The reality is that even if you have a healthy diet, you need to keep fit because the human body was NOT designed to be sedentary. We were created to move and be active and this life of home-office-home-office is preventing us from keeping our bodies mobile and agile as we age.
Since we no longer have to hunt for our food or farm our own crops (unless you are a farmer by profession), you really need to start making fitness a priority and ditch those poor excuses keeping you trapped in an overweight body!
I hear excuses all the time and I decided to tackle a few of those common exercise myths in the hopes that facts will prevail over fiction when it comes to fitness.
- I hate exercising.
When I hear a statement like that one, I always figure that this person has tried all the exercises known to mankind and detests them all. Yes, I'm being very sarcastic here because people usually make these kinds of statements after going to the gym for a few sessions and feeling sore and deciding that exercise is not for them.
The reality is there are so many different sports and we were not all created to be runners or skiers or swimmers. You need to explore fitness and find an exercise you love. I know a few people who spend their entire summer playing Ultimate Frisbee because they love this outdoor group fitness activity. Find some different workouts if the typical ones are a bore.
- I hate sweating.
Nothing gives me more of a sense of accomplishment than sweating up a storm when I'm on a spinning bike. This week, I started karate as an adult and during my initiation training (it was a one-one-one class with an instructor), I was sweating so much that my t-shirt was completely wet. I was quite taken aback because I didn't expect to work that hard during an initiation class, but the sense of satisfaction that came along with that was huge.
Sweating is a great sense of accomplishment.
- Exercise costs a lot of money.
It's true that certain sports are fairly expensive because the equipment is pricey and in some cases membership fees are a bit high (think golf). That said, there are loads of exercises that don't cost all that much. There are so many fitness DVDs on the market that if cost is an issue, you can surely start with an inexpensive fitness activity that gets you moving and you can graduate to more cost-demanding fitness activities later. If you really want to exercise, you'll find an activity that works within your budget that you enjoy!
- I don't have time for fitness, I don't know how you do it.
Everyone I know who works out on a regular basis and who is passionate about fitness has the same mind set: we put fitness first and everything else falls into place. If you are committed to your fitness, then you will find at least 30-45 minutes three to four times per week to get active.
- Lifting weights will make my legs and arms really big.
Unless you are trying to compete for a U.S. bodybuilder title, this is unlikely to ever happen. If you find that you are packing on the pounds when you start lifting weights, I would seriously look at your diet because a lot of people make the mistake of eating more when they start lifting weights because they feel they are burning more calories. The idea here is to eat better and since most people overeat anyway, you really don't need to eat more, but rather to eat differently.
- If I lift weights, I'll end up looking like a man!
Wow, how many times have I heard that one from women? I usually ask them if they think I look like a man or if I am shaped like a man. They immediately say no ... that I look very toned and firm. I usually inform them that I've been lifting weights three times per week for up to one hour at a time since 2000 and there is nothing remotely man-like about my body.
- Exercise bores me.
I love this one because it usually comes from people who would rather sit in front of the television for 5 hours during the evening or spend endless hours playing computer and video games. If you find an exercise that turns you on as much as some of the other things in your life that excites you, you will never (EVER) be bored by your workout because each new workout will become a way of surpassing yourself. I can assure you that once you start going past what you thought your body can do it will become an incredible motivator to keep pushing your body further and there is nothing boring about that!
I hope this list of myths will help you see some of the mental cues that have been holding you back and I hope this will motivate you to go out there and find an exercise you love and want to practice often. If you are still stuck and you don't know where to start, I'd take a cue from Dr. Oz and just get into the habit of walking 10,000 steps a day; it's not going to give you an athlete's body, but it will get you moving.
Written by Krizia (aka MissK) is an international author of an acclaimed food guide. Krizia's approach to healthy eating is about keeping it simple, approachable and REAL! In June 2009, two months after launching Eat Smart Age Smart, Krizia was awarded with the nomination of 'Top 200 Health Blogger' in the Healthy Eating category by Well Sphere.