Regular exercise takes time and effort, true, but there’s no (convincing) reason you can’t fit it into your daily schedule
Too broke, too busy, too tired! These are common exercise excuses we use because we can’t be bothered to put on our trainers. And top exercise experts have heard them all before. We asked the pros to share their advice and top motivational tips to help you leap over the top five hurdles.
1 ‘I’m too tired’
Energy begets energy and, if you’re constantly tired, exercise is exactly what you need. ‘It’ll boost your circulation, getting oxygen (and feelgood hormones) moving around your body to wake you up,’ says personal trainer Stuart Amory.
2 ‘I need to lose weight first’
When you’re feeling unfit or overweight exercise can seem like a huge hurdle – even the idea of putting on the gear can feel overwhelming. However, a little exercise – even a walk to the shops and back – will help kickstart your weight loss. ‘Start gently by increasing your daily activity: walk instead of taking the bus, cycle instead of drive, take the stairs rather than the lift,’ says Alex Davies, UK personal training specialist at Virgin Active. Soon you’ll feel much fitter and the good news is you don’t even have to wear Lycra!
3 ‘I’m just not the sporty type’
Fitness takes many forms, whether it’s walking, gardening, dancing or aerobics-style classes. And it doesn’t need to be competitive. ‘If the thought of being active takes you back to your old school days of dreaded gym knickers and not being picked for the school team, think again,’ says David Stalker, CEO of ukactive. ‘The plethora of activity options today means whether you’re sporty or not there’s something for you.’
4 ‘I don’t want another expense’
‘Having limited finances shouldn’t affect your ability to be active,’ adds David. ‘For a start, walking (one of the best ways to ignite an active lifestyle) is free and easily incorporated into your daily routine.’ There are plenty of other no-cost or low-cost ways to join running or cycling groups and it’s worth contacting your local council to see what fitness schemes it offers. Leisure centres and pay-as-you-go gyms can also be very affordable.
5 ‘I’m middle-aged and unfit, so there’s no point’
A little exercise is always better than none. ‘Joining a health club can be a good way to boost your confidence,’ says Alex. ‘An instructor will put together a programme tailored to your fitness level and interests (membership often includes this) and, if you like, review it as you progress. There’s no need to go it alone.’ For a no-cost option, having a go on the outdoor gym equipment or joining in parkrun 5km runs at a park near you could be the motivation you need as you discover all ages, shapes and sizes having a go.