My three usual excuses to avoid exercising are:
1. I don’t have time.
2. My back hurts.
3. I just ate and my belly is full, so I’ll do it later. (Never happens).
What are the excuses you like to use to avoid moving your body regularly?
If I’m going to be completely honest, I don’t exercise regularly because I’ve always been pretty lazy, and because I don’t seem to find enough motivation to do it (even though I know all the mental and physical benefits of a little exercise by heart). Since I lack motivation, I don’t make exercising a priority in my daily schedule. This explains why I always find the time to meditate, to walk my dog, and to cook a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner, yet “there’s never enough time” for a workout. I obviously choose not to do it.
The truth is I’ve never been a big fan of moving my body. My mom says I was born tired, because I used to say I was tired all the time when I was a little girl. Apparently everyone found this rather odd as kids don’t often complain of feeling tired and instead tend to be full of energy. So if someone ever tells you the legend of the little girl who was always tired, now you know it: it was me.
From this I’m sure you can imagine I was not the most sporty teenager either, to my gym teachers’ frustration. Being the tallest girl in my class, I was their dream girl to play sports like basketball, volleyball, or athletics; but the good grades they gave me to motivate me never did a thing.
However, everything changed when I discovered yoga and I realized for the first time that exercising could be fun. I fell in love at the first encounter with that kind of deep stretching, relaxing moves, and the sense of calmness and balance I felt through it all. I was hooked. Not as hooked as those gym addicts who work out 3 hours every single day of the month, but hooked enough not to go for long periods of time without doing it. There was even a time when I went to yoga every day for a whole year with a private teacher. I felt happier, more relaxed, and more motivated to keep moving than ever. That strong motivation even led me to try and love other things like spinning, kickboxing, and dance.
And that is the magic of exercise. The more you do it, the more you feel like doing it. Your body feels awesome and wants more of it. It’s really very simple. And it explains why I haven’t been able to get myself to do it with any kind of regularity for over a couple years now. It’s been so long since my exercise mode has been turned on (it got turned off when I started having back pain a few years ago), that I feel my body doesn’t really remember how yummy it feels to be strong, energized, and full of endorphins (the happiness hormones). I know that the only way out of this exercise funk is to force myself to do it for a while, until my body recovers its rhythm and desire to move. I also know that with my natural tendency to immobility, forcing myself to exercise for a while is no easy endeavor.
For this reason, I’ve decided to publicly commit myself to a month of daily exercise (I started on April 1st), by creating the #AprilExerciseChallenge. Till the end of the month, I will post a daily picture of my exercise routine that day on Instagram (my handle is @morenescardo if you want to follow it). Making it this public kind of forces me to see it through, because it would be too embarassing and disappointing to quit. Perhaps you think this is silly or extreme, but extreme lack of motivation calls for extreme measures!.
Are you also feeling like your life needs more exercise in it? Wanna join me on this challenge?
I would love it if you went through this process with me. All you have to do is post your daily exercise pictures on your favorite social media site (preferably Instagram), using the hashtag #AprilExerciseChallenge. If creating your own exercise challenge with your friends works better for you, you can do that too.
And if you have any other ways that help you prioritize exercise in your daily life even when you don’t feel like it, please share them with me in the comments.
Wishing you health & happiness,