Fit & Happy: Are You Your #1 Priority?

Meredith Nixon - Meredith Nixon

Have you gotten your fill of exercise this week? If you're an adult living in the United States, a safe guess would be no. A new study estimates that nearly 80 percent of adult Americans do not get the recommended amounts of exercise each week, potentially setting themselves up for years of health problems.The CDC recommends adults get at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week and should also engage in muscle-strengthening activities at least twice per week.


So, what’s keeping you from working out? Whether it’s too little time, not enough energy, or just hating to exercise, there's a solution. Get ready to get motivated!


1. I'm too busy

This is by far the most common excuse. Yes, we all lead busy lives but, if something is a priority you will make time for it. So make time for exercise. Try scheduling it into your PDA or datebook the same way you plan meetings or other commitments. If you don't have a long stretch of time, you could break up your workout into shorter sessions. Some activity is better than none. We find time for things we value, and we should value our health!

2. I'm too tired

Working out actually gives you more energy. Your body makes feel-good hormones (endorphins), and you're getting the circulation going. It may help to work out in the morning before your day gets away from you, or as I like to say, "before your brain has the chance to figure out what you're doing!" Not a morning person? No problem, do it whenever you feel best just get it done!

3. It's so boring.

The best way to avoid being bored is to find an activity that doesn't bore you. Don't like to run? Don't do it. Bike, box, row, dance, or do whatever keep exercise fun for you. If it makes exercise more enjoyable for you, it's OK to watch TV or read while you're on the exercise bike or treadmill, as long as your workout is still challenging. Another great workout incentive is to get your friends or family to go with you, or join a group. Having an exercise buddy, you're more likely to work harder, not to mention motivated to simply show up.. Once you find something you enjoy, make changes now and then to keep your interest and every once in a while, try something totally new. Variety in your workouts also prevent plateaus and guarantee greater success!

4. I'm too old to exercise.

No, you aren't! Almost no one is too old or too frail to work out. Is it that you don't like getting sweaty? You can work out indoors where it's air conditioned. You can swim so you won't notice any perspiration. Or try a low-sweat activity, like gentle types of yoga or Pilates. Or perhaps it is hard on your joints? Head for the pool (or in any ocean or pond, since we're lucky enough to live on Cape Cod!) Exercising in water is easier on your joints. The stronger your muscles get, the more they can support your joints and the less you'll hurt. If your physical limitations are more serious, check with your doctor, or find an athletic trainer who can help you figure out exercises that are still safe and easy to do. Exercise can prevent osteoporosis, increase bone density and prevent muscle loss and prevent falls. All important issues we need to be concerned with as we mature.

5. My kids get in the way.

Work around your kids' schedule as best you can; waking up before they do may not sound appealing, but many parents say it's the only time they can be sure to get in an uninterrupted workout and some much-needed alone time. Alternatively, take your kids with you, while they're playing, you can walk around the playground/park, or jump rope nearby. During their games or sports practices, walk briskly around the field. Or workout as a family,try hiking, walking, biking, or playing an outdoor game. When mom or dad is more fit and have more energy, the whole family benefits. You're only as good to others as you are to yourself.

6. I've Tried Before.

Set goals that are small and realistic. Then you're more likely to feel like a success, not a failure. Accomplishing small goals leads to increased confidence and in turn greater motivation! Another tip is to keep a log and post it somewhere, -- even on Facebook. Accountability is a key factor in sticking with your goals and encouragement from your friends and family will inspire you to keep working hard.

This column sponsored by:

Meredith Nixon is a fitness enthusiast with a passion for motivating and inspiring others.

She uses her personal experiences from achieving her own weight loss goals to understand her clients and motivate them to love themselves and to be happy, healthy and fit. She teaches people how to live a healthy lifestyle and keep weight off forever with life changing results both inside and out.

Since 2007 Meredith has been the sole proprietor of her own health clubs. The Fitness Company for Women in Mashpee, The Fitness Company (coed) in East Falmouth , and most recently, FitCo Weight loss & Wellness Center of Cape Cod.


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