I know I should exercise but…
…I haven’t got the time
Are you sure this is definitely the case? Sometimes we might feel like we have no spare time, but in reality it comes down to setting priorities and managing what time we do have effectively.
Start by doing an honest evaluation of where your time goes throughout the day – including all of your waking hours. Consider it carefully to see whether there is any time to be saved. Perhaps you spend an hour or two every day browsing the internet or watching TV. Or maybe there are some activities (for example, cleaning the house) that you can delegate or do less frequently.
Ideally, you need to find at least 4 hours a week to do an exercise programme. If this is definitely not possible, consider doing some high intensity training – for example, Tabata protocol workout can be done in just 4 minutes. Remember, it’s always better to do some exercise than none.
…I haven’t got any money to spend on gym membership or equipment
It is possible to start exercising without spending any money whatsoever. Calisthenic exercises can be done at home, using your own body weight to build resistance. It is possible to develop your fitness levels considerably doing nothing else but these. All you would need is yourself and a floor!
The cheapest and best-value bit of equipment to get is a skipping rope – prices start from about £2, and skipping is a fantastic cardio workout that you can do anywhere.
If you do have a bit more money to spend – £50 or so – the next best-value purchase would be get a pair of proper running trainers so that you can go running outside.
…there is no gym near me
Going to the gym is not mandatory – there is plenty you can do by yourself at home, with or without equipment. Calisthenic exercises and skipping, as mentioned above, are accessible to pretty much anyone. If you have the money and storage space for some basic exercise equipment, you can expand the range of exercises available to you to be on a par with a gym – check out our article on exercising at home.
…I am hopeless at cardio – whenever I try to run, I get out of breath within several minutes and my heart pounds very fast
If you are a beginner runner (or trying any other type of cardio), you are probably trying to do too much too soon – and too fast. Forget about what other people might be doing – focus on yourself and find the level that you can sustain as your starting point.
A sensible way to start running would be to go for walk/jog sessions – walk for 4 minutes and then jog very slowly for 1 minute, and repeat this cycle 4 or 5 times. Next time, increase your jog time to 1.5 minutes and continue to build up your capacity slowly and gradually, session by session. Very soon, you will find yourself able to run continuously for half and hour and more.