What’s Your Excuse?

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As pretty as it looks, it is deceptively cold.

This is the kind of day when all I want to do is hunker down with a good book, wrap myself in the blanket my grandmother knit and drink tea ALL day long. “Feels like -25°C” is really no joke, but I guess that’s what we get when living in Canada. It’s at times like this when we often struggle to find that motivation to venture outside for some exercise or make it to the gym. Today I, too, had to mentally convince myself to pull up my socks, quit making excuses and just Get. To. The. Gym (I did, eventually). So how do we make sure we stick to our goals and avoid getting lost in the land of the never-ending excuses?

One thing you can do is know your excuses and learn how to fight them. Let me give you some examples from my own personal “excuse-catalogue”;

  1. Excuse: It’s so cold. Fight line: If you’re cold, get up and get moving! Physical activity is better than any sweater or blanket at warming you up.
  2. Excuse: I’ve had a really long day. Fight line: Contrary to what you think, you’re not the only one whose had a “long day”. If others can do it so can you.
  3. Excuse: I don’t have time. Fight line: 20 minutes a day is all you need, and once you start you know you’ll keep going.

When it comes to excuses you are your own worst enemy. There are endless excuses you could come up with to avoid exercise but the trick here is to know how to fight them. Think of potential excuses that you might use to avoid your activity of choice, and now quickly counter-act that thought! Knowing and having this “self-knowledge” will help you to recognize the difference between an excuse and a valid reason. And let’s be clear, there are only a handful of valid reasons versus the millions we could fabricate.

Another option is to make it a date. Especially during the cold winter months, set a place and time and invite a friend to go with you. Knowing that you have committed to someone will most likely give you that extra push to make it out the door. If you are struggling to hold yourself accountable for your own actions, this is a great alternative. Guilt is a precious gift, nobody wants to be the friend who no-shows for their gym date. Bonus: this will also serve dual purpose as a social call!

Can’t make it to the gym/yoga/fitness class? Sometimes this truthfully does happen and our schedules don’t allow for it. That’s okay, this is the LIFE part of #lifefitwork. But, just because you can’t make it to the gym doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate activity into your day. Memorize this acronym; MAPS.

Move, Activate, Posture, Stretch

If we can’t schedule an activity, we want to make sure we Move throughout the day, Activate our muscles, maintain good Posture and take a second to Stretch. You may feel like you aren’t accomplishing much, but the goal with MAPS is to help cultivate the habit of exercising and remaining active.

With this in mind, make sure to follow @sarahkcopes for tomorrow’s first FIT Friday challenge! #lifefitwork

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