Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Top 10 Exercise Excuses BUSTED!

Hey healthy people! How's it going? It's been a couple of weeks but I'm back! I hope my last post, "Don't talk about it, BE ABOUT IT!", inspired you. It sure inspired me! I want you to know that when I write these posts, I'm not just talking to you, I'm talking to myself, too! Sometimes I need that pep-talk just as much as you! So I've held myself  accountable to the "don't talk about it, be about it" motto as well, starting out this year giving myself a 30-day challenge, "The "Start 2012 Out Right: 30-DAY FAST" Challenge", which for me means no meat of any kind - this includes seafood, chicken, turkey, beef... basically anything that has a face (but I'm not going the vegan route, which would mean not eating anything that comes from an animal, such as milk, cheese, eggs... etc.). Why the no-meat challenge? Well, one of my life goals is to try being a vegetarian for a year. I have nothing against people who eat meat, I was a big meat eater myself, and wearing fur or leather is no big deal to me. It's strictly a health decision. I just feel like it's a healthier way of eating. I can honestly say that since being meat-free for 3 weeks, I feel better internally. And why wouldn't I? With my diet mainly consisting of fruits & vegetables. :) The challenge is for 30 days, but I figure I'll take 30 days at a time, month by month until I've completed a year. And if I can go a year, maybe another year... and another... and another, until I can truly say "I'm a vegetarian." For now, one month at a time, but so far, so good. There are lots of meat-free alternatives that I already knew about and new ones that I'm finding out about everyday, so I will eventually make a post on some of my favorites at a later time.

But this post isn't about nutrition, it's about the other 50% that makes for a healthy body, and that's FITNESS. Exercise is one of those things that I find people either love or hate. Years ago, I was one of those people who hated it, and as a hater, I had all the typical excuses. Now as a a lover of exercise I know that those excuses were just that, "EXCUSES", which fail to really be valid reasons for not exercising. Regular exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, it's not only a key ingredient in weight loss but also helps many of the body’s systems function better. It’s time to take some of your most common reasons not to exercise, and transform them into renewed fitness motivation! I've compiled a list of the top 10 exercise excuses and busted them! Check it out!

Top 10 Exercise Excuses

Excuse No. 1: 'I'm Too Busy.'

Everyone has said at one time or another that they’re too busy to exercise. But it’s just a matter of setting priorities. If you want to exercise, it’s just a matter of MAKING THE TIME, whether that means getting up an hour earlier in the morning or taking an hour for lunch and walking with co-workers rather than chatting away in the cafeteria. Need more fitness motivation? A large study in Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association, found that women who walk for exercise reduce their stroke risk over those who are sedentary.

Excuse No. 2: 'Exercise Is Boring.'

Sure, walking on a treadmill every morning for 30 to 60 minutes can be a bit of a snore. So can riding on a stationary bicycle at the gym. But exercise doesn’t have to be boring at all! The key is to find an exercise that you like — and with choices as varied as swimming, skiing, tennis, yoga, Zumba, and more, finding a fitness method that works for you should just be a matter of trial and error. Another way to combat boredom is to change your exercise routine every six to eight weeks. I know that this definitely works for me. Being the fitness dvd queen that I am, I have dozens of dvds that I can not only switch every 6-8 weeks, but weekly or even daily! Not only does variety help with boredom, but it makes your workout more challenging and can also get you over a weight loss plateau if you experience a stall on the scale.

Excuse No. 3: 'I'm in Too Much Pain.'

Granted, you won’t feel like working out if your muscles are sore or you suffer from joint pain or arthritis, but when done right, exercise can actually help you manage your pain better. In one recent study, yoga was found to improve symptoms of back pain more than traditional treatment methods, plus, exercise will strengthen the muscles that support your joints, and keep your bones strong and healthy. Low-impact routines such as water aerobics are particularly effective for arthritis because they won’t stress your joints.

Excuse No. 4: 'Joining the Gym Costs Too Much.'

Gym memberships can get pricey, and any amount is too much if you don’t use your membership. But cost shouldn’t be an excuse for not working out. One of the best free things you can do is start a walking routine. You can walk anywhere! And the only cost is a comfortable pair of shoes. Studies show that walking can help with weight loss, which can help ward off diabetes. If walking doesn’t excite you, you can do many other free exercises, like biking, dancing, or even gardening or vacuuming. You can also invest in a few simple pieces of at-home exercise equipment and follow workout DVDs or routines you can download from the Internet for free.

Excuse No. 5: 'I'm Too Fat to Exercise.'

If you dread going to the gym because you’re afraid other people will stare, choose a different place to exercise, at least until you’ve had some weight loss success. And when you combine exercise with a healthy, low-calorie diet, you will see some success. Weight loss is a matter of fewer calories in (eaten) than calories out (burned), and exercise is an important part of the equation. Also, get over worrying about what you look like in gym clothes. You will feel so much better about yourself after you exercise for a few weeks that you will look forward to getting ready for the gym and heading there.

Excuse No. 6: 'I'm Not Coordinated Enough.'

You don’t have to be a superathlete to exercise. Maybe tennis isn’t for you if you’re afraid of the balls coming at your head, and you might be too short to dunk a basketball, no matter how hard you try. The key is finding an exercise you enjoy and that matches your skill level. At first, resist the urge to compare yourself to others, and focus just on the improvements you can see and feel yourself making. Once you start to exercise regularly, you’ll be amazed at what you’re capable of.

Excuse No. 7: 'It's Too Hot' or 'It's Too Cold.'

Extremes in the weather are common excuses for not working out but shouldn’t be. If it’s too hot or too cold outside, you always have indoor options. Go to the gym, where it’s air-conditioned or heated, or for a walk around the mall, where it’s climate-controlled. If it’s hot when you exercise, be sure to drink enough water to stay hydrated — dehydration can be dangerous. If it’s cold outside, dress in layers to trap your body’s heat.

Excuse No. 8: 'I'll Mess My Hair.'

Many women (and some men) who spend a lot of time and money to perfectly coif their hair can be a bit hesitant to mess up their ‘do with a sweaty workout. So much so that the current U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin told listeners at a trade show that they should stop letting their hair get in the way of their health. If you’re worried about your hair, apply a little extra hair spray before you head out for a run or wear a headband to soak up sweat from your forehead. Another option is to keep dry shampoo and a blow-dryer in your gym bag so you can touch up your hair after working out. And at the end of the day, you have to ask yourself this question: Is not having "bad hair" worth more than your health? Answer: NO WAY!

Excuse No. 9: 'I Partied Too Much Last Night.'

Well, my first piece of advice to you would be to drink so much where you are getting drunk and hung over (drinking that much isn't good for your body or mind). But since I'm not your mother, I'll say I realize when you’re hung over that it’s tempting to stay in bed all day drinking water, but a simple hang over is not a good excuse for failing to exercise. In fact, a little exercise can be just thing to help you feel better: working out will get blood flowing to your muscles and oxygen to your brain. Just be sure to drink extra fluids, he adds. Alcohol is a diuretic and can cause you to urinate more, so drink water to avoid becoming dehydrated.

Excuse No. 10: 'I'm Too Tired.'

Once you drag yourself to the gym after a long day, you’ll be surprised that you’ll feel better and more energized — not more exhausted. Working out improves muscle strength and boosts endurance. It gets your blood flowing and your cardiovascular system working more efficiently. And the more efficient your heart and lungs, the better your blood is able to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. When your tissues have the oxygen and nutrients they need, you have more energy. Also, when you exercise regularly, you sleep better, and when you sleep better, you have more energy to meet the day.

So... did I cover 'em? All the excuses we've all used from time to time to get out of our workout? I think so. As you can now see, there's really no excuse. And with all of the benefits that you get out of working out, some that can actually relieve any of the excuses you have for not wanting to workout, why even fight it? JUST DO IT! :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Don't talk about it, BE ABOUT IT! (In other words: "JUST DO IT!")

"It always seems impossible, until it is done." ~Nelson Mandela

Hey fitness peeps! It's the first post of 2012!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  I've been blogging for almost 2 years! Can you believe it? I never thought I would be the type of person to write a blog, but here I am. It all started with a friend telling me that I should start one because she saw the enthusiasm I had about fitness & nutrition. I procrastinated for a long time, but finally I decided to give it a try. And now, dozens of people read Confessions of a Fit Girl and benefit from it. I benefit from writing it. I love sharing, motivating, and encouraging others! It's a win/win situation! But it never would have happened if I hadn't decided one day to go ahead, set the blog up and start writing. And that's my message for you in this first post of 2012: Don't talk about, BE ABOUT IT!

It's January 2nd, the start of a new year, don't let this be another year where you talk about doing something and never do it. Whether that be losing weight, eating healthier, starting a new hobby, going back to school, ... etc. I mean really, what are you waiting for? What's the hold up? Are you scared? Don't worry, that's normal. There's always going to be some level of fear involved in something that's going to change your life as you know it. And there's the cause of the fear right there, the whole "change" part. We, as humans, often fear the unknown, but there's no need to be afraid of change. I often think back to where I would be now if I hadn't decided 4 years ago to lose the weight. I was 229 lbs, a very unhealthy weight for a female who only stands 5ft.4 inches tall, having occasional heart palpitations, and unhappy with not only the way I looked, but I later found out, I was unhappy with who I was a person, too. Losing that weight changed my whole life! But not in a bad way, like we often think of when we think of change, but in an AWESOME way! Feeling better about myself on the outside, changed the way I felt about myself on the inside!And my life has never been the same!  

So I'm here to say to you today that no matter what you may have been procrastinating about in 2011, just do it in 2012! Don't wait! Don't put it off! You can do anything you put your mind to! Don't be afraid or doubt yourself any longer! Make a goal and stick to it, and whenever you have any kind of doubt, picture where you will be January 2nd, 2013 if you stick to that goal and where you will be if you quit. Your choice effects that picture drastically. In other words: "JUST DO IT!"