Find Time for Fitness: Part I

diverse group running on treadmillsIt’s the new year, that time when we’re supposed to make resolutions to become physically fit and have the motivation to reach our goals! Yes, we know that really, it’s just another day, and it’s still so HARD to make the effort. That’s why we’re here to help you overcome some of the most common excuses legitimate reasons we come up with for not working toward our New Year’s fitness resolutions. 

Part I: Brain Games

Your brain has so many ways to derail even the best intentions. Think about your obstacles to achieving your fitness goals—could any of these be reframed in your mind so that they’re easier to overcome?

I don’t have time!

Of course you don’t. Who does? So, should you just forget about exercising because you don’t have large chunks of empty time? Seems kind of silly, doesn’t it? Instead of thinking about how you don’t have an hour (or even 30 minutes) to set aside to exercise, look for little ways to incorporate more movement into your day.

  1. Take the stairs. Every single stair counts, and each time you choose movement over the elevator moves you a few steps closer to your goals.
  2. Make the TV work for you. Fold laundry or do simple stretches while watching your favorite programming. Don’t give up your entertainment—it’s important! Just make that time count toward your exercise goals.
  3. Park just a little farther away. It doesn’t take any real time to walk a few more steps, especially when you factor in the waiting time sometimes required to get that super-close spot in the grocery store parking lot.
  4. Turn phone calls into mini workout sessions. Instead of leaning back and putting your feet up, stand and walk around during those tedious phone meetings.
  5. Turn obligation into opportunity. Taking your kids to practice? Spend that time walking around the ballfield or climbing up and down the bleacher stairs. Standing in line at the grocery? Do some squats side crunches. Sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office? Simply standing, rather than sitting, burns about one extra calorie per minute.

It’s boring!

Only if you make it that way! Exercise is anything that gets you moving, so don’t let the boredom of a treadmill or dumbbells keep you down. Try one of these:

  • Listen to an audiobook on the stationary bike.
  • Crank up the tunes and dance.
  • Go for a walk somewhere beautiful, or interesting or exciting—even if you have to drive to get there!
  • Find an active hobby you enjoy, like gardening, ballroom dancing, hiking or rollerblading.
  • Bring a friend (or make a new friend once you get there). There are even fitness groups you can join online so you always have a workout partner.

I’m too stressed/depressed/anxious.

Believe it or not, if you can just get yourself up and moving, you’ll feel so much better. Exercise affects the brain on many levels:

  • Pumps more oxygen to the brain, reducing brain fog and improving concentration
  • Stimulates the release of feel-good brain chemicals that fight depression and lower stress
  • Serves as a form of meditation, where you focus on your body and its movement, releasing tension and elevating mood

BayCare Fitness Centers offers an assortment of wellness and fitness services, including group and specialty exercise classes. Try a workout you've never done before to break the cycle of boring fitness routines or bring a buddy to a class with you for a little extra motivation. For more information on our fitness centers and their services, visit