5 Excuses Not to Exercise…and Crushing Them
Running, swimming, kickboxing, CrossFit, yoga, circuit-training, tennis, Curves, Pilates, soccer. You name it, I’ve been committed to it. For a season. Or a month. Or a week. I enjoy being active and moving my body but then I had 3 kids and between childcare and military moves, daily exercise fell further down my list of priorities until it had faded to a distant memory.
At that point, chasing toddlers and the occasional wine run was my cardio.
And then an injury landed me in physical therapy and I could only wish for a vibrant, healthy body that could run, lift and hike. Not being physically able to exercise was the catalyst for being more determined than ever to make working out a daily habit.
I’ve talked myself out of exercising so many times, I’m giving you my top 5 excuses for not breaking a sweat and how you can get over that hurdle that’s keeping you from being the healthiest version of yourself:
- I Don’t Have Time: We all have 24 hours each day, that’s a fact. You might work, you might have several children in your charge, you may be in the middle of a stressful season, but if your health is important to you, you’ll find 30-60 minutes a day to invest in your fitness routine. Priorities make it on the calendar as appointments. Write it down and don’t cancel on yourself. You wouldn’t cancel on a date with a friend, would you?
- I Don’t Know Where to Start: Have you checked out the base gym? Seriously, facilities will vary, but it’s a free or low-cost way to gain access to quality equipment and maybe your new favorite class. My all-time favorite class was a kickboxing class I took at the Pearl Harbor gym. All those nights hubby had duty? I’d work it out on the heavy bag. And I didn’t think I had much aggression in me, but the stress relief was undeniable. Have you tried ClassPass? It’s the best way to try different studio classes without a membership to one gym. Buy online and visit thousands of participating studios nationwide. Anything with an app, and I’m in!
- I’m at a Healthy Weight: So was I when I hadn’t exercised in 9 months and then suffered an injury. It was a wake-up call to the protective aspects of weight-bearing exercise. Are you a military spouse? Then your life is stressful, period. If you are prone to anxiety (like me), that adrenaline needs to go somewhere and exercise is the best way to release stress and regulate hormones. Pent-up adrenaline can lead to disastrous physical symptoms of anxiety. No good. Work it out instead!
- I Don’t Have Childcare: I used to tell myself this too when I had 2 little ones and trying to keep up my pre-baby running routine. Rookie mistake. Any new mom will tell you the gym childcare is where it’s at. Risking pink eye and the latest toddler virus, I got smart and started using the 2 hours of dirt-cheap gym childcare. This allowed me to try a spin class, talk to a friend and even use the bathroom in peace. Worth the pink eye? It’s debatable. Another option is to head out the door for a run while your spouse holds down the fort with the kids and then switch, allowing you both to get your workout in.
- I’d Rather Sit on my Couch & Drink Wine, Eat Ice Cream, etc: So would I. And maybe there’s time for that later, who knows. But you aren’t getting any younger. I know you have goals and it’s time for you to make yourself a priority. You are worth it! I know you don’t think twice about driving your daughter across town for her dance class and your son never misses a soccer practice. You deserve to schedule an hour for your fitness as well.
During an extra stressful season in my life (#deployment), my friend picked me up, handed me grippy ToeSox and drove me to her barre studio. I am not a dancer, ballerina or graceful by any stretch of the imagination. I’m more at home on the soccer field, but I’ve found a love for the social aspect and full-body workout barre provides. I’m totally hooked. And I’ve since bought my own sparkly ToeSox that make me want to go to class.
At the end of class during yoga poses and final stretching, our instructor asks us to take a deep breath for ourselves. And then take a deep breath for someone else.
I often breathe for my formerly injured self who was curled up in bed without strength to lift a gallon of milk. I also breathe for my friend, an IronMan, who was in and out of the hospital recently, unable to move her body the way she wanted to. I used to rush out of class before stretching finished, hurrying to my next errand.
Now, I stay and look forward to the final breaths we take together as a group, celebrating what our bodies are able to do, instead of viewing exercise as a punishment.
Join me in celebration this week, won’t you?