No more excuses

By:  Leanne Henwood-Adam, Fitness Coordinator, North Campus

We see an increase in numbers attending our fitness classes and working out in the Fitness Centre every January.  Sadly, these numbers begin decreasing in February and by March we are back to mostly the regulars.  Why is it that people have difficulty sticking to their New Year Resolutions/Goals?  For many, it is due to setting unrealistic goals and for many others, they have big fat “buts” – as in, “I want to lose weight to get healthy, BUT…..” or “I want to get fit and strong, BUT…..”.  Over the years we have come up with some excuse solutions:

 “I have no time.” I think we have all used this one at some point.  The best way around this one is to schedule the time into your calendar for months in advance.  This way you work it in around class and/or work hours.  Also, try to schedule this time with a friend, coworker or a Personal Trainer as you are more apt to keep the “appointment” if someone else is depending on you.  Another great idea is to sneak fitness into your day – park further from the door, take the stairs instead of the elevator, use commercial breaks while watching your fav shows to sneak in some sit-ups, push-ups and squats, etc.

“Diets never work for me.”  Diets do not work because most of them have not taught you how to eat in real life so you lose weight and go right back to eating the way you did before the diet and since your habits have not changed, you gain the weight back.  The simple solution here is to not diet – learn how to eat REAL nutritious foods all the time.  Make it a rule to grab healthy foods first before you allow yourself a “treat”.  This way, you fill up on goodness and are less likely to eat too much of a food that lacks nutrition.  Also, never tell yourself that certain foods are off limits – this sets you up for craving the “forbidden” foods where you are more likely to binge on them.

“I literally hate going to the gym.”  Who says you have to go to a gym or fitness centre to exercise?  There are so many ways to exercise outside of a gym environment – get outside and go for a walk, go snowshoeing or skiing or go for a bike ride.  Head out to the community pool and go for a swim.  Grab a ball and play some soccer with some friends or play a game of basketball.  The ideas are endless!

“I don’t have time to cook.”  Eating healthy does not need to take a lot of time since most healthy foods can be eaten raw – as in veggies and fruit – and are naturally portable.  Quick easy meals can be made by picking up a roast chicken and some pre-washed baby greens on your way home.  Some people dedicate a few hours on a weekend to shop, prep and prepare meals for the week.  One avid runner I know does this with her snacks for the week – every day has a portion of pre washed & cut veggies with dip so all she needs to do is grab and go.  I tend to cook several large batches of meals to keep in the fridge so on those nights that I am running from work to home to an after school/work sports activity, dinner is ready and simply needs to be reheated.

“I am on a very strict budget.”  I have already addressed how you can exercise practically anywhere, but what about food.  Seems everyone is talking these days about how much a head of cauliflower is!  Food has become more expensive due to a few factors – the Canadian dollar has slid quite low compared to the US dollar and so anything we import from the US will be more expensive with the dollar conversion. Also, many growing areas in the US have been hit with severe weather – first droughts and now floods.  The good news is, you can still find deals on food.  Here are a few simple ideas:  look at the flyers to compare prices between stores – buy what is on sale – price match - buy local – buy frozen veggies to use in soups and stews.

No more excuses – let’s find ways to get and remain healthy!