Use motivation to get rid of exercise excusesBy Mitch Felipe Mendoza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
According to health experts, lack of the time is the most common excuse for people to delay their healthy lifestyle action plans, so professionals are searching for more ways to beat exercise excuses.
But it’s hard to exercise or eat healthy if you doesn’t really want to do it.
An effective solution is to find a person’s motivation for doing things consistently, like cooking something delicious to satisfy her family or finding time to watch an afternoon telenovela. We should identify the reasons why we stick to things, and why most people delay taking action.
‘I want to see guaranteed results’
Most people will work hard and do something that will assure results and progress. A salesman will work eight hours a day to meet his quota so he can earn more money and step up his career. People focus on what they are good at, and forget other things that need attention, like health. Others are hesitant to invest time when there seem to be no guarantees.
But aside from physical improvements, a healthy lifestyle will positively affect your mental and emotional well-being. This will even improve your performance at work and at home. Studies show numerous guaranteed results if you stick to the program:
Improved body awareness and posture
Improved health condition
‘I always want the easy way’
We want to save time and effort, so we tend to choose convenient and readily available foods like fast food and processed meats. In the office, instead of walking to meet your boss or co-worker, you use your mobile phone to call or text.
There are no shortcuts to healthy living, because you will have to spend time and effort. But there are ways to make exercise more accessible and realistic, given your lifestyle. And when it comes to healthy eating, you need planning and preparation. In fact, the simpler the food, the lesser the calories, and the healthier it is.
Modify your environment. Do not make unhealthy eating easy. Just keep healthy foods in your kitchen, like oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, wheat bread, and seasoned lean meat and fish ready for steaming, grilling or boiling.
Choose physical activities that will not require extra effort, time and expense. Walking and home workouts are still the best recommendations.
Bring healthy foods with you wherever you are, like fruits or a sandwich, so you won’t get tempted to buy junk food from convenience stores’
‘I want to do it now’
Filipinos love to eat lechon skin and chicharon because the taste and crunchiness make them feel good. Younger people look forward to going out on a Friday night to wine and dine at their favorite restaurants because it’s fun.
Most people consider exercise and healthy eating punishments for their overeating, something hard and painful. Of course, if you see these healthy practices negatively, you will always find excuses.
The approach is to make healthy eating and exercise pleasant and positive experiences.
If you enjoy doing things with friends or family, then exercise or start a healthy eating program with them.
If you are a music lover, play your favorite music during exercise.
If you enjoy trying different restaurants, challenge yourself to find the most satisfying healthy dishes in town.
If you love high-calorie foods, do not even start a strict diet. Choose a realistic eating plan that will still give room for treats.
For the family
‘Because I love him/her/them’
We spend time with our loved ones, we give them gifts, we touch and hug them, and we show affection and concern. Harder tasks become easy if we do them for people we care about.
Most people, especially mothers, choose to use their free time for the family rather than spend it on physical activities. But embracing a healthy lifestyle means doing something for yourself, so you can give more love to your family.
Start a physical activity so you can do more and will always be at your best when you spend time with your kids and your husband.
Being a good role model of healthy living will inspire your loved ones. It is hard to encourage your kids to be more active and eat vegetables if they do not see you doing these things.
Exercising with your family also means spending more time with them. It is also a good opportunity to communicate.
‘I have no choice but to do it’
We go out of our way to do things even if we do not really want to because that’s the only solution to our existing problem. Some people will act even outside their comfort zones, like working abroad, just to earn more to send their kids to school.
Act now to avoid uncertain events in our lives like sickness and health problems. We should create a strong foundation for disease-free living. Today might still be okay, but if you do not do something about your health now, tomorrow might be too late.
The leading causes of death like heart disease, cancer and respiratory diseases, are all results of unhealthy lifestyle habits like unhealthy eating, physical inactivity, stress, and smoking, aside from age, genes and the environment.
Make an effort to lessen daily sitting time by standing, walking, moving and exercising.
Avoid foods high in fat, cholesterol, sugar and salt.
Get enough rest and make an effort to have complete sound sleep.
Manage existing health conditions, body aches and discomfort by getting medical help right away.
E-mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org Follow her on twitter @mitchfelipe.