Working out solutions to common workout obstacles
Dan and Theresa Gordon have heard every excuse in the book from
people who don't, can't or just plain won't exercise. Fortunately,
they're personal fitness trainers, so they're equipped with a slew
of strategies to combat any obstacle in the way of a workout.
No time to exercise? No problem. The Gordons' workout center,
The Body Studio for Fitness in Foster City, Calif., opens at 6
Lousy weather looming? No worries, say the husband-and-wife
team, who trained in downpours preparing for last year's Honolulu
Marathon. Walking in the wind builds endurance, and running in warm
rain is exhilarating.
Can't afford a trainer? Inexpensive downloads from sites such as
bodystudioforfitness.com or itrain.com put a workout on your MP3
player. Here are some of the other excuses the Gordons encounter
most often and their advice on how to
Excuse: I'm too busy. Excuse-blaster: Who isn't? So how do some
people manage to consistently fit fitness into their lives?
"Exercise has to be a priority," says Dan. "It's one of those
things you have to put on top of your list." Making time to
exercise should be as routine as marking off blocks of time each
week in your calendar, just like you schedule doctor's appointments
or haircuts. The Gordons help clients scrutinize their schedules to
transform daily tasks into fitness opportunities. Instead of taking
the dog for a stroll, step up the pace to a brisk walk. Move the
treadmill in front of the TV. Or change a coffee date into a tennis
Excuse: I can't stay motivated. Excuse-blaster: Rev up
enthusiasm with a deadline-oriented goal and a reward for achieving
it. You might train for a 5K race, or you could vow to exercise for
a certain number of days per week or month. "When you have a goal,
you won't give up on your training so easily,"
For an extra shot of motivation, find a friend who will pursue
the same aim and won't let you weasel out of a workout. When you
meet your goal, celebrate with a treat, such as new clothing or
jewelry, or an extra massage therapy
session that month.
Excuse: I'm too sore. Excuse-blaster: It's not unusual for your
muscles to get tired and sore when you workout-especially if you're
just getting started. A good warm-up and stretching before and
after you exercise, can help. Regular sports massage also can
help ease muscle pain by helping your body rid itself of the
buildup of lactic acid, which is what causes muscle soreness after
Excuse: I'm always on the road. Excuse-blaster: Choose hotels
with on-site gyms, and bring a workout geared to places with
If you don't have access to a gym, bring your own. A set of
resistance bands, a jump rope and a pedometer take up almost no
space in a suitcase. Be sure to pack a workout routine and write
yourself a note committing to dedicated workout times on your
The Gordons suggest using a pedometer to rack up 10,000 steps a
day, or about five miles. Walk the airport, the hotel's staircases
and the cities you're visiting. "It's almost a game: How can I get
my steps in?" Theresa says.
Excuse: I just don't like to exercise. Excuse-blaster: No one
says you have to like it. Like submitting tax returns and flossing,
you just have to do it.
People who dislike physical exertion are good candidates for a
heart monitor, says Dan. They need only keep their heart rate at a
target level for a set amount of time each week. That's it. No need
to swim thousands of laps or stagger through triathlons.
So what is the best way to keep that heart rate up? The Gordons
hear that question all the time. The best exercise to get and stay
fit, they say with knowing smiles, is whatever exercise you'll
consistently do. -By June D. Bell