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I Have No Time For This…

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It’s January and that means droves of people who have resolved to exercise and get in shape in 2013 are joining gyms, buying yoga mats, and ordering running shoes. Unfortunately, many of the “New Year’s resolution crowd” will abandon their goal of living a healthier lifestyle in the not too distant future. According to psychology professor John Norcross, the success rate of folks who resolve to lose weight starting January 1st is a mere 19% after 24 months. Further, 60% of all resolutions are dropped by the six-month mark.

While those statistics are not particularly encouraging, research also indicates that those who make resolutions are still 10 times more likely to successfully change their lifestyle than those who do not. If you have taken the plunge and made a commitment to a healthier lifestyle this year, I’d like to congratulate you on taking the first step. The next step is to follow through with your commitment and stay the course.

Many people who fail to stick with their resolution to exercise regularly fall into the trap of making excuses.  And of course, the habit of making excuses is invariably deadly to success. There are 3 main excuses most people fall back on when it comes to giving up on their fitness-based New Year’s resolution.

“The truth is, there are only two things in life, reasons and results, and reasons simply don’t count.” – Dr. Robert Anthony

Reason #1: “I don’t have the time to stick to my work out plan.”

Time is probably the biggest reason people give when they talk about why they can’t seem to stick to their workouts. Unfortunately, time is rarely the problem. The problem is almost always a simple matter of priorities. The challenge for many folks is they prioritize leisure time and recreation above their own health and well being. For example, according to A.C. Nielsen and a Gallup poll, the average American watches over 5 hours of TV each day and spends 66 hours on the internet each month (including 7 hours on Facebook)!*

I believe people who enjoy success in any area of their lives have an uncanny ability to be completely honest with themselves. The next time you find yourself using the time excuse, take a good hard look at how you are actually spending your time and see if you are completely booked up for 168 hours every week.

If your schedule is such that you absolutely cannot commit to joining a gym or attending a class, could you find 10 minutes out of your day to do some form of exercise? Most cable television subscriptions have on demand workouts for free. Video-sharing websites such as YouTube have literally thousands of body-weight workouts that can be done with no equipment and very little time – and they are FREE! Remember, a little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing.

Reason #2: “I have a bad (insert body part here).”

If you’re over 25 you probably have at least one joint or body part that has been injured, and the older you get, the more things will ache (especially after working out).  Many people who haven’t worked out in years expect their body to perform and recover similarly to when they were in their physical prime. This is an unrealistic expectation. Accept that working out can aggravate orthopedic issues and temper your workouts accordingly.

If you have some serious physical issues and certain types of exercises are impossible, find something else that is lower impact. If you have arthritis in your knee, running is probably a bad idea. If you have issues with your shoulder, doing heavy free weight exercises are going to be out. I believe there is a workout plan out there for everybody, whether it’s yoga, tai chi, swimming or something else. Your physician can often make suggestions based on your pre-existing conditions.  Don’t hide behind old injuries and physical challenge, simply work around them.

Reason #3: “I never see any results.”

In any undertaking, progress leads to motivation. As human beings, we can quickly become discouraged when we feel as though we are not improving. However, most people expect instant gratification and don’t even give themselves a chance to see any measurable results. I like to refer to this problem as the “instant gratification trap.”

We live in a day and age when almost anything we want is at our fingertips. If we need information on any subject it is available in a matter of seconds on our smart phone or our computer. If we want to find a product we need, find out how much it costs and have it shipped to our home, we can do it in a matter of minutes. We don’t even have to leave the house to rent a movie anymore! This means collectively we tend to lack patience.

Furthermore, we are bombarded with pills, potions and diets that promise quick results with minimal work. And let’s not forget about the 90 day miracle workout plans. Notice that the words, “RESULTS NOT TYPICAL” or “RESULTS MAY VARY” are tiny but never absent from advertisements for these products. My point is we are now conditioned to expect results instantly and with minimal effort. When it comes to diet and exercise, this is completely unrealistic.

You can make progress in 30 days and you can make more progress in 90 days. However, give yourself a minimum of 6 months of consistent training and proper diet before you judge your results from any program.

When you refuse to make excuses and give up on your goals, you refuse to be denied and you will succeed. I’d like to wish you the best of luck in 2013 on all your goals!

*http://www.statisticbrain.com/television-watching-statistics/

*http://www.statisticbrain.com/internet-statistics/

Martial Arts in Union County, NJ

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January 10, 2013 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment