New Year, New You: The top three excuses keeping you from your fittest self, according to Dogma Athletica
The New Year often marks a time many people think about making positive changes. The number one resolution in America revolves around better fitness and weight loss. But why do so many people get stuck or fail to actualize their intentions?
There is a quote from one of my old cycling coaches that has always stuck with me: “Those who are attached to their excuses, get to keep them.” We all have rationalized reasons for not engaging in a regular exercise practice. But the negative costs of not moving forward and keeping yourself physically and mentally fit far outweigh the price of the effort.
I have been working as an exercise physiologist and coach for nearly 30 years. Over the years I have heard countless excuses. The following are the three most common in the industry.
I don’t have the time
This is all about getting honest with yourself and reconfiguring your priorities. You must create time. Be completely honest with yourself: what is the amount of weekly time you watch TV and are on social media? Take a fraction of that and commit to a structured exercise program. The payoff will be exponential. You will be happier, more productive and have better energy. This is not to be trivial about the responsibilities you have to your work and your family, but you will be more effective in those areas if you take good care of yourself.
I’m too tired
Energy in motion stays in motion — you are tired and low in energy because you are sedentary. Walk through just about any large office building where people are sitting at their desk in cubicles all day. If you ask nearly anyone, “How are you doing today?” The majority of the time the response will be, “I’m tired.” Sedentary lifestyles lead to apathy and hinder your ability to be the best version of yourself.
You must get moving. It will feel challenging at the beginning, but stick with it. If you wrap your head around it and commit yourself to regular, structured exercise, it will become a part of you. You will notice a powerful, positive increase in energy. You will have a better attitude. Things won’t upset you as much. Your clothes will fit better and you will feel happier. If you don’t know how to start, reach out to one of the many good resources in the Vail Valley to help you with accountability, motivation and instruction.
My back hurts
Back pain stinks. And it can range from very debilitating to a dull, nagging pain. Yes, some people have genuine structural back issues, but far more people have nagging back pain due to chronic sitting and a sedentary lifestyle.
The human body is designed to be strong in the gluteal muscles and the deep abdominal wall. Sitting in chairs shuts down the strength in these prominent muscles. It also conforms your body into postural distortions of tight hips, rounded upper back and shoulders and a protruding head. This is why your back hurts. This is why you feel stuck, tight and can’t move athletically any more.
Fortunately, it’s fixable. Commit to a strength and movement program that teaches you how to engage your glutes. Learn how the core muscles are truly supposed to work to stabilize your spinal column. Work with someone who can retrain your movement patterns and improve your posture. The cost of not investing in yourself this way will be massive. If you don’t engage in the process now, you will be very susceptible to true, structural issues later.
To help you get started on making a 180-degree change, Dogma Athletica is offering a six-week Hustle for the Muscle program designed to improve five key habits and incite lasting change: movement, nutrition, sleep, mindfulness and community. It’s only open to 20 participants who are dedicating themselves to complete change, so call Dogma Athletica at 970-688-4433 or email email@example.com.
Regardless of if you’re able to sign up for Hustle, it’s important to ensure that you’re not just going through the motions. This is a deliberate lifestyle change, so show up for yourself.
Rod Connolly is an exercise physiologist and owner of Dogma Athletica in Edwards. He has been working in the fitness industry for more than 30 years and has coached many clients through transformative health experiences over that period. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.