fun, especially when your partner mixes up where they pass the ball and at different speeds and intensities. Learning to juggle will increase the complexity of hand-eye coordination.
Eye exercises can also help by practicing changing your focus from near objects to those that are further away.
Focus is another issue. If your mind is somewhere else during play, then you’re distracted, which directly affects your coordination. Practicing table tennis or even following other people’s play, improves concentration on a fast-moving object.
Beyond having good coordination when playing with a ball, there are other sports that demand good form. Dancing and activities in an exercise class require keeping up with the class. It can be embarrassing and frustrating when you feel out of place with the others in the class.
The first thing to know is that body movement during an exercise class demands practice. Some people have better coordination naturally.
If you are having a hard time, make sure you’re in a class for your level ability. Skill is unrelated to being fit. There may be extremely fit runners, that have absolutely no coordination in an exercise class. Start at a beginner’s class, a place where looking like a klutz is expected. The ability to laugh at yourself also helps. Learning new movements can be fun.
As with anything, practice makes perfect. So keep it up, and in the end, you’ll be teaching others.
Each one of us is the result of our genetic inheritance, passed down from generations before us. But that doesn’t prevent you from making the most with what you’re born. Those are the cards life has dealt you, so make the best of them.
Studies have found that exercise changes the shape and functioning of your genes, improves your health, maintains fitness, and strengthens your immune system.
Human genes continuously turn on or off, depending on the biochemical signals the body receives. When turned on, genes present proteins that initiate physiological processes in the body.
Research has shown that genes activate or become dormant through exercise. Scientists now understand how genes respond to exercise.
Epigenetics is the process of genes changing. These changes occur on the gene’s exterior, through the process of methylation, affecting the biochemical signals from the body.
Exercise changes those methylation patterns, which in turn impacts the genes in our DNA, and what proteins those genes present. By exercising genes expressed improves your health, strengthens your immune system, and reduces the risk for disease.
A single workout leads to immediate changes in the methylation patterns in the genes of muscle cells. It’s still unclear if this has a long-term effect, but regular exercise regulates the methylation patterns, benefitting the longevity of the body’s health.
“Through endurance training — a lifestyle change that is easily available for most people and doesn’t cost much money, we can induce changes that affect how we use our genes and, through that, get healthier and more functional muscles that ultimately improve our quality of life.”
96. I’m so out of shape, it ain’t going to happen
Does it seem an impossible uphill climb even to consider exercising again? You’re not alone. You’re not the first and certainly won’t be the last. Many have come from what appears to be an impossible change to make in their lifestyle. But it’s not insurmountable, and many have succeeded, to the extent, that they would never have imagined.
After six months of making this significant and positive step to one’s lifestyle, it’s a wow. “I did that; this is me?” If you hadn’t witnessed it at first hand, you could never have believed it.
To start, here are some tips.
- Pat yourself on the back, that you’re ready to get moving again.
- Start with daily changes to your habits by climbing small flights of stairs. Where you can; walk instead of taking transport. Walking is the simplest way to get back into working out. Start easy. Go at a comfortable pace. Increase your speed as your fitness develops.
- If you’re unsure about your health in any way, consult with a doctor; especially if you have physical impediments or you’ve entered mid-life.
- If you are joining a gym, consult with a professional trainer and make sure they understand your level of fitness, schedule, and current lifestyle. It’s useful to work with a trainer, especially for the first few sessions to check your form and technique for both cardio and weights. If you’re doing a specific sport, a coach can place you at the right level with appropriate training and homework.
- Read up on how the sport of your choice, affects the body. For example, if you try jogging, it’s necessary to consider running form and which clothes and shoes to wear. Before you start, learn what and when to eat, and about hydration. If you do the sport correctly and in consideration of your level of fitness, it can make for a much more productive, lasting and enjoyable experience. There are beginner running programs you can follow.
- Pick a sport or activity you enjoy. It can be tennis, swimming, even playing catch in the back garden.
- What’s most crucial is to be consistent, even if to begin with, it’s just once a week.
- Warming up and stretching is vitally important, and cannot be emphasized enough.
- Do not overdo it. Often when one has an epiphany that they want to get into shape, they start going crazy, max out and stop in their tracks, just when they got started.
- General cardio activity is necessary. Begin with a simple program to start increasing overall fitness. Equally important, lightweights or resistance training, to tone muscle groups.
- A common mistake is to repeat the same activity month after month; it can get very dull. If you’re building a program with a trainer, try to mix up the activities. It will make your regimen more rounded and healthier for the body.
- Gyms have great classes for beginners. The instructor can check your form while you train.
Above all, start, don’t stop and make it a lifetime experience to enjoy.
97. I always pull a muscle and injure myself, exercising
Muscles get overstretched or torn when we don’t warm-up and stretch before exercising, or we overexert ourselves relative to our level of fitness. Not only do we need to stretch and warm-up before exercise, but we need to keep limber during the week as well. A pulled or torn muscle can result in sudden sharp pain, general soreness, limited flexibility, swelling in the affected muscle region, the feeling of knotting, general stiffness and weakness. It’s important to recognize these symptoms, as one can try to push through it, only resulting in doing even more damage or serious injury. Treat a torn muscle the right way.It’s not just about the intensity of the workout but how limber the muscles are generally. A person that doesn’t stretch and use their muscles regularly can pull a muscle very quickly just by running across the road. Pulling a muscle is more common in cold weather when the muscles are contracted and not warmed up. Each type of sport will work on a different type of muscle group. Know your sport and warm up correctly. One can adapt the warm-up to the type of sport, with a particular focus on specific muscle groups, as well as a general warm-up.
For the sport itself, good posture and form are important. So don’t just guess. Ask a professional’s opinion to check your form. Put the ego aside; it can save a lot of headaches.
Stay flexible and stretch regularly, even if you’re not immediately working out. Check your posture, even if you are sitting in a chair all day.
If you are not sure how to stretch, check out this YouTube video by Tom Merrick. Do this on an often during the week. It will change your life.
98. Prehistoric homo sapiens didn’t do sports
Prehistoric homo sapiens didn’t do sports as we know it today. But they were ‘Persistence hunters’ and were in much better shape than people today. They would beat us hands down, in a fitness test.
Humankind has evolved into a shadow of its former self when it comes to both endurance and strength. Studies from several sources show that humans likely ran long distances to hunt and trap prey. Cervidae, the group of species that include, deer, elk, and moose, are faster sprinters than humans, but couldn’t outlast humans over several miles.
Early humans would chase prey over many miles until the animal keeled over from exhaustion. The Rarámuri (Tarahumara) tribe hunted with bows, and are renowned for their ability to outpace deer and wild birds, that can only fly for short distances. To this day, the tribe still runs hundreds of miles.
Bones from prehistoric homo sapiens were found to be denser than those of humans today, suggesting that early humans ran longer distances. Humans are geared for endurance running, with much less hair and larger sweat glands for cooling the body.
Prehistoric persistent hunters had lean but muscular builds. They didn’t have electronic or even mechanical conveniences for their household chores. They didn’t use horses for getting around. Horses weren’t domesticated until 3,500 BCE
By comparison, the NHS findings on the activity levels Britons today, are shameful. The bar has been set extremely low. “66% of men and 58% of women aged 16 and over met the aerobic guidelines of at least150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week or an equivalent combination of both, in bouts of 10 minutes or more”.
When it comes to fitness, we pale by comparison with our prehistoric ancestors.
Just as I was getting into it, working out regularly, I sustained an injury. It took a lot of effort to get started, and I was doing so well. The injury put me right out of action.
The break has been going on for several weeks and affecting my life in several ways. I’m starting to put on weight; I have less energy; I’m irritable and impatient with everyone. It’s even affecting my self-esteem. What can you do about it?
The first thing to do is to get your head straight. Discern between the facts and suppositions. Consult with a doctor and a physiotherapist and above all, listen to them.
The doctor will determine the actual injury or illness; which activities are permissible and those you should avoid. A good physiotherapist is well-versed in healing injuries and recuperation.
I used to belittle physiotherapists thinking their prowess was overrated. Wow. I was so wrong. My orthopedist recommended I go to one, after doing some tests and diagnosing a hip injury.
It was only after working with a physio for an extended period that I began to understand how knowledgable they really are.
There are so many different options for strengthening muscle groups and alternatives for cardio workouts. I had no idea. In addition to learning new types of exercises and activities, there are nuances to the form of each movement, that take into consideration the injury without exacerbating it.
To begin with, one of the reasons for getting injured in the first place was that specific muscle groups were weak and not doing their job.
Going through the experience, gave me a better education of anatomy and a much-needed appreciation of my body. It also broadened my scope of exercise options, preventing further injury in the future.
As the proverbial phrase states. “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. Be optimistic and have a can-do attitude in the face of misfortune. Don’t suppose anything without determining the facts. If you don’t know the truth and what your options are, then consult with an experienced professional that does.
As a rule, unless exceptionally well trained, animals don’t generally tend to go for a workout. But then again, you won’t find many animals sat in front of the TV and shoving pop-corn or chugging beer down their throats either.
The vast majority of people today lead sedentary lifestyles and are prone to being inactive. Animals in the wild, live according to their natural habitat. They scavenge for their food, that’s not left in a bowl for them every morning. It means chasing after a meal, which keeps them in great shape. The same was for prehistoric man and tribes that hunt for their food, until today.
Most people today take transport to the supermarket and pick up their food from a shelf. The most exertion they have to secure their food is retrieving a credit card from their wallet at checkout.
It’s because so few us hunt for our food or farm for it, that we need to take time to exercise.