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Posted by Timo Topp on 06/27/2019

How to exercise: overcoming exercise excuses

How to exercise: overcoming exercise excuses

How to Exercise 


PART ONE: The benefits of exercise and how to overcome exercise excuses.


Too busy? Unmotivated? Not sure what to do? Everything you need to know is right here. 



In this two-part ‘How to Exercise’ article I will help you overcome exercise excuses, reveal what constitutes a ‘real’ workout and clarify how to exercise from get started to advancing appropriately and progressively. 



I have been helping people to exercise for over twenty years. I have just been seen it all. I’ve heard all the excuses, shared in a few tears and been part of hundreds of wonderful life enhancing success stories. I know what works, what doesn’t and what you need to do. In part one of ‘How to Exercise’ I explain why exercise is a not a natural state of affairs, clarify the amazing life enhancing benefits of exercise and how you can overcome exercise excuses.



‘It’s ok you are naturally lazy’


Mention the word ‘exercise’ and most people shudder at the thought. I believe only a small percentage of people are naturally motivated and love exercise. The rest make the effort because they know they need to, most don’t do enough and some do nothing at all. But here’s the good news to help you breathe a sigh of relief. ‘being lazy is hard-wired into us’


Wind back the clock 10,000 years and it wasn’t an evolutionary advantage to waste valuable energy unnecessarily. We had to hunt and gather food and avoid being eaten by megafauna. So, it’s ok to be lazy, you are just being human. However, we know in this day and age that we must make the effort to exercise to look after our health and wellbeing and keep the weight off. The trouble is most people are unmotivated, don’t know what to do and are too busy. 



The life enhancing ‘snake-oil’benefits of exercise


We all know exercise is good for us but lets’ look at the most significant ways it transforms quality of life.


Increase self-confidence 


Exercise increases confidence in two important ways. Firstly, by taking positive action and doing something for self, it gives a sense of control over our lives. Secondly by getting fit and keeping the weight off we physically look better which boasts how we feel.  


Reduces stress


Exercise has to be the number one way to reduce stress. Stress causes a physical response in the body: raising the pulse and breathing rate and releasing catabolic hormones that break the body down to release resources for the ‘fight or flight response’. The best way to dissipate that response is to exercise and ‘use up’ the stress response. 


Improve health


Exercise has categorically been proven to improve most medical conditions. High cholesterol, heart diseases, high blood pressure, some cancers and diabetes. Exercise works wonders for pretty much every aspect of health.


Improve mental wellbeing 


Exercise has always been important for physical health but more and more studies are proving the positive impact of exercise on enhancing mental wellbeing to manage mental disorders. Not to mention its significance for reducing stress that we have already mentioned.


Increases longevity and quality of life


Exercise has been proven to increase our lifespan but more significantly it improves the quality of life as well. Some people say ‘live hard and die young’but they might re-thinking that philosophy when they are stuck in a nursing home and needing someone to whip their bottom. Personally, one of the main reasons I love to exercise is so that I can be independent and active for as long as possible. Exercise helps us to stay younger, for longer.


Look, feel and live the best version of our self


At the end of the day exercise helps us to enjoy a better quality of life. It helps us to look our best, feel our best, perform at our best and live a better quality of life.



With some many wonderful benefits, exercise is literally like a ‘snake-oil’but it actually works. Surely that’s enough motivation for people to exercise, right? No, ok, let’s address the two most common ‘excuses’ why people struggle to exercise and what you can do about it: Time and motivation.





Most people are too busy to exercise. They have good intentions; the gym bag is packed but gathering dust. With chaotic work schedules, busy family life and many other life-stresses exercise can easily take a back seat. So how do we find the time to exercise?


Schedule it


Firstly, not having time, is not really about time, it’s about priority. There are plenty of extremely busy people who exercise. The reason they do is because they value the benefits. They don’t find the time, they make time and prioritise it into their schedule. If you want to find time to exercise you have to make it a priority, so schedule into your week like any other important appointment. This is one of the main reasons why people have a personal trainer, because of the accountability to attend an appointment.


Exercise in the morning


I believe the morning is the best time to exercise because it helps you start the day by doing something positive for yourself and secondly, because you have got it done, your busy day won’t get in the way of getting to the gym. Plus, you can always get up a little earlier to find some extra time to do it.


Something is better than nothing


When most people think about a workout they think one hour. Not so. You can get a great workout in 30-40 minutes. One of my favorite pieces of wisdom is ‘something is better than nothing’. You are always better to do some exercise than none at all. Plus, if you do something chances are, it will lead to more. Whereas, if you do nothing, you will also get more of the same!





We have already established humans are naturally lazy so how can we find the motivation to do something we really aren’t that keen about?


‘I don’t like exercise’


Sure, I get it, not everyone likes exercise. When people say they don’t like exercise I encourage them to look at exercise as a means to an end. When you build a house, you don’t focus on the hammer and chisel or the inconvenience of the ongoing renovation, you focus on the amazing dream home you will soon be living in. It’s the same for exercise. It’s a vehicle for getting you the thing you really want in your life – to look good, to feel good, to feel healthier. Focus on the benefits not the method.


Get a trainer


The reason people get a personal trainer is to help with two big factors: accountability and motivation. If you are lacking in motivation get a trainer or join a structured exercise program. Without it, you probably won’t get results you want.


Do it with a friend


Another option to a trainer is a training buddy, someone to go for a walk with or train with at the gym. It provides a social element, encouragement and accountability. 


Find something you enjoy


Start with something you find reasonably enjoyable. If you like it you are more likely to keep doing it. That’s another benefit to a personal trainer or structured fitness program, it adds an element of fun and diversity. For example, lots of my clients love boxing because it’s not something they can do on their own.


Set a goal


Having something specific to work towards is really important. Humans love working towards targets. As an example, there is no one more motivated than a bride-to-be. They will go on a strict diet and hit the gym 5 days a week to ‘look as skinny as possible’as one of my clients once said about her big day. But once the wedding is over, game over. Unfortunately, too many brides don’t go back to the gym again. It’s the power of a goal. It gives reason to act. Set a target you can aim for. It doesn’t have to be weight based, it might be to do a certain number of push-ups or hold a plank for a certain time or train for a fitness event such as the city to surf or an obstacle course.





‘It’s ok, you are naturally lazy’it’s hard wired into our genes for us not to move unnecessarily, to help us survive and not waste energy.


Exercise is a snake-oil that works: it helps improve everything: self-confidence, reduce stress, improve emotional wellbeing, improve health and treat most ailments, increase longevity and improve overall quality of life and it empowers us to look, feel and be the best version of our-self.


Want to overcome exercise excuses. Too busy? Schedule it like any other important appointment, get up earlier and do it in the morning. Exercise for less time, something is better than nothing.


Not motivated? Focus in the benefits it gives. Get a trainer, join a class, do something you reasonably like, do it with a friend, set a goal.



In part two I reveal the 7 pillars of a ’real’ workout and clarify how to exercise: from getting started to advancing appropriately and progressively.





For more information and a personal approached to your fitness journey contact me on 0413 007 051 or [email protected]

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