A wise man once said, “You can either have excuses or fitness, but not both”. So which do you choose to have? What would you prefer to have? Personally I would prefer to have fitness, not excuses. But I have many, many excuses for avoiding exercises and eating healthy foods. My biggest problem is getting past those excuses.
How can I (and you) overcome those excuses to become fitter and healthier? Hmmm… maybe we should start by writing out our excuses? Then we can analyze them and determine a way to work around them. I’ll share mine first
My excuses are:
- I can’t afford a gym membership.
- My hubby travels a lot for business and my kids are too young to leave home alone while I go out and exercise.
- I’m too tired in the evenings after work to exercise.
- I’m too tired in the mornings before work and my mornings are far too chaotic and hectic to be spending time working out (ie: wrestling my “cats” into clothes, daycare and school drop-offs etc..)
- I don’t have time in the morning to pack a healthy lunch or eat a good breakfast.
- I don’t have a lot of time in the evenings to prepare healthy dinners.
Now let’s pick apart those excuses of mine one by one.
- Gym memberships are expensive no doubt about that – but a gym membership is not necessary for getting fit and healthy. Nike has said it best, “The roads are always open” – roads and sidewalks are always available to go for a walk, jog, bike ride or roller blade. Even the snow is not a good excuse – think of it as extra resistance. There are many other ways to burn more calories at home. www.squeezeitin.com has many suggestions and ideas on how you can add some strengthening exercises to your daily household chores, as well you can do exercises videos, and Wii Fit and EAS Active exercises, or even dance to some music. It really doesn’t matter what you do, the overall goal is just to move around and raise your heart rate for 30 min a day.
- Young children can’t be left home alone – but they certainly can accompany you on a walk and if your kids are like mine they love the extra attention of being chased. They also love dancing, pretending to be animals crawling around the house or just plain making fun of mom and dad doing silly things. Older kids enjoy bike riding and roller blading. Incorporating kids into your workout is a great way to kill a few birds with one stone – it entertains the kids, sets a great example for them and helps to make you healthier.
- If you’re like me your day is hectic and busy – the last thing you want to do when you get home is to workout. Being at home is a time for vegging out on the couch, right? Are you lucky enough to have a one hour lunch break? Or could you go into work a little earlier to earn a one hour break? Lunch is a great time to go for a walk or a jog and it really helps to clear your mind to focus on your tasks in the afternoon. Besides – who needs an hour to eat a sandwich and a handful of veggies?
- Mornings… yuck!! They’re such a rush and stressful time! In point #3, I mentioned that lunch is a perfect time of the day, are you lucky enough to have an employer that encourages a Healthy Workplace and Work/Life Balance, so that offers flex time? My employer allows me to go in early on Mondays to workout at lunch, then take a short lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays to build up extra time to workout on Wednesdays and Fridays.
- Don’t you love the morning drive-thru line-up? A good breakfast doesn’t have to be complicated! Juice, a banana and ½ a bagel with peanut butter or almond butter is far faster than the Tim Horton’s or Dunkin’ Doughnuts drive-thru line-ups and can also be eaten during the morning commute (they also are easier on the environment because there is less excess packaging). A healthy lunch? With a little planning that can be packed the night before. Some ideas are sandwiches, soup, left overs, fresh fruits and veggies, cottage cheese, yogourt etc.
- Ahhhh – the week night dinner rush aka the bane of my existence. Don’t you hate, hate, hate trying to prepare meals with kids hanging off of my legs whining that they’re hungry; they want someone to play with them etc… However on the weekends there’s lots of time to prepare stews, chilli, soups and other crock-pot meals to freeze and warm up on week nights. Kids also love to help out and getting them involved in the process (throwing the ingredients into the crock-pot) is a great way to get them excited about the meals they helped to prepare. I also find crock-pot dinners have more veggies in them than the quick fix chicken fingers and fries. Other dinner ideas are: build-your-own pizza night on Weight Watcher’s english muffins, finger food night (crackers, cheese, cold cuts, fresh veggies etc…).
Now when we really look at it, I don’t really have any excuses left. With a little preparation I can take the stress out of my mornings by preparing my lunch before bed, and take the stress out of dinner by preparing meals on the weekends. Exercising can be squeezed in amongst my regular chores thanks to ideas provided by www.squeezeitin.com, and I can run around and play with my kids outside before dinner because of the time my prepared meals have freed up. As for my lunch time fitness? I’ll be running 6-8km on Mon, Wed & Fri to train for a few half-marathons this year.
Now it’s your turn – Which are you going to have this year? Excuses or fitness? What are your excuses? How can you overcome them? Can you eliminate stress with a little time management and planning? Would you mine sharing your ideas in the comments?