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4 Ways to Finally Start Exercising and Participating in Sports

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4 Ways to Finally Start Exercising and Participating in Sports

How many times have you promised yourself that you will begin exercising next Monday, or when the new month starts?

Whenever that Monday comes, you usually find an excuse not to start. Or the best scenario, you start something that turns out to be way too painful, boring, or taking too much energy.

I don’t know why it happens, but we usually make the diet or exercise decisions when we can’t button our favorite pants or devour an entire chocolate. But the moment the guilt disappears, we forget about the promise. Some of us are bound to laziness; there are too many unpleasant sensations, side effects like dirt, sweat, and much more. The unwilling brain can find dozens of reasons not to participate in anything away from the couch.

I can understand your attitude if you’re not into sports, but the reality is: if you aren’t physically active, you’ll get weaker and develop some kind of illness. Still, it’s not that scary; working out and participating in sports is a very fun way to burn calories, develop muscles, and boost your overall health. It doesn’t have to be that hard.

Let’s get you out of that chair and develop some healthy habits – this time for real.

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1. Find something that will interest you

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    As a regular couch potato, any activity will get you somewhere. Depending on how long has been since your last outdoor recreation or visit to the gym, the more painful the first encounter with activity will be.

    The trick is to find something that will interest you, and use some possibilities to your advantage. Even if you’re ultimately not interested in sports, I can guarantee that you can have fun trying out different sports with your friends. Any sport out there can be good: lacrosse, table tennis, golf, soccer, paintball, swimming, cycling, or bowling. You never know until you actually try it.

    Just be creative and give the sport a chance. Here’s what you should do next:

    2. Find a partner

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      To start and endure in the decision to exercise or regularly participate in sports, find someone to accompany you. It can be your emotional partner, a friend, sister or brother, or anyone else you like to spend time with. Doing it this way, you will connect two useful things – physical activities and socializing.

      To have some extra motivation, arrange some activity linked to a workout that you both will enjoy, like a post-workout dinner. That can be a reward for a productive exercise or sports session. If you’ve decided to hit the gym, try to find a partner who has experience in exercising. Your partner can assist you with weights, show you how to do some exercises or correct you if he or she sees that you are doing an exercise incorrectly.

      If you choose some other sports activity, such as group training or running, a partner can give you advice that will help you achieve better results. Of course, there is the competitive aspect; try to beat each other’s records will improve both of you significantly. If your partner has no experience in training, you will have someone to answer to. You can’t evade the training when your partner awaits you. Even when you aren’t in the mood, you’ll have to meet your partner and go through the workout.

      3. Get yourself a new equipment

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        One of the things that always helps you stay motivated is getting some new sports equipment. It would be a pity that a fancy new pair of shoes or a new tennis racket gets left behind in a closet, right?

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        If you do workouts in the gym or some group aerobic sport, a new sportswear will always be handy, such as stylish sports T-shirts & shorts and a pair of good sneakers. As soon as you refresh your outfit and look at yourself in the gym mirror you will feel much better. Besides the sportswear, getting yourself the equipment for the sport might lead you to pick it up more often. For example, if you play tennis, buying a new racket could be a good motivator.

        Here’s an interesting trick; get yourself the clothes and the equipment somewhere you can see it every day. Some people go a step further and put it right next to the bed so as soon as they wake up, an upcoming workout reminder is there. Another interesting method to get you out of the house: get yourself a set of golf clubs and put it in your hallway. The sight of your new fancy equipment will increase the probability of a new golf session. It won’t require much sweat, but you’ll still be outside and active.

        The space in which you exercise can play a vital role in how you feel. If you are getting bored of the same old gym or program you are participating in for some time, try to find something new that can get you more interested in and don’t be afraid to experiment. After all, the most important thing is to enjoy whatever you are doing.

        4. Music is a great motivator

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          Image Credit: GoToVan, Flickr

          A good motivation plays a key role in keeping you primed during your sports activities or workout session whatever that may be, and is there a better motivator than music?

          Music has the power to affect and boost our emotions in powerful ways, and that is why it has been known that working out with the help of music can give you the edge and push you much further. First of all, you should get a pair of good earbuds; besides that they are much smaller, earbuds are more resilient when dealing with moisture especially when used in sports activities, being soaked with a solid sweat.

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          Also, they are a much better option regarding staying on your head while you are in motion, and some earbuds even have built-in stabilizing fins to ensure that they will stay in your ears no matter what you do during your workout. Now, when it comes to motivational music, everyone prefers something different. Try to find which kind of music suits you the best according to the type of sport or workout you are performing.

          Make a playlist of your favorite songs which will motivate you to get off the couch, start running, or push through some heavier lifts at the gym. It has been found that music with a strong beat often helps people’s movements to stay consistent during exercise.

          Get out and start the change

          You have one life, and you choose how to live it. It’s your turn; choose the sport or activity and enjoy it. You’ll get hooked in no time.

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          Dejan Kvrgic

          Blogger, Writer

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          Last Updated on September 8, 2021

          10 Fitness Excuses You Need to Stop Making Now

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          10 Fitness Excuses You Need to Stop Making Now

          “You can have results or excuses. Not both.” – Anonymous

          Human beings tend to only ever do as much as they absolutely need to.

          Motivational speakers call this innate trait laziness, biologists call it efficiency. Either way, the fact remains: we are evolutionary wired to minimize time and energy wherever possible.

          And this is not necessarily a bad thing. If we weren’t wired this way, we probably wouldn’t have survived this long as a species.

          Back in our caveman days, before supermarkets, calories were worth their weight in gold. For cavemen, trying to actively burn off calories would have spelled certain death.

          In this light, our fitness excuses make total sense. Our reptilian brain comes up with believable sounding rationalizations to stop us from burning off our precious calories; to minimize time and energy.

          Unfortunately, due to our present access to highly calorific foods, the fitness excuses that once ensured our survival, now send us to an early grave.

          Below I’ve provided the 10 most common fitness excuses our reptilian minds trick us into believing and why, ultimately, they’re all nonsense.

          1. I don’t have enough time.

          This is probably the most common fitness excuse of them all.

          First off, when you say you don’t have enough time, what you’re really saying is “I don’t have enough time for that”. 

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          Do you really think that if you were to add up all the time you spend watching TV and surfing the web throughout the average week you couldn’t replace any of it with a workout?

          A 30 minute workout takes up 2% of your day.

          Don’t ask yourself how much time you’re going to waste by working out a few times a week. Ask yourself how much of your life you’re going to waste being unfit and overweight.

          2. I’m way too tired to workout.

          Your mind, when it comes to exercising, is like a spoiled child. If you give in to its demands without a fight, it will see weakness and prey on it often.

          If you miss one planned session, you’re much more likely to miss the next. The biggest journey always starts with one step and the biggest failings always start with one step backwards.

          You need to show your mind who’s boss. You won’t always have lots of energy when you go to the gym but that doesn’t matter. The only thing that counts is showing up and giving it a shot.

          If you’re too tired to workout, change your sleeping habits, not your workout habits.

          3. But exercise is so boring!

          You don’t want to exercise because it’s boring?

          So you find brushing your teeth, taking showers, styling your hair and getting dressed highly entertaining? No. We do these things because we have to. We accept them as part of life.

          The people who never miss a workout are the ones who view it just like brushing their teeth. Complaining about it is just pointless. To be successful sometimes you’ve got to do things that aren’t as fun as watching your favorite TV show. That’s just life.

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          If don’t enjoy your workouts, you don’t stop working out, you just workout differently. Try crossfit, martial arts, hiking, body building, powerlifting, running, or swimming. Try music. Try anything, but keep showing up.

          4. I have no motivation to workout.

          If you think you need motivation to train you’re already half beat.

          What you really need is meta motivation: the motivation to train even when you’re not motivated. If you rely on your feelings to decide whether to workout or not, you never will. As you know, your feelings are designed to keep you caged up in your comfort pit.  Your feelings want you to be safe, not successful.

          That said, there is a trick you can use to get yourself motivated to workout, and it’s  backed up with research. It’s called ‘the few minutes’ principle.

          The basic idea is that procrastinators often put off doing certain things because the size of the task in front of them seems too overwhelming. By deciding to just go to the gym for a ‘few minutes’ you’ll often see the workout through to completion.

          Are you motivated enough to train for two minutes? That’s all you need.

          5. I have kids to look after.

          One day your kids might have someone to look after too: you.

          Don’t burden them with an ill parent when they have their own kids to look after. And don’t be the kind of parent who tells their kids exercise is good for them but doesn’t follow their own advice. Kids are smarter than that.

          If you’re really struggling with managing your fitness and your kids, combine the two. Find a field and play frisbee for a few hours, go swimming, take a walk around the lake and feed some ducks. There are so many fun and cheap ways to exercise with your kids, the only limits are your imagination.

          You kids should be your biggest reason to exercise, not your biggest excuse.

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          6. I don’t have anyone to train with.

          What you’re really saying with this fitness excuse is that you don’t have anyone to talk with while you train. If you’re training properly, you won’t need to talk.

          Don’t get me wrong, having a training partner is great but here’s what you’ve got to understand: most people first meet their training partners at the gym. The reason you probably don’t have anyone to train with is because you don’t have many friends who train. Like attracts like.

          By becoming someone who regularly trains, you’ll start attracting people into your life who also value health and fitness. You have to earn your training partners, they don’t come free.

          7. I don’t feel very well.

          After you get into the habit of overriding your fitness excuses and working out regularly, the thought of missing a workout starts to drive you insane. When I broke my jaw in two places the doctors told me I couldn’t lift heavy weights for three months. What did I do? I lifted light weights instead. Train smart, not hard.

          At some point in our lives we’ve all pretended to be ill so we could skip a day of school. Some of the better actors among us probably blurred the lines in their mind between real symptoms and those imagined. It’s easy to exaggerate things when it fits our agenda.

          If you’re really sick, I don’t recommend you train. But feeling a bit tired or achy – that’s no reason to skip a workout.

          8. The gym is too expensive or far.

          If you think you need a gym to achieve your fitness goals, you’ve been seriously misled.

          The world is your fitness playground. Ever watched a training scene from a Rocky movie? He chases chickens, runs up steps, punches meat, and chops wood. Many people cite these scenes as their favorite.  Something about training dirty and raw resonates deep within us.

          There are whole fitness subcultures dedicated to working out outdoors, and without formal equipment. Ever heard of Calisthenics, Tai Chi, Yoga or Parkour? Look them up.

          If you want to put on muscle, try some typical strongman training like chopping wood, flipping tires, lifting barrels. Remember, if it’s important enough to you, you’ll find a way. Arnold Schwarzenegger made his own gym equipment out of chairs and sticks for the first year he trained. He claims he gained 25 pounds of muscle from doing this.

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          9. I don’t know how to train properly.

          If you’re reading this article, you’re obviously more than capable of figuring this out. The internet is brimming with routines and training tips. This site alone will give you more than you need. Read these 10 tips for better workouts, perfect for beginners.

          However, it’s important that you don’t get too engulfed in the theory of ‘training properly’. Like most things in life, you learn best on the job. Ask people in the gym to show you how to use proper technique, then practice through action.

          People love giving out tips. You might even get a training partner out of it.

          10. I feel intimidated by the fit people there.

          This is normal and everyone has this when they first start out. The environment is new, everyone there looks like they know what they’re doing. You feel like you’re in someone else’s home.

          The number one reason you feel intimidated when you go to the gym is because you don’t go enough! If you started going regularly you’d get used to the place, the people and your fitness would improve. Everyone knows training improves your confidence. Just stick with it. It’s something you’ll laugh at a few months down the line.

          Anyone can get in great shape. Anyone can become fit. But very few people ever do because they give in to their natural inclination to minimize time and effort.

          Stop making excuses and just stick with it for two months. After that you’ll be finding excuses to workout even when you do have important stuff to get on with.

          Featured photo credit: United Artists, Chartoff-Winkler Productions via Rocky (1976)

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