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We all know that we need to exercise but why people find it difficult to make essential part of their life. How can it become an integral part of our life? People have various reasons to be away from exercise. It could be psychological like motivation or it could be physical like exercise related discomfort and injuries. But these can easily be addressed.

The common excuses are

  •  Where is the time
  •  None of my friends or family does it
  •  It's so uncomfortable and sweaty
  •  I am not overweight
  •  Who want muscles
  •  I have some physical problem
  •  I have no problem
  •  Its for boys ( of girls)
  •  I am too old for this
  •  My computer / TV is more fun

For most people exercise is great fun for few days but few continue doing it regularly for years. To make it integral part of life, one needs to work on what stops them from doing this. Here are few tips to break the barriers :

  • Before you begin to exercise do not forget to get the medical examination to find some health risk, injury risk, contraindication or specific instruction.
  • It is better to join a program under a trained instructor. This will help in better planning & progress and lesser discomfort.
  • Be realistic, do not set huge goal. Goals must be clear, positively defined and reasonably tough. Start slowly and increase gradually. This will help your body to get adjusted. Have a consistent schedule. Reward yourself for achieving goals. Slowly your mind will make it a habit. Periodic rest is also essential to prevent injury and burn out. Exercise when planned well is never uncomfortable, it is in fact great fun.
  • Tell yourself about benefits of exercise. Tell yourself how much suffering you are going to avoid and yes, how much money you will save. Tell yourself how much success and joy you will experience with good health. It is beneficial even in young age and even if you do not have any sickness. It is also helpful in treatment of many chronic diseases. It is good for all ages and for both males and females.
  • Chose activity that’s suits your life and that you enjoy doing. Do not choose something that will interfere a lot with your life. Go to park or join gym close to office or home. Do not see exercise as wastage of time. This small investment will make you more energetic and efficient for rest of the day. Remember you enjoy all other activities of life if you are healthy. So stay healthy to enjoy your life.
  • Learn to stay active. Shed lethargy. Avoid car when you can walk, avoid lift when you can climb stairs.
  • Find an exercise partner, spouse, some family member or friend. They help in regularity. They can also pep you up during difficult days. Be a role model to others.
  • Prevent boredom by varying your fitness activity. Cross-training from a variety of strength, stamina & flexibility activity gives better results. You can also include walking, swimming, yoga or even dance for change.
  • Use motivational quotes & positive self talk to keep your motivation high.

Common Exercise Mistakes

  • The all-or-none approach.
  • Poorly designed training programs.
  • Inconsistent approach
  • Poor Technique
  • Lack of Cross-training
  • Skipping the Warm up & Cool down
  • Poor Goal Setting.
  • Incorrect use of machine

Common exercise injuries

  • Overuse injuries
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Muscle tear
  • Runner’s Knee
  • Plantar fascitis
  • Shin Splints

Tips for prevention of injury

  • Common Sense
    Common sense is most helpful in prevention of injury. Choose activity carefully. Do not hurry and be alert. Select trained professional. Plan well and progress gradually. Do not exercise during acute illness.
  • Warm Up/Cool Down
    Do not forget to do warm up before exercise and cool down after. This single step can prevent many complaints.
  • Right Equipment
    Use right equipment and check for wear & tear. Improper equipment can cause injury.
  • Safety Devices
    Safety devices like helmets, gloves, braces, guards, pads etc can help in preventing injuries.

Dr. Anjali Sharma

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