Don’t Let These Common Excuses Get In The Way of an Active Lifestyle!
Summer’s well and truly here and the call of the great outdoors is getting harder and harder to ignore. It’s the time of year for long walks in the park with your family, morning jogs and . It’s a time for camping trips, garden parties and barbecues. It’s that time of year where we bid adieu to the sofa, television and our mobile devices and start leading the active lifestyle that our bodies were made for.
Getting off our bottoms and into the sunshine isn’t just the appropriate way to start enjoying the seas, it’s a must for our health as well. Sitting is a relatively new configuration for our bodies and we haven’t properly evolved to spend long periods of time doing it. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyle means that we spend most of our time seated either at a desk, in the car, at the dinner table or on the sofa. And all that sitting can put a lot of pressure on the organs in charge of keeping us alive. And that can result in some pretty serious health risks. Sitting for long periods day in and day out can not only increase our risk of heart disease and diabetes but even some forms of cancer.
Yet, in spite of this, it can be tricky finding the time, energy and motivation to get up, get out and get active. If you struggle to stay active despite a desire to get out there and enjoy the season, don’t worry. It’s not because you’re lazy or ill-disciplined. It’s probably because the modern lifestyle has conditioned you to think and behave a certain way. We human beings tend to avoid doing things which are difficult or uncomfortable, and we can find ourselves making certain excuses. While this is understandable, it’s a behaviour that’s best un-learned. Don’t let these common excuses get in the way of having a healthy and active summer…
I don’t have the time
We Brits have always prided ourselves on being a hardworking and industrious nation. Yet, today’s Brits are working longer hours than ever and have the longest working lives in the whole EU. With that in mind, it’s little wonder that so few of us can find the time to get as active as we’d like to. If it feels as though there are never quite enough hours in the day, try some of these time-saving hacks;
- Get up (and go to bed) an hour earlier and do something active first thing in the morning.
- Do all of your meal prep and planning over the weekend so that you’ll spend less time cooking throughout the week (and you’ll be less tempted by unhealthy takeaways).
- Get all the family to pitch in with the housekeeping (a problem shared and all that!).
- Make a daily to-do list (and stick to it).
I don’t have the money
An active lifestyle shouldn’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, do it right and it won’t cost you anything at all. In a capitalist society, we’re accustomed to paying for anything worth doing, but you can still stay active and even get a great workout for free. From aerobics and yoga routines on YouTube to a morning jog or even a brisk walk after a big Sunday lunch, there’s no shortage of ways in which you can live a healthy and active lifestyle without needing to erode your bank balance.
I don’t have the energy or motivation
When you work long hours and come home to a sink full of dishes and a home in disarray, it can be extremely difficult to find the energy and motivation to get out and get active when all you want to do is collapse onto the sofa and order a pizza.
A good way to find the motivation is not to focus on the exercise itself (which can feel like an unnecessary chore) but on the benefits. Not just the weight loss and muscle definition which will come with time, but that feel-good shot of endorphins you’ll get after your resting heart rate comes back to normal. You don’t even have to be a red-faced, sweaty mess by the end of it. Short exercises of moderate intensity are a lot better for you than doing nothing at all.
I feel self-conscious at the gym
Joining a gym can be a fantastic way to get access to the equipment and training staff that you need to stay fit, active and healthy… But it’s not the best environment for everyone. If you feel self conscious, the prospect of exercising in the gym can be intimidating, if not outright terrifying. What’s more, enduring the traffic to get there and navigating a busy car park (especially during peak hours) can be an ordeal. If you have the space free and a little money to invest you may want to start a home gym. It’s the perfect way to get active in the comfort of your own home. Even if you don’t have the space or capital to set up a full-blown gym in your own home, you can still get a great workout in your living room (or, better yet, your garden).
It’s so boring
It’s okay to admit it. Exercise certainly can be boring. And when exercise is boring it’s incredibly hard to stay motivated to do it again. However, if boredom is what’s keeping you on the sofa… Could it be that you’ve simply not yet found the right kind of exercise for you? There’s far more to an active lifestyle than pumping iron or running on the treadmill. If the gym isn’t your jam, there are plenty of other options for you and all the family.
Learning martial arts can be a hugely enjoyable and therapeutic way to get active. Not only is it a great workout, it’s also great for stress relief and anger management, so that you don’t let the combined stresses of work and family life add up to take a toll on your health. Still, not fun enough for you? How about a sun-lit bike ride or even bouncing around on some inflatables for a few hours? Not only is bouncing a good cardio workout, it also stimulates the lymphatic system which can help your body to rid itself of toxins.
One thing’s for sure. There’s way more to leading an active lifestyle than hitting the gym!
Disclosure: This is a featured post.