To get the ball rolling and some discussions going, I thought I'd post an article I wrote a couple of years ago for a local magazine.
Why Aren't You Exercising?
We all know that exercise is good for us, yet few people do enough. Heart disease, diabetes and obesity are on the increase, yet most of us would rather curl up in front of the TV than go for a run. The health, social and physical benefits of exercise are endless, but the simple fact is that most of us do not do enough physical activity to benefit our health. So why aren't you exercising?
I don't exercise because it's boring
Then you're doing the wrong activity! Experiment and try different things. If you can't stand the gym, take up line dancing. If running bores you to tears, join a badminton club. Stop thinking of exercise as a chore and find something you enjoy.
I'm too old to exercise
If you're over 20, you're too old not to exercise! The older you get, the more important exercise becomes. Simple tasks like getting up out of a chair or opening a jam jar can become almost impossible if you've neglected your body for years, but just a little extra activity can build up your strength and make these tasks easier. It's never too late to start.
I don't know how much to do
The recommended amount to improve health is a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate activity, at least five times a week. This can include golf, playing badminton or gardening. Blow the dust off your bicycle and go for a bike ride. Play football with the kids. Try to build activity into your daily life. If possible, walk or cycle to work. If that's not an option, park further from work and walk the rest of the way. Take the stairs rather than use the lift. It all adds up to make you healthier and give you more energy.
To really get fit you need to be exercising harder. The recommendation is at least 20 minutes of vigorous activity at least three times a week. You could go running or play hockey. How about rock climbing or skipping? Three lots of 20 minutes isn't much, you'll still have 167 hours a week to do everything else in.
I'm too unfit to exercise
If you think you're unfit then it's even more important that you become more active. Even with a small increase in activity you'll see the benefits almost immediately, with increased energy and a feeling of wellbeing. If you have any worries about your health, especially if you have joint problems or haven't exercised for years, it's best to get checked out by a medical professional before starting an exercise regime.
I can't motivate myself
Set yourself measurable goals. It's not good just thinking "I want to be fitter" - how will you know when you've got there? Instead set goals like "I will lose two inches off my waist within 6 months" or "I will be able to run for 30 minutes without collapsing." Hiring a Personal Trainer can help you to set realistic goals, design a programme to reach them and give you the motivation to keep going.
So, what are you waiting for? Turn off the TV, get active and reap the benefits of a healthier lifestyle. In no time at all you'll have more energy, a better shape, and who knows, you might even be having fun!