15. May

4 health and fitness excuses you need to stop making right now!

If improving your health and fitness was one of your New Year’s resolutions, it’s possible that you’re still powering ahead, working incredibly hard to reach the goals you set yourself.

Or, you could be like many other people, whose resolutions start to fade out as the excuses roll in. It’s common for us to lose sight of our goals a few months into the year, but it would be a huge shame to undo all of that great work.

Excuses, excuses

Everyone is guilty of putting off exercise or healthy eating when we “just don’t feel like it.” We’ll use every excuse under the sun in our attempt to justify our decision to not go to the gym after work, or to opt for pizza over salad for dinner. But excuses are rarely valid reasons – we just use them to make ourselves feel better!

So, here’s how you can overcome four of the most common health and fitness excuses. Do any of them ring a bell…?

 

Excuse no. 1: “I don’t have enough time”

Time is the one thing we wish we had more of, but exercise needn’t take up hours of your day. Take the popular 7-minute workout apps, for instance, which feature short and effective routines for people with busy lifestyles.

If you regularly use time (or rather, lack of it) as your excuse, think of how to better structure your day. If you spend two hours a night watching TV, could one of those hours be spent exercising instead? Or could you make more time by setting your alarm an hour earlier and heading out on a refreshing morning run?

Excuse no. 2: “I hate the gym”

If the very thought of working out in a room full of sweating strangers makes you anxious, you’re not alone. But exercise doesn’t start and finish in the gym; there’s an almost-endless list of ways you can get your heart rate rising – the trick is finding what works best for you.

For instance, if you lack motivation when working out alone, you could join an evening class, or see if a friend would like to join you for a twice-weekly run. If you don’t like running or cycling on busy roads, try fell running or mountain biking. It’s a simple case of trial and error; when you find your perfect exercise, you’ll look forward to working out and your motivation levels will be sky high!

Excuse no. 3: “It’s difficult with kids”

Having a young family usually means a busy household, but it actually gives parents plenty of opportunities to get out there and get active! From weekend, family bike rides to playing football in the park, to walking to and from school, life with children should inspire you to be and stay active. Besides, all that running around you do for them is sure to burn off some calories!

The NHS advises that children should be active for three hours every day. They’ll be running around during breaks in school, but it’s your job to top up those minutes when they come home. Planning family activities which encourage an active lifestyle ensures your little ones – and you – stay healthy and sets a great example.

Excuse no. 4: “I’m too busy to prepare healthy food”

When you work all week and get home late, it’s all too tempting to buy lunch out and pop food in the oven to save time. But ‘convenience food’ is unlikely to offer as many health benefits as preparing and cooking from scratch. Plus, buying lunch instead of making it works out far more expensive.

What many people find effective is to make their week’s meals in batches on a Sunday afternoon. This might involve cooking up a hearty veggie chili for dinner to last several nights; making overnight oats with deliciously creamy, protein-packed Ísey Skyr to prevent you skipping breakfast; or filling five lunchboxes with chicken pasta salad for your lunch at work. Making meals in batches will cut down on preparation time significantly, and help to keep your healthy eating on track.

Few things beat that sense of achievement when we overcome our excuses and work hard to achieve our health and fitness goals. Hopefully, with our top tips, you won’t catch yourself making excuses ever again!