- Not So Bad, Huh?
Exercise does not, I repeat, does not have to be a chore! You can and will find a form of exercise that you will actually look forward to. It may take a while, but you will.
Experts say the most successful exercisers usually work out for about an hour a day. If you're going to spend an hour of your time doing it, you might as well be doing something you enjoy.
Trying something new or going back to an old favorite will often do the trick.
Were you a real water baby? Swimming strengthens your muscles and works the cardiovascular system, so why not take a dip? The pool will also provide resistance for exercise, help tone you up and provides a safety net for joints.
Were you a round-ball fanatic in high school? Pick up a game at the park. Basketball strengthens and tones your whole body with plenty of sprinting and jumping.
Just getting more active in general will go a long way in helping you get fit. Tossing a ball to Fido, gardening, or playing with the kids will all help in the long-run.
- Balancing Act
If you're intimidated by the idea of joining an exercise class because your balance isn't so great, you can work on it at home before ever stepping foot in the Y or fitness center.
Try standing on one leg at a time while bending the other up. Hold on to the bending leg if need be. Try it first in front of a full-length mirror, then try closing your eyes. Rest a hand on nearby furniture in you need to, but don't use it to help balance yourself. Close those eyes and try bending down with your raised leg and then start over again. After you've done so a few times, try alternating legs.
Finally, try starting a really easy exercise video in your own home, such as Richard Simmons or a basic Leslie Sansone walking video. You will be amazed at how much more coordinated you can become in just a little while.
- Not a Morning Person?
Maybe the reason you don't want to work out is because you're a night owl trying to work out in the a.m. Despite the fact that we've heard for years the morning is better for exercising to increase calorie-burning all day long, there are also those who say other times of the day offer their own benefits.
For example, a few years ago, the American Council on Sports Medicine said working out the afternoon is ideal because your flexibility and strength are naturally higher then. Those factors lead to a reduced risk of injury as well, which is important for beginners.
Bottom line? The best time to work out is when it's right for you, not the experts. And the best time for you is any time you're going to consistently do it.
- Track Your Progress
Stay motivated by keeping a fitness journal and you're less likely to put off working out for another day. Seeing success in black and white is a great way to stay on track whether you're recording workouts or food intake.
Jot down the type of exercise you did, the duration (sets or reps if strength-training), intensity, your feelings before and after, and any other helpful notes. Chances are, when you read how great you felt after most of your work outs, you'll want to get that feeling back today, too.
- Variety is the Spice of Life
Last but not least, you may not have the urge to get moving today because you're just plain tired or burnt-out. If you find you're feeling run-down, try varying your exercise routine. Nothing brings on burn-out faster than doing the same old thing every day.
By varying your choice of exercise, you will give your muscles (and yourself) time to recover. Alternate easier and tougher workouts to help build back up. And don't forget the importance of getting eight full hours of sleep every night; a few extra Z's can do wonders for your mind and body.