This is part 2 of a 3 part series on staying healthy during winter. In part 1 we discussed the difficulties of getting motivated. Part 3 addressed workout/ healthy eating tips. Additional tips will be published in the next issue of our magazine. You can subscribe to receive it right here.
We hate excuses. They are why trips go unplanned, business ventures never start, people never get in shape, and why many other of the world’s ills exist.
Excuses shut you down. Instead of inspiring you to think creatively they end the conversation. So, next time you feel an excuse brewing within that noggin of yours, quickly squelch it and turn it in to a challenge. Instead of, “I don’t have the room to workout in my hotel or small apartment,” ask yourself, “what are some workouts that don’t require much space or little equipment?” First, change the way you think and you’ll find that the ways to get in shape and lose weight, or stay in shape are only limited by your creativity.
Below we’ve put together a few, common excuses that people use to rationalize not working out. I’ve used them myself, or variations of them. To help inspire you to start thinking creatively we’ve put together a response for each of the excuses. Use these as a starting point to get serious about staying committed to working out, and finding a way to make your health a priority.
Life is too short Fallacy
Variations: “I have to work late today.” I’m too busy of a person.” “School takes up all my time.” “I work 60 hours a week.” “I have obligations at home.” “I don’t have the time.”
This excuse revolves around being too busy to care about your health. The common belief associated with this type of excuse is that there are more important things to do, more immediate, pressing issues that must be taken care of. But, what’s more important than you? If you are too unhealthy to work 60 hours a week, to care for your kids, to think clearly in school than what good are all of the other things? Your performance in these other aspects of life will only be as good as you are. If you are not a finely tuned machine, how can you hope to give it your best at everything else you do?
My body should be respected Fallacy
Variations: “Today was a long day, but I’ll work out tomorrow.” “I’m hungry.” “I need to watch the football game tonight.” “I need to meet my colleagues for drinks.” I’m tired.” “I’m sore.”
You’re body doesn’t always know best. You have a mind, so use it! Tell your body what it wants, not the other way around. Don’t give in to the sores, You’re probably tired because you don’t work out. You’ve fallen in to a self-fulfilling prophecy and a vicious circle. You have no energy because you don’t work out. You will not work out because you don’t have the energy.
Yes, your day may have been long. You may be "meeting-ed" out. Travel is exhausting, both mentally and physically. Any time that I’ve found myself tired, and somehow found the motivation to work out, even for 20 minutes, I’ve felt more energetic. Elevating your heart rate and putting a strain on your muscles helps to shake things up a bit. By elevating your level of discomfort and breaking out of the norm, you make yourself more equipped to deal with the norm. Your body begins working more efficiently and builds up strength, both of which translate into more energy throughout the day. If you can motivate yourself to push past your tiredness those first few times, your body will grow accustomed to the new routine and you’ll actually begin to feel tired and unhealthy if you don’t work out.
If you keep your body in motion you’ll be surprised by the amount of energy you have. When you develop a routine of lounging around after work, having a few drinks at the bar, or taking a nap your body will form itself to that lifestyle.
External Factors Fallacy
Variations: “I’ll start again this summer, I needed a break anyways.” “I don’t know this area and am scared to run alone.” “The weather looks nasty.” “That food looks disgusting.”
Getting healthy can be scary. Healthy foods may not taste as good as those high-fructose corn syrup delights you’ve been living on. The snow, ice, cold, or rain can destroy your ambition to workout. Just look outside. It’s -20 right now. Or, it’s a blizzard out there.
I’ve found that when you live somewhere with long, cold, nasty winters you must pick your battles. Get outside on the sunny, warmer days to remind yourself of how rewarding staying fit can be. Otherwise, keep your workouts indoors. Don’t have a lot of space? Don’t worry, push-ups and sit-ups only require a floor space big enough for your body. So do squats, and a plethora of other body-weight exercises. Too easy? Have you tried doing a push-up with your feet on the couch? Or with your hands on two dining room chairs? Even such things as kettle bells, maces, and a few dumbbells don’t take up a lot of space. Resistance bands, concentration mitts, and gloves, are light and can easily fit in a travel bag. Or, if you need the help of other people to stay motivated, join a gym.
Variations: “I’ve always had a fast metabolism.” “I’m young and spry.” “I’m still in better shape than you.” “I’m invincible.” “I’ll start working out when I get older and need to.”
When you’re young and just living the dream it’s tough to see the value of working out. You’re already as skinny as a toothpick. You naturally have a six pack. You can drink a case of beer and feel great the next day. But, someday that six pack is going to disappear behind a layer of pudge, and that skinny little body of yours is going to fill out. Even if you don’t need it now, staying healthy puts you into a good routine for when you do need it. If you make the time for it now, you won’t have to worry about finding the time later. Working out and eating healthy will be a habit for you and less painful down the road.
Think of it as preparing for the future, investing in yourself. While the benefits may be less now, the establishment of a system, the years of trial and error with workout routines, eating habits, etc before it becomes imperative will make the transition to staying healthy painless, because there will not be a transition! Start now, while it requires little effort and work on your part and make health part of your lifestyle. Your future, fit self will be thanking you.