How to exercise when you don’t want to but need to lose weight

At the moment you do not feel like exercising but you really want to lose weight?

For some reason or other, there comes a time in our life when we fall out of love with exercise.  It just drifts away.

People come to me to help them lose weight. Initially I totally concentrate on getting their food  spot-on because food is initially more important than exercise. The food  has got to be tasty, filling and very satisfying.We achieve that in the first 3 weeks and clients become more confident. Then I start to motivate them to move more because long-term, exercise is vital to maintain weight-loss.

Following are examples of what I initially hear when I propose that clients move more:

 I don’t have enough time and I’m tired by 7pm

Most of us are after a days work. We just want to flop on the couch, match telly, yawn, scratch and snack. However do you notice how it does not make us less tired? On the other hand, if we encourage ourselves to go out for a walk, we come back feeling better, invigorated and we get a good few jobs done before we go to bed. In fact we may even find we are less likely to snack. Getting yourself out the front door is the hardest part…

If you travel a lot, pack your runners. If you spend your weekends ferrying the kids to sports clubs, try doing an activity at the same time instead of waiting in the car or just standing on the touch line. Do the walk before you reach home as it is hard to go out again, especially in the Winter. I find the easiest way is to promise a friend that I will walk with them and I never let people down.

Exercise spreads oxygen throughout our body. It peps us up, bringing fresh oxygen, glucose or ketones into our brain and invigorating us. It clears our head and reduces stress hormone levels. It takes the sludge out of our blood vessels, the stiffness out of our joints after a day in the office. Have you ever regretted putting on your sneakers and exiting the house?

I don’t enjoy it as much as I use to

Man! I used to love running and then I stopped! Exercise can become a bit too routine: the same jog route, the usual gym routine or class. The key to exercising long-term is to decide what you want to get out of it. For me, exercise should not just be about health. It’s got to be enjoyable and better still, it has to be fun. If you have lost that fun element, chances are your motivation has gone too. Mix things up. Go to a different class. I hated yoga when I ran and now I love yoga and hate running. Exercise is way more fun and much easier when you do it with someone. Invite a friend or new acquaintance along.

We bore easily. Also if you want a tighter bottom or more toned arms, running isn’t going to do that. Decide what you want then choose the exercise.

I’m too old for that now

Oldest excuse in the book! Again, just not true. Ok, we may need to make adjustments to the weights we lift, distance we run or competitive parners we take on, but that doesn’t mean we should give up altogether. Did you know they have now invented “walking football” ? It’s for senior citizens who want to stay active and the ref calls a foul if anyone runs!  Can’t run 5km in under 20 minutes anymore? Just re-set your target to what is achievable but still a challenge. You may be pleasantly surprised to see that you are still above average for your age category.

I have an Injury

Any form of exercise that aggravates an injury is going to do long-term damage. If it hurts or is uncomfortable, stop immediately. Wait until it heals and then reintroduce exercise gradually. But if you have a long-term or permanent problem, you will need another solution. In many cases, injury is confined to a specific part or limb. So switch to another kind of exercise that doesn’t affect the injury. If running hurts your ankle, try cycling instead as most of your weight is resting on the saddle. If cycling hurts your back or shoulder, try swimming as an excellent all round, low impact, exercise. There are usually alternatives, and you might even discover something new that you never even considered before. Say for example dancing or rowing!

I stopped exercising ages ago and don’t know where to start again.

It’s normal to lose the exercise habit for a while. Boy is it hard to come back because we compare the current us to the old us when we ran 5k in under 25 minutes. We become sort of in awe of our self and yet we probably did not appreciate how fit we were back then.

So what is the right re-entry point for someone who wants to get back into a healthy exercise routine? The answer is get off the couch and get out of the car. Stand then walk. Take the stairs rather than the lift or escalator whenever you can. Get off the bus one stop further away from your destination and walk the last section. Join a dance class or anything you enjoy that gets you moving.  If you are intimidated by the thought of joining a gym full of very fit people (usually not true by the way!) or at the prospect of being out of breath and sweating then start out by walking yourself or with a friend. Go gently at first, and you will be surprised at how quickly your body responds positively.

Here are some motivational facts: Standing rather than sitting boosts the calorie burn rate by 10%. Walking at a steady pace on the flat for 30 minutes, carrying excess weight (2 stone to 10 stone) can burn from 200 calories to 700 calories. I have calculated this with multiple clients using my Garmin device. The only advantage of carrying weight is that you burn more calories from the sheer effort of carrying it! Use it to burn.  Accept where you are it right now. Start doing something about it right now and stop worrying about it.

If you need some  motivation to change your food and movement habits, I am here to help. Check out my 8 week programme and give me a buzz 🙂

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