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All Entries For excuse busters

The New No-Excuses Way to Work Out


There are a lot of excuses—or hurdles if you will—that get in the way of our intentions to work out. Not enough time. Not enough money. Fear of being judged by others. Not having easy or affordable access to equipment or a gym. Not enough options that fit your schedule. Traveling all the time.  Not knowing what to do on your own. Not having childcare. Bad weather.
 
Most of us have dealt with a number of these hurdles more than once in our lifetime. The truth is that working out is hard. All of these things are barriers that make it even more difficult to get and stay fit.
 
But there are a lot of amazing innovations that are bringing fitness to more people in ways that help you jump many of the hurdles above. One of my favorites recently launched. And while it sounds too good to be true that this one solution is affordable, accessible, flexible, easy to follow—and can help you get fit anywhere on your own time—it's true.
Posted 3/24/2014  5:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 6 comments   14,230 views
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Trim & Tone Head-to-Toe in Less Than 20 Minutes!


Short on time but still want to squeeze in a good sweat session? You're not alone. "Lack of time" is the No. 1 reason people cite for not exercising regularly. It's easy to think that if you don't have an hour or more to dedicate to exercise, then what's the point. But quite honestly, short workouts really do have a big impact on your health and your workout—and that is especially true when you do the right types of workouts.
 
When you need an efficient workout to make the most of your time, that's where smart training techniques like interval training, circuit training and multi-joint exercises come in. All of these approaches help people get better results even when they're short on time.
 
I've put together a workout that combines all three of those fitness techniques in an 18-minute workout that'll give you a cardio boost and a head-to-toe strength training workout in one. And while that might sound ultra-intense, it's appropriate even for beginners.
Posted 1/22/2014  5:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 3 comments   7,546 views
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Want to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain? Burn It to Earn It!


Forget about all the food for a minute. Let's talk about the fitness. Holiday weight gain is a concern for many, but it's not just because of the food. Sure, we eat more rich foods than we probably should this time of year, but we also let our workouts go by the wayside. We're stressed out and busier than ever with mile-long to do lists. The uncooperative weather doesn't help—dark mornings and evenings make you want to curl up in bed—not to biceps curls. So how is it that we can manage to do everything else but not squeeze in a workout? And what does that say about our priorities (and our commitments to ourselves)?

Let's do things differently this year, starting with Thanksgiving. The solution really is simple. We know what causes weight gain and we know how to maintain and lose weight, too. So for the next few weeks, I propose a new philosophy that will keep winter weight gain at bay: Burn it to earn it.
Posted 11/25/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 115 comments   21,044 views
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6 Smart Ways to Stay on Track This Season


The days are shorter, the weather is colder, and the couch is looking a whole lot comfier. This time of year, attendance at the gym drops and our desires to exercise and eat right fall lower on our priority list. Between back to school, tailgating, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, the year-end frenzy at work, Christmas, New Year's and everything in between, it's no wonder we need to "restart" again on January 1.
 
As fall morphs into the busy holiday season, let's choose to make this year different. Let's commit ourselves to just one simple goal to stay on track. You might not be able to do everything perfectly between Halloween and New Year's Eve, but you can do something.
 
SparkPeople has a lot of fun, simple and effective challenges that are the perfect pick-me-up for your program. I would recommend choosing ONE program listed below to focus your efforts. These are all great ways to re-commit this fall and hit the ground running this holiday season!
Posted 10/25/2013  5:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 14 comments   21,641 views
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How to Make Yourself Work Out When It's Dark Out


As much as I love fall, I don't love the darkness that comes with it. It's already getting darker earlier each night, and it's staying dark even when I wake up in the morning. I am not a fan of that!
 
It's hard enough to be a morning person and wake up to work out, but when the moon is still out when your alarm goes off, forget about it! Then again, if you hit snooze and wait to work out after work, you might be faced with the same problem.
 
I will admit that it's not easy for me to get up and be gung ho for a workout session. I am not and never will be a morning person. It's hard for me to wake up just about every day. But I do manage to stick to my morning workouts (most days anyway). And no, I don't have super human powers …which means you can do it, too. Here's how.
Posted 10/19/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 132 comments   859,990 views
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10 Warm-Weather Activities for People with Limited Mobility


This summer, take some time to rev up your workout.  Make a new playlist and clean up your exercise equipment.  Renew that gym membership.  Take time to find fitness opportunities, because there are a lot of them!  Here are ten fun suggestions, some for the mobile and some for the less mobile. 
 
  1. Take some wild pictures of yourself doing active things for your Spark Page. Snap a few photos of yourself acting silly and running through the sprinkler with the kids, playing tag or walking the long treks of a zoo or amusement park. Get the souvenir photo where everyone is screaming on their way down on the ride!
  1. Aqua-cise. Yes, water is the perfect place to go for a low impact ouch-less workout and it's fun, too. Check with your local YMCA for lower-fee classes or even with your doctor to see if some classes are covered by insurance for a particular physical issue you may be having.  Often times they will be covered under water physical therapy.  Still, even without a class, water is a blast to play and work out in. I love going to water parks. The swimming and the balancing combined with the walking make it a great workout.
    Posted 6/7/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Beth Donovan : 19 comments   14,431 views
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Your Excuse-Proof Workout Plan


Hey, we're all busy. But that’s no reason to let your workouts get away from you. Next time you feel like skimping on exercise to watch TV or meet your friends for Happy Hour remember this: It doesn't take much to get a great workout.
 
That's why I designed this excuse-proof workout. You can do this simple, 6-minute circuit anytime (it's whisper quiet), anywhere (no gym required) and without any equipment.  All that and it'll sculpt your body from head to toe, too.
Posted 6/3/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 40 comments   104,174 views
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All You Need Is Love...Tough Love, That Is


It’s pretty clear that progress towards any important goal goes a lot better when you can maintain a positive state of mind. Positive goals, positive (but realistic) expectations, and positive self-talk all help us stay motivated and survive the inevitable setbacks and disappointments we experience.

But there are also plenty of times when “happy talk” just doesn’t get the job done. We all do things that are just plain...well, let’s just say they aren’t very well thought out. When that happens, it doesn’t always make a lot of sense to just pat yourself on the back and say, “Don’t worry, you’ll do better next time.”

In order to learn from our mistakes and avoid repeating them, we also need to take an honest look at what went wrong, and point out to ourselves exactly how and why we are contributing to our own problems. And we need to do it in a way that will help us remember this lesson before we act the next time the problem comes up.

In my line of work, we call this Toughlove, and there’s definitely an art to it, whether you’re delivering the toughlove to yourself (OK for amateurs) or to someone else (recommended only for seasoned experts with martial arts skills and/or a good lawyer). Done poorly, toughlove can and usually does cause more problems than it solves. But done well, it can be very effective, so it’s definitely worth learning how to do it to yourself the right way.

Probably the best way to illustrate the art of toughlove is by looking at a very common problem that often responds better to a little self-administered toughlove than to happy talk…

Posted 5/22/2013  12:00:00 PM By: Dean Anderson : 147 comments   21,602 views
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The 15 Best ''But'' Busters


From time to time, we've all let our excuses get the best of us. Willpower can only last so long, and sometimes, the craziness of this thing called LIFE simply wins against our desires to eat right or exercise. If you're reading this, maybe you've let an excuse or two get in the way of your healthy lifestyle goals recently. If you're ready for your goals and dreams to take priority and win against even your toughest excuses, look no further.
 
I've heard every excuse for not making health a priority. In fact, I've used many of them myself over the years! But more often than not, I talk back to my excuses—and win.
 
The next time a "but" gets in the way of your goals, change your thoughts to one of these NEW phrases to regain control and stay on track.
Posted 5/8/2013  12:00:00 PM By: Nicole Nichols : 106 comments   51,739 views
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40 Things to Try When You Don't Want to Work Out


We all have the days where we plan to work out and know that we should, but when it's time to lace up your shoes and go…You. Just. Don't. Wanna.
 
I have those days, too, but when I remind myself how GOOD exercise makes me feel, and how it will help me reach my goals, I generally suck it up and do it anyway. Getting started really is the hardest part. Once you get going, you're generally glad you did. And when it's over, you feel even better.
 
But some people have less willpower or dedication. Some give in to the temptation to skip exercise too easily. While that's fine once in a while, it can become a hard habit to break if you skip out on your workouts too often.
 
So recently, I polled members of SparkPeople.com, America's No. 1 fitness and healthy living community, asking what THEY do to motivate themselves when they don't feel like exercising. Let me tell you: These people are a creative bunch. The next time you feel less-than-enthusiastic about your upcoming exercise session, take their advice. Here are 40 things you can do (or think about) to get your workout motivation back—and get moving.
Posted 3/6/2013  12:00:00 PM By: Nicole Nichols : 178 comments   812,125 views
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Stick-With-It Winter Workout Tips


When the temperature drops, so can your motivation to get outside and get moving.  So how do you resist the temptation to stay curled up under a blanket until spring arrives?  According to a poll of SparkPeople.com members, 76% of exercisers have a hard time staying motivated in the winter.   
 
I’m no exception, especially when it gets dark so early. But keeping a consistent routine helps me avoid holiday weight gain and deal with stress during this chaotic time of year. 
 
If you are dreading the cold, you can't always blame the weather.  Your attitude and approach go a long way, too. Winter doesn’t have to be a time to abandon your regular workout routine if you’ve got a good plan in place.  Here's how to stay comfortable exercising outside—and adjust your plan when getting outdoors just isn’t feasible. 
Posted 12/3/2012  6:00:00 AM By: Jen Mueller : 17 comments   14,273 views
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3 Real Reasons You Aren't Exercising


Do you ever get tired of hearing people say that no excuse is a good excuse? If you aren’t exercising on as consistently as you'd like to, it could be because you have some real obstacles—not just excuses—holding you back.
 
So what should you do when you really can’t exercise?
 
Here are three, get-started-now action steps to help you overcome some serious fitness obstacles.
Posted 11/12/2012  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 25 comments   20,710 views
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Learn to Love Exercise


Not everyone enjoys exercising, but it doesn't have to be that way. You CAN learn to love exercise! I know some of you may be thinking to yourself that I'm crazy and that there is no way that you will ever learn to love exercise, but it really can happen.

For anyone who knew me before joining SparkPeople and going on my journey to better health, they probably would have told you that I didn't like exercise. Back then they would have been right, but I have changed that mindset. Now I honestly can say that I enjoy exercising. But how did I change my dislike for exercise? Well, what worked for me was trying various exercises and activities until I found what I liked to do. If you find something that you enjoy doing, or at least that you don't mind doing, then you are more likely to start to enjoy exercise and look forward to it. Any time I hear anyone say that they don't like to exercise, I always recommend they try a new exercise or activity. That usually helps them enjoy working out and sometimes even love exercising.

Posted 8/16/2012  6:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 35 comments   15,549 views
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Plan Ahead for Success


Planning ahead is a common key ingredient to a successful story, no matter what the goal may be. Having a plan will not only help you reach your goal(s), but it can help you stay on track with your goal(s) a lot easier. Something that I have experienced and greatly believe in is having a plan, along with having alternative plans for those times of "just in case." Similarly, Coach Nicole has blogged about developing a Plan B, which has helped numerous people, including myself when times get busy or tough. I'm sure many of you have experienced those times when unexpected things come up and catch you completely off guard. When you have a plan, plan B, and maybe even a plan C, you are more likely to stick with your goal(s), which will make you happier in the end and you will have given yourself a perfect recipe for success.
Posted 6/7/2012  10:00:00 AM By: Denise Tausig : 30 comments   16,278 views
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The No-More-Excuses Guide to Vegetable Gardening


Spring is here! These sunnier days and warmer temperatures are lifting my spirits and making my runs so much more enjoyable. But the thing that I get most excited about this time of year is my fruit and vegetable garden!

I started gardening for several reasons: to save money, to eat as locally as possible (it doesn't get more local than your own backyard), to have more control over how my food was raised, since I'm a big believer in chemical-free farming. But when I first started out, I was overwhelmed. I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't have a lot of space. I was already busy and thought I didn't have the time to learn or maintain it all.

Despite my fears, this will be my fourth year growing fruits and vegetables in my little yard. While I'm no gardening expert, I have learned a few things. When I talk to others about growing my own food, many say that they wish they could do it, too, BUT [insert excuse here]. If that sounds like you, I'm about to bust the top 5 excuses to not start a garden.
Posted 4/23/2012  9:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 81 comments   15,324 views
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