Updated: Apr 29
In this month’s blog, I have decided to COACH everyone through the most common reasons why people don’t exercise, which are:
· They are too busy
· They avoid exercising
· They have the wrong foundations
· They have too many other responsibilities
· They have old exercise or weight-related trauma
· Unresolved word curses
· Due to pain
· They hate exercise
If you are very busy and can’t get to a gym, try the following:
· Increase your NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis). NEAT is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise, for example:
o Walk to work, walk the shop, walk to a friend’s house, or walk around while you wait to pick-up your kids from school.
o Tidy the house, a cupboard, or the garage.
o Do agricultural tasks like watering the garden, pruning a tree, or cleaning the pool.
o Take the stairs.
o Always park in the furthest parking spot.
· Any exercise is better than no exercise. A 15-minute HIIT routine can be just as effective as a 60-minute workout.
· Break up exercise into shorter chunks during the day. Take a 15-minute walk during your lunch break and 15-minutes after work.
· Instead of watching TV or scrolling social media when you get home, do a quick workout. You can even do different workouts while watching TV like body weight, dumbbell, and resistance band exercises, or you can pedal a stationary bike or walk on a treadmill.
Walking on a treadmill while watching TV also makes the exercise time seem to go by faster, because you are not concentration on the clock. It is easy to walk for 30 minutes and work your way up to 60 minutes.
If I Ignore Exercise, Then Maybe It Will Go Away
Some of us go through life blissfully avoiding encounters with exercise at all cost:
· We don’t mingle with people that exercise.
· Exercise is like a distant relative that we only see occasionally at weddings and funerals.
· Running is only used as a form of self-defense and when in grave danger.
· The last time we carried something heavy and walked more than 2 km, was in 2009 when we were dropped off at the wrong airport terminal and had to navigate and chart our overweight suitcase, our hand luggage, straw hat, and gifts across the airport in a foreign country.
· We can’t even remember the last time we climbed six consecutive flights of stairs, never mind two, because “hellooooooo, that’s what elevators are for, we live in the 21st century!”.
Wouldn’t it be great to have the strength and fitness do normal day-to-day chores without getting out of breath or breaking a sweat, for example: getting in and out of your vehicle with ease; carrying all your grocery shopping in one go; climbing a couple flights of stairs; or running after your child.
In many of the homes we grew-up in, a healthy lifestyle, healthy cooking, healthy eating, and exercise wasn’t a priority, it wasn’t part our culture or it just wasn’t modelled well. Because of this, health and exercise were neither encouraged nor rewarded.
We often need to reprogram ourselves and educate ourselves in health as adults.
I meet many people that start exercising for the first time in their 40s and 50s. They learn how to swim, go for tennis lessons, join a walking club, get a personal trainer, or join a gym. There are many people over 75 (male and female) in the gym that I go to.
It’s never too late to start.
The gym is a minefield for some and fun for others.
It is true that not everyone enjoys exercising in the same way, and it's important to find things that you enjoy. If you haven't found your activity yet, take some time to try new things and find out what exercise you enjoy. If you don't like the gym, maybe you would like classes, cycling, spinning, tennis, golf or even simpler, a nice walk or bike ride. There are so many options.
Too Many Other Responsibilities
Many working moms, for example, wear ten different hats, but there are opportunities for movement and fitness hidden in every day.
If your kids are young, pop them in a stroller and take a few laps around the neighborhood. As they get older, exercise while your child is at their after-school activities. Walk briskly around the sports field. For extra motivation, team up with another parent so you have an exercise buddy.
Exercise with your kids. Go bike riding, swimming, or walk around the block and explore the neighborhood with your children.
Old Exercise or Weight-Related Trauma
Children who are overweight or obese may suffer long-term effects when they are teased or bullied. Overweight children can be sporty, active, and agile, but still be teased about their weight.
In teenage years weight issues and obesity can often lead to negative self-image, and difficulty interacting with the opposite sex.
Studies show that childhood weight-related trauma can lead to:
· Avoidance of exercise. There is some evidence that overweight children who are subjected to weight-related teasing are less likely to exercise. This is due to the fear of being made fun of during exercise or being criticized or judge on how fast they can run or how many push-ups they can do.
· Low self-confidence
· Negative body image
· Low self-esteem
· Eating disorders. Weight-related teasing in children can also create a vicious cycle where they begin to eat more to get rid of negative feelings. They then experience guilt and shame afterward, and the cycle repeats itself.
Studies show that weight-related teasing and bullying are often subtle, and relational, and done by the victim's friends, teachers, coaches, and even their parents.
The first step would be to address and stop all forms of teasing or bullying. Secondly, old trauma, dysfunctional cycles and thought patterns must be dealt with. Only then can healthy eating and exercise habits can be implemented.
If you’re self-conscious about your weight, you could start by walking with friends, working out in the privacy of your home, or exercising with a trainer who is supportive.
Unresolved Word Curses
A word curse is the opposite of the blessing.
Word curses are powerful words spoken by yourself or others, and are intended to inflict harm, damage, belittle, wound, label, or wish evil on you.
What are some of the words that have been spoken to you that have wounded or “cursed” you?
· You are just not athletic
· You’ll never be sporty
· You're so clumsy
· You’ll never lose weight
· You always give-up
· You'll never change
· You have weight issues just like your mother
· You always…
· You never…
Word curses only have power over us if we believe them. If they're not true, they are powerless. When we believe them, we invest power in them. Make a choice to review word curses spoken and reject and REPLACE the words that aren’t true. For Example:
· REPLACE “I’ll never be able to run 5km”, WITH “If I start slow and follow a training program, I will be able to run 5km in 3 months’ time”.
· REPLACE “I hate exercise”, WITH “I'm improving my cardiovascular health".
I have been in plenty of gyms and at many sports events where people train and compete that have had a leg or arm amputated, are in wheelchairs and have other serious disabilities. It’s in these times we come face-to-face with the “I can’t” lies we tell ourselves, and we feel ashamed for being ungrateful for our abilities.
Some people obsess about their pain and use this as an excuse not to exercise.
If you are concerned about joint pain, try swimming, or take a water fitness class. Exercising in water is easier on your joints and the stronger your muscles get, the more they can support your joints and the less you’ll hurt.
Spinning is also very low impact and kind to your joints. Spinning classes are one of the safest classes you can attend in a gym. It is great for all ages and physical types. It builds muscle while burning fat and increases your cardiovascular health and fitness.
Exercise Hate and Unforgiveness
Many of us go through life with unforgiveness towards exercise. Spirit-crushing exercise despair is normally acquired through repetitive experiences.
At some stage in our lives we might have been forced to exercise; exercise was used as a form of punishment either by others or ourselves; or we overdid exercising due to training for an event or for weight loss purposes.
The secret to overcoming exercise despair, is acquiring small meaningful victories. A small victory in exercise can leave you feeling euphoric, it builds your confidence, and serves as a foundation to build on. You will have more confidence in your abilities the next time you are faced with an exercise challenge, by referring back to your victory.
Exercising with a friend or a trainer can help ease some exercise anxiety, and motivate you to keep your commitment to exercise.
When something is foreign or uncomfortable, it’s a natural response to avoid it. Whether you feel too old, too overweight, or ridiculous in workout clothes, there is a simple solution. Start small, but start with something.
Exercise Can Be a Prophetic Action
In many cases getting healthy, fitter, and STRONGER in our bodies is a prophetic action and soon strength and endurance in our minds, souls and spirits follow.