Does Perfectionism Prevent You From Exercising?

It’s hard to find time to exercise. For many of us, it can also be intimidating. But is it necessary to suit up in an adorable outfit from lululemon, sign up for a spin class, bike hard for an hour, shower and then head to work all before 7:30 AM? Of course not! Keep it simple and let go of that tug of war in your head that pulls you in an all or none direction.

The data tells us that there is a benefit to working out for 10 minutes. What can you do in 10 minutes? Walk out your front door and take a brisk walk. Or a jog. Put on some music and dance around your kitchen. Do some tricep dips on the edge of your bathtub. Do the New York Times Seven Minute Work Out. ( Walk up and down your stairs. OK, that’s boring, but if you are truly pressed for time, it will do. Have a little more time? Great! Your options just increased. Try these same exercises for longer, or ride your bike, grab a work out off of YouTube. You can find plenty of options for exercises to do in a small space. The main thing is to move!

I have kids, and like many working parents, I find it a challenge to fit in exercise between work and mom duty. Working out early, before school/work is one option. Another thing that works is to incorporate my unwitting kids into my program. They think I’m being fun when I chase them in a game of tag or when I swing (kind of) on the monkey bars with them, when in fact I’m just doing my best to squeeze in a little exercise.

We know that the benefits of exercise are vast, so don’t be a perfectionist and wait until conditions are perfect to get moving. And please don’t let a lack of fitness intimidate you into staying sedentary. You can do this! Even a short walk has benefits to your health. I sometimes hear clients say that they are afraid that others will judge them or think something mean like, “Look at that fat girl exercising.” It’s hard to respond to that because I understand that while social bias is wrong, it is also real. Let me just tell you that I believe there are also many people who might look at you and say to themselves, “That’s awesome. Good for her! I should get out and exercise too.” I am inspired by everyone I see exercising, at any size. If it’s hard to feel empowered, that’s okay, you can exercise in the privacy of your own home, even without any equipment. No one says you have to be on display to get moving.

Exercise is good for your mental health, relieves stress, helps you to be more productive, and it will help you to maintain after you lose weight. It can also prevent the slow, steady weight gain that so many of us experience as we age. Will it lead to weight loss? Truthfully, it probably won’t. The data on exercise for weight loss tells us that it’s an important part of weight maintenance, but won’t help much with weight loss. Nonetheless, if you are looking to reduce stress, sleep better and manage your weight over your lifetime, I encourage you to get out there in any outfit, for any amount of time and just move.

Thanks for listening and I wish you the best of health.

If you’re interested in issues related to weight management and obesity, please follow me:

Twitter: @LisaOldson




Categories: Exercise, Obesity and Overweight, Weight Management, Diet, Exercise

Tags: , , , , , ,

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