This may be the best time of year to start (or re-start, or re-re-start) a workout regimen. New Year-New You, giddyup. The key: Sticking with that workout long after the euphoria of early January has worn away — and when the excuses that come with the spectre of exercise start kicking in.
Because it’s way too easy to talk yourself out of a workout. Some days, all it takes is a sound wave to knock you off-target. Other days, NASA can’t keep you on proper course heading and speed.
So what’s the real problem with exercising regularly? Your inner 8-year-old: I don’t wanna. Time for a chat with your indulgent inner adult.
“YOU KNOW WHAT MY SCHED’S LIKE TODAY? I DON’T EVEN HAVE TIME TO SPELL OUT ‘SCHEDULE.’”
If you have floor space and 10 minutes — and we know you do — you have all you need for a killer bodyweight workout. Research shows high-intensity intervals, even as little as a minute at a time for 10 minutes, have health benefits — and people enjoy them as much as moderate continuous exercise. If you say, “Yeah, I know, HIIT, heard it all before,” we reply, “Yeah, don’t have time to work out, heard it all before.”
“I DON’T HAVE THE MONEY FOR A GYM MEMBERSHIP.”
“FORGET THE SQUAT RACK. IF I GO TO THAT GYM RIGHT NOW I’LL BE STANDING IN LINE JUST TO TAKE A LEAK. CAN’T TAKE THE CROWDS, MAN.”
See also: “I don’t have money for a gym membership.” Or don’t. It’s a silly excuse either way.
“I’M HEALTHY AND LOOKIN’ PRETTY GOOD. I CAN SKIP A DAY. OR THREE.”
“AN EXTRA HALF-HOUR OF SLEEP IS MORE VALUABLE TO ME THAN A WORKOUT.”
Depends. Are you staying in bed because you slept three hours the last two weeks and truly, madly, deeply need the shut-eye? Or because your it’s Saturday and widdle footsies are like widdle Pop Tarts, all sweet-n-toasty?
RELATED: Why You Suck At Sleeping
“I’M JUST NOT FEELING IT.”
Why? It’s worth being honest with yourself. Researchers have found that “implicit attitudes,” or reasons you don’t consciously feel, have a negative impact on how much you exercise – particularly if you have low willpower. So shift your perspective: Think about future you. A 2017 study in Frontiers in Psychology found that participants who prioritized future outcomes engaged in healthier exercising patterns because they embraced a “promotional orientation,” a desire to pursue positive gains. Future you could end up being a cool guy. Think about him.
“MY KNEE/SHOULDER/ASS HURTS. I MEAN, I LITERALLY PULLED MY ASS.”
“SHE WANTS TO SEE ME AND SAYS I DON’T PAY ENOUGH ATTENTION TO OUR RELATIONSHIP.”
“THE WEATHER’S A WOOKIE.”
“JOB/FAMILY/NEWS/LIFE SUCKS. WHAT’S THE POINT?”
Feeling bad is perhaps the single greatest reason to exercise. A massive new study of more than 33,000 people over 11 years in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that exercise helps prevent depression. And another 2017 study found exercise raises optimism levels. We bathe in bad news and societal toxicity daily. Let exercise be your rinse off.
Trust us, you need this workout. We do too.
This article originally appeared on Men’s Health