TOPS busts common workout excuses

TOPS Club, the nonprofit weight loss support organization, provides tips to overcome justifications for avoiding physical activity.

“I’m too busy.”

Make working out a priority and it will become routine.

The best way to fit physical activity into your day is by setting a schedule and writing it on the calendar, says TOPS.

If you don’t have time for an hour of cardiovascular or weight training, take steps to ensure you move during the week — take the stairs, park at the back of the parking lot, do an abdominal workout during commercials. Ten-minute ‘mini’ exercises, such as a brisk walk during the lunch hour, are also useful.

“I feel self-conscious.”

Exercise at home with fitness DVDs and resistance cables.

Once you have gained confidence, go outside, join a gym, or take an exercise class, urges TOPS. If you want to beat the crowds at the fitness center, go mid-morning or late in the evening, when less people are around.

“I don’t like working out.”

Perhaps running or weight lifting is too monotonous for you.

Working out doesn’t have to be something that’s painful or boring, TOPS advises. Today’s workout world offers a variety of options to stay fit — yoga, hiking, swimming, dancing, Pilates, recreational sports and more. Grab a friend and participate in a workout that you enjoy.

“I don’t know how.”

Personal trainers help people tailor their exercises to their ability and the proper intensity level.

Whether you want to learn how to cycle indoors, dance or play a sport, fitness classes with instructors can teach new movements and correct form. The staff at most gyms should be well-versed in their facility’s equipment; don’t be afraid to ask for help.

“I can’t afford a gym membership.”

Although fitness centers have a lot to offer, gym fees can be expensive. Perhaps your community’s local recreation department offers low-cost classes you can participate in, TOPS offers.

Walking or running outdoors are free, effective activities. You may even want to consider roller-blading. Fancy equipment isn’t necessary to get in shape — it’s more important to stay active on a regular basis.

“I can’t get motivated.”

Make a list of reasons to workout — to get healthy, boost energy, look better in your clothes, etc.

Post the list in a place you look at everyday to remind yourself of your workout ambitions. Friends are also a great place to seek motivation.

At TOPS, weekly chapter meetings give members the opportunity to cheer for and encourage one another in their weight-loss efforts.

“I don’t see any results.”

It’s important to understand that exercise may not produce immediate physical changes.

Remember your long-term goals and think about how working out makes you feel. Writing down the little improvements you see on a daily basis can be helpful.

TOPS Club was established more than 63 years ago to champion weight-loss support and success.

Visitors are welcome to attend their first TOPS meeting free of charge. To find a local chapter, view www.tops.org or call 800-932-8677.

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