How to Overcome the Top 5 Exercise Excuses

You haven’t started your fitness program yet. You know you should. You’ve heard the benefits. So, what’s your excuse? Oh, and try to be original. As a personal trainer and coach, I have probably heard every excuse in the book. If you spend more time making excuses than actually working out, read on. I have put together a few of the most common exercise excuses along with some ways to overcome them.

Overcoming the top 5 Exercise Excuses

Excuse #1: I Don’t Have Time

Seriously? How much television do you watch each week? While that sounds a little harsh, it is true that most of us spend at least a few hours a day week watching the tube. Try turning off the television for an hour a day. Take a walk, go to the gym, do a home based workout (I’ve posted many workouts that need little or no equipment). If nothing else, try doing some pushups, planks or squats during the commercials.

If it is work that is taking all your time, try working in short bouts of exercise during your work day. Go for a 10 minute walk during a break, spend some of your lunch hour moving: jumping rope, walking, squatting. Set your alarm a half hour earlier to give yourself some time at the beginning of the day. While I don’t adhere to the weekend warrior concept, you can still take an hour of your weekend to spend time dedicating yourself to working out.

Don’t feel that because you don’t have a whole hour to spare that “it’s not worth it.” Even 10 minutes of exercise is better than no exercise at all.

In addition to formal exercise, make the lifestyle changes that will add more movement to your life. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your car at the end of the parking lot.

Remember, aerobic exercise can be done in small bouts to reach the recommended 150 minutes per week (which is only 20 minutes per day). Three 10 minute walks can be much easier to fit into your schedule.

Speaking of schedules, one way to fit in exercise is to treat it like any other appointment. Write it in on your calendar and work other appointments around it. Treat exercise like a priority appointment and you will be much more successful at finding the time.

Children and child care can also make a huge dent in your free time. Try taking the kids with you. They can play on the playground while you walk around it. You can walk the kids to school, walk or run around the soccer field while they’re practicing, do “active fun” with your family like fun runs. There are many ways to adapt a workout to an outdoor area. Parents can switch off workout time, so each partner has their own time to work out, while the other looks after the kids. Remember that when your kids see you make the time for exercise they will learn that health and fitness is a priority. Plus, kids need exercise too, and active play is a great way for young children to stay fit.

Overcome Exercise Excuses

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Excuse #2: I’m Too Tired

I get it. Your work all day, you chase your kids around, you come home and you just want to relax. You feel like you are too tired to get back up to work out.

First of all, one of the amazing things about exercise is that it gives you more energy. Once you get moving, you won’t feel tired anymore.

Resist the temptation of the post-work couch by exercising before you get home. Stop at the gym on the way home from work. Step out of your work place and go for a walk before getting in the car.

Another option is to get your workout done earlier in the day, either before work or on a lunch break.

If you're tire of starting over, stop quitting.

Excuse #3: Exercise is Boring

It is hard to keep doing something that you don’t like or that bores you. So, choose something that you like to do. Then try to get better at doing at it (a goal).

Maybe you love to dance. Or is skating your thing? Even gardening has some benefits. If you like team sports you can join a sports league. Exercise doesn’t have to be hours spent on a treadmill or stationary bicycle. If you find something that you enjoy doing, you are more likely to stick with it.

Working out with a group is another way to reduce exercise boredom. You can join a group exercise class, find your local running club, or meet a couple of friends (working out with a friends is also an excellent way to improve exercise adherence – see below).

And if you are using that elliptical or stationary bike, it is okay to read a book or watch television while you’re doing it. Just do it safely.

Excuse #4: I’d Rather Sit and Read a Book

Yes it is true that many people would rather not move. They would prefer to read, knit, or watch television. If this describes you, try finding a gentle type of workout, in comfortable conditions. Water exercise, either swimming or aqua aerobics, keeps you cool while you workout. Stay indoors in the air conditioning if you don’t like the heat. Try a gentle yoga class. Starting at home with a workout video is another way to get started in a friendly environment. You can start right now with a free month of Grokker Premium and enter to win a one year membership! Find a few friends and go for a walk. These are all relatively stress free ways to start a fitness program.

Excuse #5: I End Up Quitting, What’s the Point?

It is true that many people don’t stick with their exercise program. But this doesn’t have to be you. Many fitness seekers start out with a bang, running five miles, lifting heavy weights, and end quickly with a whimper, either injuring themselves or feeling too sore or exhausted to continue.

Set small goals for yourself and start out slowly. If you’re going to try running, start with a run/walk program like a couch to 5k. If you want to strength train, again start slowly. If you aren’t familiar with proper form, work with a trainer for a few sessions.

Keep yourself accountable by keeping a log of your workouts. It will also help you track your improvements. Many people have started a blog or a Facebook page to chart their accomplishments, or you can just share your goals with friends and family. You will find them to be very encouraging and they will help keep you accountable.

Training buddies are one of the best ways to stick with your program. Having to be accountable to another person will get you to the gym, even when you don’t feel like it, plus you will encourage each other to stick with it, cheer each other on, and be proud of each others accomplishments.

These are the top five excuses that I hear frequently at my gym. Hopefully, this will help you beat down those excuses and start or stick with an exercise program. Experts say that it takes about 66 days to make a habit, so if this advice will help you work out for about two months, you’ll have a better chance to stick with it forever. Good Luck!

What helps you stay with your exercise program?


 

My weekly linkups! Please stop by and check out all of the great recipes, workouts, and information that all these awesome bloggers share every week!

Meatless Monday with Tina and Deborah
Meatless Monday with Annmarie 
Bonnie, the Pin Junkie
Tip Tuesday with Debbie in Shape
Wild Workout Wednesday with Annmarie, Michelle, Sarah, and Angelena Marie
Wednesday Wisdom with Nanna’s Wisdom
The Blog Booster Party with Kathleen
Friday Fitness with Jill

My IDEA World Experience: The Functional Workouts

As you know, I spent last week at Blogfest and the IDEA World Fitness Convention. Here are my Top 10 Takeaways. While Thursday and Friday were spent learning some great blogging information, the last two days I was able to attend six workshops. In addition, on Friday, mixed in with all that blogging stuff, we managed to fit in three (yes, three!) workouts. I will admit, by Saturday afternoon, at my second Functional Fascia workout of the day I could hardly lift my legs.

My IDEA World Experience: The Functional Workouts

I managed to learn a lot of information about various types of functional workouts, so I thought I’d share some of it with you here.

Kaia Fit

Our first functional workout on Friday was called Kaia Fit and it was taught by one of its creators, Nikki Warren. Kaia Fit is designed to be empowering for women, and it included some teamwork and competition in the mix. We were split into two groups. As we started, one group was given a high intensity partner exercise to perform for time. For example, one partner would hold a plank, while the other hopped twice over her, then they would switch positions. After the first team completed the repetitions, the time was recorded.

Over on the other side of the room, the other team was doing lower intensity but still functional exercises. One partner would hold a plank while the other did squats to touch down on their partner’s back. So many repetitions, then switch positions. The teams took turns completing each set of exercises (my team won two of the three sets…go Pink!), then we were treated to a nice cool down and stretch. I loved that all of the exercises were body weight only, and both the partner and team aspect added a lot of fun to the equation. The exercises were simple (that doesn’t mean they were easy, just not complicated movements!), so easy to teach to and monitor in a large group. Kaia Fit

HighX

I’ll tell you up front that HighX was my favorite functional workout of the weekend. And not just because it was taught by Gabrielle Reece, who was also the keynote speaker. During her talk, Gabby told us how she created this workout, basically a group of women getting together to workout with Gabby as their leader. As the group grew, so did her ingenuity in planning a workout that would challenge, but would still be accessible for all age groups.

Let’s work! @highxtraining w: @gabbyreece #sweatpink #blogfest #1millionminutes #ljinspired A photo posted by Jamie King (Walker) (@jamiekingfit) on Jul 17, 2015 at 11:08am PDT

As we entered the large room, we were divided into 15 teams of eight (somehow our group ended up with 10, but that worked out fine). Equipment was laid out in a large oblong, with the name of each exercise printed at each station. Each team spent three minutes at each station, alternating high intensity and lower intensity exercises for 30 seconds each. Then we moved quickly to the next exercise.

Gabby2

This was a tough workout! From planks to lunges to sandbag presses, we pretty much killed each muscle group (in a good way). The group format created a sense of teamwork, and everybody was cheering their team on.

Fortunately, by my third workout of the day, Zumba with its creator Beto Perez, all I had to worry about was having a good time and trying to wiggle my hips. I was much more successful with the former than the latter.

Functional Fascia for Group Exercise

When I woke up on Saturday morning, I quickly decided that my body was too beat up for a run. Instead, I took my time getting ready, in order to get to my first session at 7:30. As I’ve mentioned, I’ll be getting my Fascial Stretch Therapist certification later this summer, so I wanted to soak up all the information that I could. What I didn’t realize was that after about 45 minutes of lecture and demonstration, we had a 45 minute workout to perform!

The idea behind functional exercises for fascia is to use new exercise sequences that are designed to train the fascial lines of the body. These involve a variety of multiple part movements such as a lunge with a reach, squat with a curl, then moving to an upper back extension, and side plank with a hip drop to a full hip extension. Yes, you need to focus your mind as well as your body.

The workout was quite challenging and I broke a good sweat. It also gave me a ton of ideas that I can take back to work with me. These are exercises that be used in either a group setting or one on one.

Fascia Gone Wild

Fascia Gone Wild

I will admit that by the time I did this workout my body had given up and just wouldn’t cooperate. In the lecture portion, we learned more about fascia and its function, then began a workout that started with holding planks while doing various types of arm and leg movement. I just couldn’t. I tried. But my hips were sore and just didn’t want to work anymore. I did a little better after we stood up and did a few exercises like squat presses, lunges with twists, and other exercises that work the body in multiple planes and are good for the fascia.

Plyometrics Palooza

FitFoodieMama

Annmarie was one of the bloggers I was so excited to meet.

After a pretty good night’s rest (considering I had three roommates), I headed to Plyometrics Palooza early Sunday morning. Taught by my friend Jason Karp, Ph.D, this session focused on using plyometrics to improve performance. After very little lecture time, Jason got right to the workout portion of the workshop. We did hops, jumps, rebounds, and more. I did pretty good all things considered. I was sore and tired, but so was everybody else. Our last exercise we teamed up for a little relay race. We were the Bloggers!

Bare Essentials

This was my final workout and as you may have guessed, I was pooped. The presenter was wonderful. She specializes in functional flexibility and in addition to running her own studio, training at yet another, she also travels to various football teams, in particular the NY Jets, to stretch some of the players. The idea of Bare Essentials was learning tips to teach proper from and creating progressions with little or no equipment.

She taught us how to teach various exercises and to progress them in a group setting. I picked up a few good tips (side lunge for the win!), then we were led through what would be a moderate level workout at any other time, but exhausted as I was I found the squats (with progressions of course), lunges, and burpees (at the end!!!) very challenging.

Overall, even if I was exhausted, I had a great time at IDEA World, and feel like I learned a lot that I can implement right away. It is always inspiring to meet other fitness professionals, get great new ideas, and just get energized from the experience.

What’s your favorite functional workout?

 


 

My weekly linkups! Please stop by and check out all of the great recipes, workouts, and information that all these awesome bloggers share every week!

Meatless Monday with Tina and Deborah
Meatless Monday with Annmarie 
Bonnie, the Pin Junkie
Tip Tuesday with Debbie in Shape
Wednesday Wisdom with Nanna’s Wisdom
Fitness Friday with Jill Conyers
That Friday Blog Hop with xoxo Rebecca
The Blog Booster Party with Kathleen

A Squat-a-liscious Tabata Workout, Brick Betty, and the Lucky Streak

So somehow, even though I’m not working at my “real” job this summer, I am staying really busy. I’ve been able to run most mornings, though it’s been so hot and humid even really early that I’m not getting a whole lot of miles. I’m also working hard this summer to build up the blog, and, as other bloggers know, that can take hours a day. Add in some weekends away, projects around the house, and I don’t seem to have a spare minute. Good, that will make the time go fast, so before I know it, summer will be over. (Sorry I’m not sorry for those of you who love summer. Try it in 115 degrees.)

A Squat-a-liscious Tabata Workout

Squataliscious – def – 1. involving many squats. 2. exercises that make the butt look delicious.

Alan and I also just made a re-commitment to the gym (again). So aside from being really sore this week, it has me thinking about faster, quicker workouts, especially those that can be done at home. I plan to introduce him to the TRX (though the only decent place to anchor it is outside, so hot/humid again). I’m also thinking about this Tabata workout. There’s is nothing like a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout to get your workout done quickly and leave you in a sweaty pile on the floor. I really like this one because it requires no equipment, so you can do it at home, in the gym, or, if you’re a bit of an exhibitionist, on the trails.

Squataliscious Tabata is a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout that will get you fit fast. No equipment needed.(Gee, look who’s working out on the trails.)

Brick Betty Ambassador

I’m really excited that I was asked to be a Brick Betty Ambassador. I love representing this beautiful line of fitness wear, designed for people who appreciate the best fabrics, bright colors, and high quality products, all of which are made in America. They are truly the Rolls Royce of fitness clothing. I’ll tell you more soon.

Brick Betty beautiful and colorful fitness wear for people who appreciate high quality, comfortable fitness fashion, made in America.

The Lucky Streak Continues

You may remember a few months ago I wrote about my lucky streak. Over the course of a couple months I won several prizes on blog giveaways, including my Blendtec Designer 725 blender, a $100 Lululemon gift card (both from Fitfluential), socks and a pair of Croc shoes (the cute ones!) from Katie, a Sparkly Soul Headband, an Unplugged t-shirt, a package of NuNaturals from Jody, not to mention that I received a Magic Bullet blender from Influenster (we’re doing really well in the smoothie department around here!).

Well, I seemed to cool off for a while (missing out on winning a tablet computer that would have been very cool), but it looks like things are heating up again! Last week I found out that I won a $75 Synergy Organic Clothing gift card from Lora Hogan, and biggest of all, the entire Schoen by Yu denim collection from Popsugar Select’s first ever giveaway. And finally, I won a prize package from Fit Approach! It hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m sure it will be filled with all kinds of Sweat Pink goodies!

Catch me at Blogfest (at the IDEAWorld Urban Party) in this pretty dress from Synergy Organic ClothingThis is the dress I ordered from Synergy Organic Clothing. Just in time to pack for Blogfest!

I’m thinking I better get myself to Vegas as soon as possible before this lucky streak wears off!

Have a great Independence Weekend everybody! We’re hanging around home this year in spite of the heat. What about you? Any fun plans or adventures planned for the 4th?

 

I’m linking up with Debbie in Shape for Tip Tuesday, Nanna’s Wisdom for Wednesday Wisdom, xoxo Rebecca for That Friday Blog Hop, and with Kathleen for the Blog Booster Party. Oh! I can’t forget Jill for Fitness Friday! I hope you’ll check out off of these amazing blogs!

 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

How to Pack for Blogfest

With Blogfest just a few weeks away, it’s time to start thinking about what to bring. I always tend to over-pack, and since I’m driving to Los Angeles, that’s not too big of a deal. However, if you’re flying in you will want to make sure to pack as lightly as possible, yet still bring everything that you need.

Packing for Blogfest

Blogfest is different than any other blogging conference, even those designed for healthy living bloggers. In addition to two days of blogging education, Blogfest also includes registration for the last two days of IDEA World Fitness Convention, which is the largest fitness convention in the world. So what does that mean?

1. At four days (five if you arrive on Wednesday to attend the free Zumba instructor training course), Blogfest is twice as long as most blogging events.

2. While healthy living blogging events include a variety of exercise classes, IDEA World kicks that up a notch with even more classes and workshops, including the opportunity to workout with Beto Perez and Jillian Michaels, plus other celebrity fitness pros, not to mention Blogfest Keynote speaker Gabrielle Reece, who will lead her HighX class. That’s a lot of sweating, which requires a little planning so that you don’t end up sweaty and stinky at your next session.

3. Blogfest also includes an invitation to the IDEA World opening party. The theme is Urban Party, and you’ll want to dress to impress.

4. If you choose, you can participate in one or more of the LA Adventures: The Hollywood Walking Workout Adventure on Wednesday, the Hollywood Hills hike on Saturday, or the Legendary Beverly Hills Bike Tour on Sunday (all adventures are available for an extra fee).

5. Your registration includes access to the IDEA World Fitness Expo, where you will not only have an opportunity to meet and network with a variety of vendors, you will probably load yourself up with freebies, great deals, and other fitness purchases, all of which take up luggage space on the way home.

These are just a few reasons why packing for Blogfest takes a little extra planning and consideration. To help you out, I’m sharing my suggestions for what to pack when you head to Los Angeles on July 16.

How to Pack for Blogfest

Clothing

Face it. It’s a fitness bloggers conference, so you will mostly be wearing fitness clothing.  Four or five days of fitness classes mean that you’d better bring a lot of fitness clothes (think yoga, Zumba, circuit training, and possibly running and walking). Unless you have access to a laundry, that’s a lot of clothing. In addition, fitness clothing is the norm for attending both Blogfest and IDEAWorld sessions too. I like to change into fresh clothes after a workout, but that’s entirely up to you. Fortunately, fitness wear doesn’t take up a whole lot of room in your suitcase. While you’re at it, throw in a couple gym towels too.

After hours, in addition to the Urban Party, you’ll probably head out for dinner or cocktails with your new friends, plus you’ll want to attend the Blogfest networking party. Pack according to your tastes, a pretty dress, jeans, or more yoga pants!

Oh, and if you’re sharing a room like I am, you’ll probably want to pack pajamas, a robe, or at least a big t-shirt. Your roommates will thank you.

How to pack for Blogfest

What does take up a lot of room is shoes. You’ll need comfortable shoes for the sessions and walking around the expo, a good pair of cross training shoes for most of the workouts, running shoes if you plan to go for a run, and if you’re going to spiff up for the evening, appropriate shoes for the Urban Party. And, of course, a pair or two of flip flops or sandals. You are in California after all.

And even though you’re in California, the evenings and mornings can be cool, not to mention the air conditioning inside the convention center. Bring a sweater or sweatshirt. Or two!

All your regular accessories: Hair care, makeup, underwear, etc.

Since you will be going straight from exercise classes to sessions, I recommend a fitness specific body wipe like Shower Pill. They come individually wrapped, they’re large and thick, plus they’re anti-bacterial.

For the Sessions

Bring something to write on and with. Paper, pens, pencils, computer, tablet. One of the best purchases I made a couple years ago was a keyboard for my iPad. It makes it so easy to take notes plus I can toggle back and forth between notes, Twitter and Instagram.

Power! You’ll be active on social media during Blogfest and taking a lot of pictures so don’t forget your charging cables and  an extra battery if you have that option. If you want to make a lot of friends, bring a power strip. These were provided last year at Blogfest, but you’ll find plenty of people at IDEAWorld who would be extremely happy to share your power.

You’ll be taking a lot of pictures, so if you have one, bring your “real” camera. And a Selfie Stick, because let’s face it, you’re going to want to take pictures with all the bloggers that you’re meeting.

How to pack for Blogfest.

Business cards! Blogging conferences are all about networking so bring plenty of business cards with you. Don’t have cards yet? Order now and you’ll get them in plenty of time. I love Moo.com. They’re very customizable and can be printed on both sides. And you’ll get 10% off your first order if you use this link.

A reusable water bottle and snacks. You’ll need to stay hydrated and refueled with all that working out going on! I also like to bring along some Sunwarrior protein powder and a shaker cup. Because I’m vegan I can’t always count on having plant based food available, so at least I can know that I’ll be able to start my morning off right.

A roomy but light bag or briefcase to carry all of the above around at the conference. A messenger-style bag works well.

For the Expo

If you’re a shopper, you’ll probably want to save room in your suitcase or bring an extra bag to carry it all home. Plus you’ll be getting some great swag at Blogfest, so remember that when you’re packing.

How to pack for Blogfest.I’m sure I forgot something, so if you think of something not on the list, leave it in the comments and I’ll add it.

I had an amazing time at BlogFest 2014. I know that BlogFest 2015 will be even bigger and better (maybe because you will be there?!). I am an IDEA Inspired Advisor, so I will be there (with bells on). I hope you will be there too!

There is still time to register! Use my code at checkout to save $100: BLOG100.

Blogfest Register 2015

Can’t get enough of Blogfest? Here are my other posts:

Meet My Blogfest Buddies!
The Scoop: Blogfest and IDEAWorld, Gabby, Jillian, Beto and More!
5 Reasons You Need to Go to Blogfest 2015
Blogfest: It Starts with the People
(From 2014) 6 Women (and 1 Man) I Can’t Wait to Meet at Blogfest

I’m linking up with Debbie in Shape for Tip Tuesday, Nanna’s Wisdom for Wednesday Wisdom, xoxo Rebecca for That Friday Blog Hop, and with Kathleen for the Blog Booster Party.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

10 Benefits of Fascial Stretch Therapy

Stretching has become a much debated topic in recent times. For years it was touted as the key to restoring flexibility, improving athletic performance, and reducing injuries. Then stretching, particularly passive stretching, fell out of popularity in favor of more dynamic moves that were designed to prepare the body for sport. Passive stretching is reserved for after the workout, and even then its value is controversial.

FST 2

What is Fascial Stretch Therapy?

Enter Fascial Stretch Therapy (or FST), a type of stretching that targets not only the muscles, but the fascia, the connective tissue that surrounds muscles, bones, and joints. FST also targets the entire joint and joint capsule, using traction to remove restrictions from movement and to stimulate lubrication. A therapist will gently pull and move the arms, legs, spine, and neck in a smooth motion through varying planes of movement. There is no pain, not even discomfort. Instead, the gentle movement is stimulating and relaxing at the same time.

The problem with many standard stretching programs is, well, they are standard. An athlete will finish her workout, run through her “usual” stretches, maybe paying extra attention to tight hips, sometimes pushing through some pain to get that final stretch. Sadly, this type of stretching is not effective and may even be causing more tightness and inflexibility. When you cause pain with stretching, your muscles respond to protect themselves, tightening up in a rebound type effect.

By contrast, a Fascial Stretch Therapist will evaluate their client, looking for imbalances, as well as the source of those imbalances. Then using breath to help with movement, the therapist will first warm up the joints and muscles with undulating stretching to maximize blood flow. Then using techniques of slow undulating movement, as well as traction (gently pulling to create space in the joint) and modified PNF ( proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation), synchronized with the breath, the therapist will stretch the entire body, following a logical anatomical order, to lengthen muscle, increase range of motion, and improve flexibility.

10 Benefits of Fascial Stretch Therapy

  1. Increase Range of Motion
  2. Muscular Balance and Symmetry
  3. Improved Performance
  4. Reduced Pain
  5. Reduced Risk of Injury
  6. Improved Posture
  7. Improved Muscle Function
  8. Improved Circulation
  9. Decrease Compression and Impingement in the Joints.
  10. Improved Energy

The effects are cumulative. It took a while to develop the imbalances and stiffness in your body. It will take a while to reap the benefits of FST. But, that being said, you can feel immediate benefits, even after your first session.

Remember, I am not (yet) a certified Fascial Stretch Therapist. I will be studying and preparing for the class that I’m taking in August. My information comes from my experience as a client, as well as from the Stretch to Win website, and the book, Stretch to Win, which is written by Ann Frederick and Christopher Frederick, the developers of Fascial Stretch Therapy.

The above, by the way, is an affiliate link. I will make a few cents if you purchase that book through Amazon. Other than that I have received no compensation for this post. I have experienced FST first hand and I’m a believer in the benefits.

Linking up with Jill for Fitness Friday!

  
Have you heard of fascial stretch therapy? Have I piqued your interest? You can find a list of certified FST therapists on the website.

Are You Confident Enough to #GoCommando?

 

GoCommando 5

Quick confession: I’ve been going commando for running, fitness, and yoga for years. And, since I work as a personal trainer, and wear spandex daily, I #GoCommando in my work clothes too. So there. Of course, I’m a longtime Cottonelle fan, so I’ve had clean confidence for a while.

Cottonelle 5

Of course, Cottonelle is not the only thing that gives me confidence. I work really hard to stay fit and strong. I start most days with a run, sometimes long, sometimes short, occasionally fast(ish), frequently slow. I work my muscles with some type of strength workout several days a week. Some days it’s yoga, others it Pilates. I also love weights, using the TRX, and once in a while an outdoor, body weight only workout.

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