Over the past few weeks, I've been writing about some of the most common excuses I hear people give to explain why they don't exercise regularly. These people are well-educated regarding the myriad benefits a consistent workout schedule provides, such as a trim physique and stronger bones, a healthier heart and happier mind, and generally speaking, a body capable of handling the tasks with which its presented.
In the first installment of this series, I discussed two excuses that I categorized under the heading "Personality Blame" because they come from individuals who feel they are—perhaps on a biological level—inherently averse to exercise and are convinced that working out is something they will never feel motivated to stick with; therefore, it is a lost cause. Last week, I switched gears and focused on people who cite people and activities outside of themselves as the reason they can't work out despite their desire to. These individuals fall under a term I've labeled "External Blame."
External Blamers, as we saw last week, blame the busyness of life for their workout-less lifestyles. Marriage, children, a new job, and countless other responsibilities have pushed "Exercise" to the bottom of their priority list.
Below is the second most prevalent excuse External Blamers give as well as what I hope will be helpful suggestions for how you can overcome it for good:
"Working Out is Too Expensive ..."
No one can argue that gym memberships can be pricey, with the average costing between $40 and $50 per month. CrossFit memberships can cost five to eight times more than your standard gym ... for one person. In addition to the gym fee, one must also take into consideration the added cost of childcare, gas money, and, for the style-savvy among us, fashion-forward workout attire.
If this is your go-to excuse, then take heart—there truly is hope. I'm here to tell you that working out doesn't have to cause your wallet to lose weight. You really can get into the best shape of your life while keeping your finances in tip-top condition, too. Here are a few ways how:
Invest in a Home Gym
If you're able to discipline yourself to work out alone, then your house can be the perfect gym. Start small by purchasing just a few dumbbells—a light, medium, and heavier pair is my recommendation—and a Yoga mat to put on your floor.
Next, all you have to do is go to your computer or smartphone to find an exercise routine that is suited for your sweat space! Here's one of my favorites for building muscle while simultaneously elevating your heart rate up and revving your metabolism:
Time yourself as you perform 3-5 rounds (3 rounds if you're a beginner, 4 or 5 if you're ready for more of a challenge!) of the workout below as fast as you can. Then, about one week later, do the same workout again and see how your time improves. As the workout becomes faster and easier, use a heavier set of dumbbells for the lunges and include a pair to hold at your sides as you do the squats.
- 10 Stationary Dumbbell Lunges
- 15 Push-Ups (Perform these on your knees if necessary.)
- 20 Bodyweight Squats (Try to squat low enough so that your hip crease goes below your knees with every repetition.)
- 25 Jumping Jacks
As time goes by, you can add to your Home Gym's inventory. A few of my favorite pieces of equipment are:
- AbMat for sit-ups
- Kettlebells in various sizes
- Medicine Ball
- Indoor Rowing Machine (This item is definitely on the expensive side, but I believe it's well worth the investment)
Enlist a Buddy
The toughest part about working out outside of a gym atmosphere is often the lack of accountability. Personal trainers, class instructors—not to mention a costly membership—help hold us to our commitment to exercise. When we work out at home, we are responsible for motivating ourselves to work out each day, which can seem a Herculean task at times, especially in the face of chores and countless other distractions.
Talk to a friend you know who may also be interested in saving some money and working out at home or outdoors with you. Together, make a schedule that you both can stick to. Start with maybe just two or three 30-minute sessions each week. Then, as you both prove to each other that you can adhere to that frequency, add another day and/or more time to your workouts.
Personal trainers, class instructors, and CrossFit coaches are fitness professionals with the knowledge and passion to help you reach your goals safely and effectively. Working out at home poses another disadvantage in that you don't have such experts nearby to instruct you on new movements, give you pointers, ensure you are using good form, prescribe workouts tailored just for you, and encourage you through challenging sessions that "hurt so good!"
Take it upon yourself to become your own personal trainer, of sorts. During a coffee or lunch break, research the type of movements you and your training partner want to incorporate into your next workout. Watch YouTube videos on each exercise you have planned for the day so that you can learn the proper form and execute it efficiently. Read up on the best way to warm up and prepare your body for intense exercise as well as how to stretch and foam roll afterwards to aid recovery and alleviate muscle soreness.
I pray that this series has been a blessing to you and helped show you how to have victory over the excuses that have prevented you from keeping your temple tidy and fit for the Lord. I cannot overstate the importance of reminding yourself of who and what you are in Christ: a child of the living God, a dwelling place of His Spirit. Each day, may it be our privilege and honor to glorify Him in how we strengthen and nourish our bodies.
"Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body" (1 Cor. 6:19-20, NLT).
Diana Anderson-Tyler is the author of Creation House's Fit for Faith: A Christian Woman's Guide to Total Fitness and her latest book, Perfect Fit: Weekly Wisdom and Workouts for Women of Faith and Fitness. Her popular website can be found at dianafit.com, and she is the owner and a coach at CrossFit 925. Diana can be reached on Twitter.
For the original article, visit dianaandersontyler.com.