Summertime is the greatest of all seasons. Vacations, barbecues, pool parties, and glorious sunsets are some of the things we’ve been longing for. Now this long-awaited season is finally blooming and we feel energized by the thought of enjoying ourselves in the sun.
You should relish this time of the year, but there is one problem that affects most people when it comes to enjoying summertime: feeling out of shape!
According to a report of the NHS in May 2019, 64% of the population in the UK is overweight or obese. (https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-obesity-physical-activity-and-diet/statistics-on-obesity-physical-activity-and-diet-england-2019/part-3-adult-obesity)
This means that more than half of Brits are going to be marked as “out of shape” this summer. When it comes to health and fitness we all know the basics: eating healthy fresh food, exercising regularly and resting. There’s no magic to it, and yet so many people find hard it hard to follow these three simple principles. Why is that?
To such a large scale issue there isn’t a single answer, but there are five common problems that are stopping most people from being fit and healthy. So what is stopping you being in shape?
THESE FIVE THINGS ARE STOPPING YOU BEING IN SHAPE THIS SUMMER
1-You don’t have time to exercise
Nowadays, life is hectic. Work, family, travel, social life, and housework are extremely time-consuming activities. For most people trying to fit exercise into their schedule is a real challenge. Even so, there are a substantial amount of ‘busy people’ who seem to be able to make everything fit in their agenda. How do they do that?
The reality is that there are many ways of maintaining a healthy lifestyle while still taking care of all the other aspects of your life.
First of all, people that exercise regularly have more energy to do all their other activities.
In fact, according to an analysis of the University of Georgia, exercise plays a significant role in increasing energy levels and reducing fatigue. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061101151005.htm
There are also many overlooked ways of making exercise time-effective, such as:
- Walking or using a bicycle to commute to work
- Spending the weekends doing outdoor activities
- Waking up one hour earlier and having a morning PT session (and possibly going to bed one hour earlier not to miss out on sleep)
- Going for a jog during lunch break
All these activities may seem complicated to fit into your schedule at first, but with time it’s possible to put them on autopilot and make them a part of your routine. It doesn’t really matter which one you choose, but finding time to exercise should always be your number one priority if your goal is to be healthy and getting in shape.
2- You think you don’t like exercising
This is a widespread misconception. Most people think about exercise as running or lifting weights only. This picture may look grim to most. If you are inactive and overweight, running can be very tough, and the gym environment can feel intimidating. These thoughts may be enough to make you believe that exercise is not for you.
According to a statistic from GOV.uk 24% of the British population, aged 16-54 is marked as inactive. https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/health/exercise-and-activity/physical-inactivity/latest
It is worth noting that ‘Active’ is considered to be a person who undertakes more than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. Unfortunately, in the real world 30 minutes of moderate activity a week won’t do much for your health, let alone get you in shape. But this also means that 24% of 16-54-year-olds are not even getting 30 minutes. And that is a worry!
According to the American Heart Association, the minimum amount of exercise per week should be 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity. They also note that for optimal health you need 300 minutes of moderate aerobics (or 150 minutes of intense aerobics) combined with some moderate to intense strength training each week. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults
These numbers may seem frightening if you don’t like doing physical activities, or you’re not used to it. The reality though is that moderate physical activity may include a lot of tasks that are not marked as “exercise” such as:
- Walking to the grocery store and carrying the bags back home instead of shopping online
- Again, walking or cycling while commuting to work
- Play sports with your kids
- Window shopping
- Moving furniture
The list goes on and on, but most likely there are a couple of activities that you may like doing (or at least don’t mind doing). Don’t get discouraged and try to be creative. At the end of the day what really matters is moving your body, how you do that is totally up to you!
In Part 2 I will look at the concluding points and we will round up the five things preventing you from getting into shape!
Connect here with WatchFit Expert Davide Alfonsi