Beating the Vicious Cycle of Fatigue and Lack of Physical Activity

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Beatng Fatique and Lack of Physical Activity

According to the American Medical Association, 1 out of 3 Americans is Obese.  Excess weight isn't only uncomfortable, it is also detrimental to health and wellbeing.

People have all kinds of excuses why they don't exercise.  Here are some easy suggestions to bypass those excuses and get results!

#1 I DON'T HAVE TIME

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American works 40-50 hours per week. With this type of schedule, it is surely challenging to find the time (and energy) to exercise but it is not impossible!  For those who are parents* and have to wake up early to take their kids to school, getting up 10-30 minutes earlier everyday may not be a viable option and after work, it's dinner, showers, homework, and exhaustion.  So how do you get out of this rut?  Make the time!

If you have a 1 hour lunch break, use 30 minutes to walk around the block or inside a mall.  You can also do this with shorter breaks.  If the weather is not conducive to walking outside, there are other things you can do at work, even during work to burn calories, stimulate circulation, and promote health and quality of life.  Here are some ideas...

#2 I AM TOO TIRED AFTER WORK

A stationary bicycle pedaling device can be kept under your desk at work.  There are some expensive ones that would be a worthwhile investment, but it doesn't have to cost much to be effective, the main thing is that you use it. 

If you have a break room at work, ask your boss if you can put a  small exercise equipment for the staff such as a portable stepper, maybe s/he will even help to pay for the cost.  This device can also fit easily in the trunk of a car!

#3 IT'S INCONVENIENT

What could be more convenient than working out in the comfort of your own home at your own pace, whenever you want to?  Use an exercise app on your smartphone and set reminders so you don't procrastinate or fall off the wagon or find an online (such as YouTube) exercise video channel that you like and set alarms in your phone to remind you to do them.  Here are a few options to look into trying:

  • Tai Chi
  • Plyometrics
  • Fitness with Faith
  • Yoga and Spirituality
  • Meditation Music
#4 I AM TOO LAZY

You can make your activities of daily life into a workout without much effort.  If you walk a lot for work such as a nurse, realtor or postman, use 1-2 lbs ankle weights.  It can be hidden underneath your pants so no one knows.  Your leg muscles will feel a big difference.  A little bit goes a long way!

#5 I DON'T HAVE SPACE FOR WORKOUT EQUIPMENT

If you live or work in a high rise building, take the stairs !  Do this on cruises too.  You will burn calories and sometimes get where you are going even faster. 

#6 I HATE WORKING OUT!

Join the club!  Don't workout, just be more active.  When shopping, doing errands, going out to eat, to an appointment, or going to work, don't look for the closest parking spot.  Park further away and walk to your destination.  This may entail better time management but walking a few extra blocks every day adds up!

#7 I CANNOT AFFORD A GYM MEMBERSHIP

Then don't join one.  These fast and effective exercises are FREE.  In just 10 minutes per day you can get into good shape with a few super simple exercises!

Try a Circuit such as this one that can get you in great shape over time!

  • 2 min jumping jacks, jump rope* or burpees (warm up) 
  • 1 minute of squats 
  • 1 minute of (alternating) lunges  
  • 1 minute of sit-ups (left, right, center)
  • 1 minute of push-ups 
  • 1 minute of plank *
  • 1 minute of pull-ups*
  • 2 minutes of stretching

Imagine if you did this twice per day 

when you woke up and before you went to bed!

How would you look and feel after 1 year!?!

A program called silver sneakers may provide free gym entrance for senior citizens!

#8 I AM INJURED AND I DON'T WANT TO MAKE IT WORSE

If you have knee (or other joint) problems (or health conditions), you can do the exercises without jumping (low impact).  Consult with your doctor and a trainer to find the appropriate workout for you.  For warm up you can walk in place, alternate with high knees, and butt kicks and all the exercises can be modified for low impact to meet your specific needs.  Yoga teachers are especially adept in making modifications in exercises for people as are occupational and physical therapists.

If you have carpet or rug then you don't need a yoga mat, otherwise a thick foam exercise mat can be stored in the trunk of your car and be ready for any 10 minute break you have.  Your kids could be playing in the park on a Sunday or after school and you do your routine quickly.

There is minimal to no equipment needed really, your own body weight suffices in plyometric exercises.  Plyometrics, also known as jump training or plyos, are  exercises in which muscles exert maximum force in short intervals of time, with the goal of increasing power, speed and strength.

If you have a doorway at work, a pullup bar and can be easily broken down to take along with you when traveling!


#9 I HATE THE GYM

There are numerous physical activities that do not require joining a gym. If you are a social person, join a sports team!  Your local YMCA, JCC, and other organizations such as recreational parks and recreational centers have all kinds of sports teams you can join: soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball, rowing, running clubs (train for a marathon-that's a great goal & accomplishment!), cycling clubs (you can find online or through local sporting goods outfitters) and dance studios--belly dancing is a great core workout and very empowering for women.  There are long bike rides for great causes that are lots of fun to do with friends. You can enter a tennis or racquetball league, solo or doubles (get your family members involved such as spouse or parent or child or sibling).  

Having someone to be accountable to is very productive and enjoying a recreational activity with a friend or family member is beneficial for the relationship!  By joining a team you can make like-minded friends and maybe even meet someone special if you are single!

#11 I DON'T LIKE COMPETITION

Physical activity doesn't have to be in the form of the gym or a sport.  You can make it a date night with your spouse, and take dance classes together.  Ballroom dancing or Swing, Latin dancing or other social dances can be both a great cardiovascular workout as well as a ton of fun and a great opportunity to bond with your partner.  A couples' yoga class video or tai qi or chi gong video could also be a fun way to spend quality time together without having to get a babysitter and save the commuting time.  Flexibility is super important as we age to improve balance and prevent hip fractures, etc.It could also be quality time with parent and child.


#11 I AM NOT ATHLETIC

Martial Arts is an awesome practice that will get you in shape, confident, and sharp.  It can boost your metabolism and your self-esteem.


#12 IT'S JUST NOT FOR ME

Not everything is for everyone.  That's okay!  Join your kids in their fun  physical activities.  Don't be a spectator! When I take my kids to the trampoline park or to the local ninja course, I see so many parents sitting in the side-lines, watching or on their phones.  Being active with your kids is a great way to bond with  them, so stop watching and jump in.  You might actually have fun, sweat, and enjoy yourself! It's important to be a good role model!  Children learn by what we do, not what we say!  So play catch with them, rent bikes at the beach, and shoot some hoops together.  Families that play together, stay together!

My step-daughter watching me get air!

#13 I AM NOT MOTIVATED  & #14 I AM AFRAID (I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO)

No one likes to lose money.  Therefore when you sign up with a personal trainer you are more likely to be committed to your exercise program.  Even if it's only once per week and you do 2 other days on your own you will get better results.  Pick a trainer who looks how you want to look.  If your trainer is not in good shape, find someone else to coach you.  Also, if you are concerned about medical conditions and injuries, signing up for a few sessions with a personal trainer can be particularly beneficial.  The trainer can make sure you are doing things properly (with good posture, alignment, and using weights that will build your muscles without injuring you.  There is no need to start on your own if you fear doing things incorrectly and suffering the consequences.  Sports injuries happen, even when you do things correctly so it's also good to make sure your nutrition and supplement intake is adequate to support your lifestyle.  Don't be embarrassed, everyone needs to start somewhere.  Just start!

#15 I WORK TOO MANY HOURS

Office modification.  Your desk can be transformed into a workout station.  If you sit for many hours, maybe you can use a yoga ball part of the time to exercise your core muscles such as abdomen and back.  Make sure your table and monitor are ergonomically set up to protect your joints and eyes from excess strain and fatigue.  You might be able to get a transformable standing desk or a wurf board for standing jobs to increase and improve circulation.  Stagnation of blood and vital energy (qi pronounced chee) are the leading contributors to disease according to Chinese Medicine.  There are many creative ways to modify your office that are available today that help to prevent lack of physical activity (leading to weight gain and poor health).  If you think it's too expensive, it's cheaper than missing 3 weeks from work because of surgery and it's cheaper than chemotherapy copayments and deductibles.  Your boss would probably prefer to invest in prevention so that his employees are happy, healthy, more productive, in a better mood and miss fewer days due to illness etc. 

#16 NOTHING WORKS FOR ME

Humans enjoy variety, spontaneity and regularity.  Mix and match from the above to find something that works for you.   For example, maybe wear ankle weights twice per week, take the stairs on Fridays, go for a long walk at the park or the beach on Sundays, take a Dance class one evening per week, use your exercise app twice per week to work different muscle groups (upper and lower body workouts), take a fitness class once per week (some clubs open at 5am, you could swim laps too!), get a yoga ball for the office and a gel pad for your keyboard to protect your wrists from carpal tunnel.  Use the FREE step counting app built into your phone!  Sign up for a few 5K races  per year (you can speed walk it) and try to beat your personal best each time.  There are many little things you can do if you WANT to.  Where there is a will, there is a way! So start planning today!

#17 I HAVE FOOT PAIN AND CANNOT STAND

There is a program called sit and be fit that you can do at home or at a local senior center.  You can also swim, row, or use a stationary bicycle.  In addition, you can heal the foot pain with acupuncture.  If you are not getting results, get a food app and log your macros.  When you record your intake you can better track your progress. 

#18 I'M TOO OLD

This is an excuse for, I don't want to, I don't believe I can.  One of my Zumba teachers is 74 years old and she is slim, energetic and amazing.  There are many seniors who compete in athletic events such as body building and racing and even senior Olympics.  I have seen videos of physically fit elderly dancing, doing gymnastics and many other physical activities and they don't use age as a crutch or excuse for why not to exercise, be fit, and feel great. There is a woman on social media who started practicing Yoga when she was in her 70s and is now teaching it in her 90s.  Age is no excuse!  NOW is always the time to live your best life!

In summary, exercise should not feel like a dreaded chore. Find something fun that you enjoy doing and look forward to. The important thing is to do it often!  It is better to exercise 10-20 minutes per day than to just be a weekend warrior.  So, sign up for 5K walk/runs and take those long weekend bike rides but be active  all week long too to prevent heart disease, diabetes and more!  Enjoy reducing your stress and living your best life. It's your life and your choice so choose wisely!

You might not live longer, but you will live BETTER!

Who doesn't want a better quality of life?

So get moving!  You are UNSTOPPABLE!