If you struggle to find the motivation to exercise, you're definitely not alone – 83% of Baby Boomers say they find it hard too.
Your mind will always come up with reasons why you shouldn't exercise, and some of those reasons will sound pretty convincing. But don't let that hold you back. Here's how to beat the most common exercise excuses.
1. No time
It's true – your life is busy. But by making exercise a priority, 9 times out of 10 you can find the time. Schedule in things around an exercise session, wake up a little earlier to fit in a workout, take a 45-min power walk on your lunch break, or make your commute to work an active bike ride. Use weekends more effectively by getting a good workout session under your belt, record TV shows to watch later, and try turning social catch ups into active ones.
2. Too tired
It can be hard to get yourself moving when you're already tired. But remember this: exercise will make you feel more energised afterwards. The trick is getting past the voice in your head that doesn't want to do it. Try to exercise on your way home from work – once you’re home, it’s far easier to put off going. Or, try working out before work, so you can get it done when you’re fresh from a night’s sleep. Take it slow – if you do feel zonked, a slow jog or brisk walk can help you ease into a session and slowly activate your energy levels.
3. No motivation
If lack of motivation is getting in your way, find something to get you excited. Setting goals, signing up for a fitness event (like a fun run) and reminding yourself of the long-term health benefits of exercise can boost motivation and give you something to aim for.
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4. Uninspired by the gym
The same exercises can get boring after a while, so mixing things up can help refresh your motivation. If you’re tired of the gym, put your membership on hold and try starting the day with a one-hour power walk. Join a social netball team, research local bike trails to explore, or try jogging around your local area. Or, you can try changing up your gym routine. Introduce a few weekly classes, try out new equipment, vary the order and times of your workout and download new music to rev you up.
5. Don't like exercising alone
If exercising on your own feels too difficult or boring, find a friend to work out with. Head to meetup.com to find an exercise group near you or use VicHealth’s Team Up app to stay informed about local sporting groups and events. Big fun run events often have group training sessions in the lead up, which can be a great way to motivate you while meeting like-minded people.
6. Not sure what to do
Find the weights area at the gym daunting? Not sure how much cardio to be doing? Getting a little knowledge behind you can make a huge difference. Look at booking in with a personal trainer for one or two introductory sessions. Get a tailored plan written up, learn how to properly use equipment to reap the most benefit, and feel confident tackling new exercises and stretches.
7. Good intentions, but…
So many of us have good intentions to exercise, but in reality things don’t always work out. While you don’t need to be devoted to a ‘schedule’, simply mapping out a plan on Sunday night of what exercise you plan to do throughout the week can help cement them as priorities. Jot down when you have completed a session to help you check them off as you work through the week.
8. Not seeing results
Keep in mind that many of the benefits of exercise are unseen. While physical changes in your body are hugely motivating, understand that what is happening on the inside is where the magic is. Remember, every 30 minute walk is contributing to your wellbeing.
9. Fallen off the bandwagon
Make your exercise plan sustainable so you don't burn out. Start small, mix up your sessions, support yourself with lots of positive encouragement and do things you enjoy.