We all run into road blocks in our life that make it challenging to exercise regularly, even if exercising is something we love to do. One of the most frequently mentioned challenges to working out is finding the time to exercise. Who hasn’t felt as if there are just not enough hours in the day? Other common obstacles might be a lack of motivation or a feeling of selfishness or guilt when considering devoting time to yourself, as opposed to your family or work.
At the end of the day, however, these are all excuses. With the overwhelming amount of illness, diseases and concern for healthy living in our society, I find it more important than ever to be sure you are taking care of your body.
The following are some recommendations that have helped myself and others overcome some of the obstacles mentioned above:
1. Plan your day to allow for time spent exercising. I know from personal experience that unless I plan something out as part of my daily schedule, I’m far less likely to complete the task, whatever it may be. I’m sure I am not alone in falling into this trap. The best approach to making sure you find time to work out is to proactively plan that time into your day.
2. Leave the guilt behind. There is only one person that can take care of your health and that is YOU! Nobody else is going to do it. If you don’t take an active approach to improve your life or your health then those you are closest with will eventually feel the burden. And the burden on friends and family of coping with your failing health would be far greater than the burden they may face when forced to accommodate your work out schedule. Let go of the guilt.
3. Join a group or find a workout buddy. In a future blog I’ll be discussing my own experience with group exercise at the Boot Camp Challenge held in Malta, NY. It was a wonderful experience promoting health and fitness in a supportive group atmosphere. I know for me, even though I fully understand the importance of exercise and a healthy lifestyle, I can struggle with keeping consistent in my workouts if nobody is holding me accountable. Consequently, when I have a class to attend, very rarely do I miss that class, as I will have to answer to others for my absence. Working out in a group setting can be a great motivator. If you have at least one person to work out with, they depend on you just as much as you depend on them. Hold each other accountable and get moving!
You are the only person that can control where life takes you and if you are able to do the things you want to do. Sure, prioritizing your health takes planning, hard work, and plenty of motivation. Like all challenges, getting fit or staying in shape can be easier with the support of others. Ultimately, though, it’s important to take a deep look into yourself. Plan better. Stop feeling guilty. It is your body and you only get one. Take care of yourself!
Alison Synakowski, PT, DPT, OCS, ATC, CSCS
Certified Sportsmetrics Instructor
Sports Physical Therapy of NY, PC
1 West Ave, Suite 150
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866