Are you still waiting for the "right time" to start your fitness program? Chances are one of the following four reasons is holding you back. Read on, and discover why NOW is always the right time to start improving your health!
"I don't have the time."
This is one of the worst excuses we hear in the fitness industry. The way I look at it, our bodies come with a warranty. Like any warranty, you must follow the guidelines. Page one of our warranty says: you must exercise on a regular basis in order to maintain optimal health. Study after study supports this position, and the information has been widely available for some time.
Those who are active and fit are 50 per cent less likely to develop cardiovascular disease. Modest weight loss through diet and exercise reduces the incidence of diabetes among high-risk people by about 40 to 60 per cent over three to four years.
Physically active men and women exhibited a 30 to 40 per cent reduction in the relative risk of colon cancer, and physically active women experience a 20 to 30 per cent reduction in the relative risk of breast cancer compared with their inactive counterparts.
Exercise training programs were found to prevent or reverse almost one per cent of bone loss per year in the lumbar spine and femoral neck in both pre-and postmenopausal women.
When aware of information like this, how can anybody say, "I don't have time to exercise?" It's like that old saying, "If you don't make time for exercise, you must make time for illness."
If, like many people nowadays, you truly are pressed for time from morning to night, I recommend going for a 20-minute walk, five days a week as a start. This is a very attainable fitness goal, and you will reap the benefits from this small commitment to yourself.
"I can't afford it".
This is a very common barrier that keeps people from starting a healthier lifestyle. "I can't afford an expensive gym membership" or "I don't have money for a personal trainer" is the mindset. However, when people look at where they spend their money and the return on that investment, it often makes sense for them to change their spending habits and prioritize their health.
I'll give you an example. Recently, I met a young man -- we'll call him Kyle. He wanted to join the gym, but said that he couldn't afford it (the monthly dues were high). Now, Kyle happened to be wearing a trendy parka and some very expensive headphones dangling around his neck. The cost of these two items alone would have paid for a year of his gym membership!
Of course, I have no issue with someone staying warm in the winter or enjoying their music privately, but if you make your mind up to prioritize your spending so that your health and fitness routine comes first, you can make it happen.
"I don't know where to start."
I have been fit and active from the time I was very young, and I will admit that it does come naturally to me. However, advanced accounting, web design and quantum physics are quite a challenge for me to understand! So, for accounting and web design, I hire a professional to help me. For quantum physics, I watch the Discovery channel (it's a bit of a hobby).
My point is that over the last 20 years as a personal trainer, I have had the opportunity to work with people who aren't naturally drawn to fitness. Many of them had little experience with exercise. And you know what? They were motivated to improve their fitness. They were willing to learn a few new things that they could enjoy and get better at, and that's what kept them coming back!
I've introduced Olympic weightlifting to architects, yoga to lawyers, and boot camp classes to seniors. The bottom line is -- start anywhere. If you see an activity that looks interesting, try it. It might be just the thing you've been looking for.
"Gyms intimidate me."
There are two things that intimidate new members at almost any gym. One -- the people. Two -- the equipment.
Very often, people who are "out of shape" are intimidated by those who are "fit." Believe me, there is no conspiracy or hidden agenda among fit people. They are not looking down their noses at anyone else who is in the gym exercising. They may not have a high regard for the inactive, but once you are inside the gym door and have made the same commitment to yourself that they have, you will undoubtedly have their support!
As far as the fitness equipment goes, there is a lot that is new on the market, and some of it does look confusing! Almost every gym on the planet offers their new members a fitness equipment orientation, and very often people don't take advantage of this service.
Don't be afraid to walk up to the fitness desk and ask for help, or ask to see a member of the floor staff. They will be happy to do this for you, as it limits their liability (people are more likely to injure themselves without an orientation), it is an opportunity to share their knowledge and it helps them get to know a new member.
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