Getting back into a regular exercise routine is hard work. After all, you have to rebuild your endurance, strength and motivation to hit the gym. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to make excuses in the face of these challenges. Remember, getting started is the most difficult part – once you’re exercising, you won’t want to stop. Eliminate these common excuses so you can get on your way to a better you:
1. You’re sore
It’s important to know the difference between being sore and being hurt. Discomfort or stabbing pains in your joints or muscles are big no-nos in the exercise world. This is especially true if you feel the ache immediately after a certain movement, such as falling or twisting your ankle. In this case, seek professional medical treatment and don’t exercise until you’re better.
However, if you experience delayed onset muscle soreness, you have no excuse to stop exercising. It’s more than safe to work out, and it’s better for your body to jump back into physical activity. The dull muscle pain usually happens when you work parts of your body that aren’t used to that stimulation. Hitting the gym may actually alleviate that discomfort and help the recovery process, according to Women’s Health.
Additionally, use a personal massager to get your muscles back in working order. You may already know from experience that a massage feels great, but scientific evidence supports this observation, too. A study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine found that 10 minutes of massage on the affected muscles can reduce signs of inflammation, alleviating soreness.
2. You’re sick
While being sick might be an acceptable excuse to take a day off of work, it shouldn’t stop you from working out. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can safely do mild to moderate exercises if all your symptoms are above your neck, such as a headache or runny nose. The New York Times even highlighted research that suggested physical activity can make you feel better overall, though you likely won’t experience any differences in your symptoms. If you decide to work out, be courteous to other exercisers. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, and sanitize any equipment you use at the gym.
That being said, let your body be your guide. If you really feel too sick to work out, stay at home and rest. When you experience a fever, chest pain or a stomach ache, specifically, avoid physical activity to prevent further illness.
3. You don’t have time
Being too busy is perhaps the most common excuse to not exercise. To defeat this poor reasoning, you need to employ a little strategy and rethink your priorities. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised adults need only 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity each week. Realistically, that means you can jog for less than a half hour, three times per week, and still meet this recommendation.
Think about what you do for 25 minutes each day that could be replaced with exercise. For instance, a 2014 report by Nielsen found that Americans spend between four and six hours each day watching TV. Additionally, U.S. adults spend an average of 3.6 hours per day socializing online, according to Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange. Consider cutting back on these habits to make more time for your health.