Want to get fit and lose weight but find yourself feeling sluggish and demotivated?
Do you find yourself using the same excuse not to get moving? Did you get a gym membership but never actually used the gym?
You might have successfully managed to eschew labelling yourself as “lazy” but perhaps the word “lazy” might be closer to the truth that you wish to believe.
Of course, we all know just how beneficial exercise is. It is not only great for your body but also for your mind. Exercise reduces your risk of countless illnesses and people who regularly exercise are known to live longer and suffer from fewer diseases.
People who regularly exercise in fact look better and feel better. But these may not be strong enough incentives to get you to budge from the comfort and cushiness of your home sofa. Unfortunately, our body and mind learn certain behaviours and the more we repeat them, the more they work their way into our pattern of living, turning into habits and becoming part of our routine.
Whilst people who exercise have taught their body and mind to opt for an hour of exercise after a day of work, you have probably taught your body to opt for a packet of crisps and the remote control.
Luckily, despite how easily we learn behaviours, the human mind is also good at un-learning things. It is all a matter of training yourself and committing yourself to changing some aspects of your life style.
At the beginning, it will not be easy but once you get your body and mind to realize and learn the benefits of exercise and integrate movement into your routine, you will find yourself instinctively picking up your trainers and choosing healthy foods over junk food and the sofa.
Laziness and a disinterest in trying to be healthy often erode self-worth. You need to pursue and develop a drive which makes you want to accomplish things, not only professionally.
Lazy people rarely feel good about themselves and lack self-esteem. This does not mean that people who are active and boast good bodies do not have low self esteem- however; these people have something less to worry about.
Sloths are more likely to be unhealthy and suffer from boredom, worry, depression and anxiety.
If you have children, you also need to make sure you project yourself as a role model. Lazy parents are more likely to have lazy children and moreover, children will often pick up the healthy or unhealthy habits of their parents.
Is Laziness genetic?
There is a genetic component to laziness. However, the worst thing you can do is let yourself be the victim of your genes “I am lazy, its in my genes and there is nothing I can do about it”.
Timothy Lightfoot, a kinesiologist, and his team at the University of North Carolina, have conducted studies on mice and found a gene which they believe makes some of us more likely to take to the coach than others.
They found 23 genes which appeared to make some mice more active than others. Nevertheless, personal genetic testing could only attribute 50% of mouse laziness to genetics. There is obviously the role of the environment, lifestyle and the behaviours we learn and teach ourselves.
The study showed that mice which were genetically programmed to exercise ran on their wheel for up to 8 miles per day whilst those that that were predisposed to laziness took to a mere o.3 miles. Funnily, the lazy mice also found ways of adapting their cages to suit their laziness: they slept most of the time sleeping, sometimes used their wheel as a comfy bed by adding wood shavings or even using it as a lavatory.
Tips for motivating yourself to get moving
The following are some tips which could help you get off the couch, we hope once and for all.
Get your friends and family to champion your case: it is hard to be motivated to move if everyone around you is doing otherwise or even worse, discouraging you from doing it.
They need to understand that this is what you really want and what you believe will make you happy. You could even try and hope they buy into it and begin working out with you. For the ultimate in motivation, get yourself a trainer.
Make it fun: getting fit doesn’t mean endless time sweating at the gym. If you find the gym boring you do not have to go there. Try and find something that you enjoy doing. There are kinesis classes, step classes, zumba classes and a host of other options to try. Power walking and hiking are other options.
Time: time issues are a big factor which might make it difficult to find time to get moving. But you need to make an effort and also shake off the excuse that you are just too busy. You may want to consider waking up earlier to do the exercise or perhaps work-out at home.
Start with small steps: one mistake that people make when adding exercise to their daily lives is having unrealistic goals. Do not try to over exert yourself and expect the pounds to drop off by the day. You will need to build your stamina over a period of time and importantly take your eating habits into consideration. You need to burn more calories than you consume if you want to see changes.
Looking at others: Do not feel demoralized when looking at people around you that seem to have perfect figures. Often they too started at the same starting point as you. Do not compare yourself.
Also forget what you were in the past. If at school you were picked on or ignored because you were not good in sports or overweight, you must now begin a fresh endeavour, unfettered from all those memories.
Set goals and record them: if you really intend maximizing success, you may want to consider recording your achievements. Perhaps how much weight you have lost in a given period, how much your stamina in running has improved or how many more weight repetitions you are able to handle.
Also remember that you might, from time to time, be ill or unwell and have to give your exercise a miss.
So you have worked really hard and kept to your targets? You have even stuck to your sensible eating plan and have noticed an improvement in stamina and less fat around the belly.
Then it is time to reward yourself for your efforts. This does not mean overindulging in food for a day, but rather is means you can treat yourself to a little of that which you enjoy best…Perhaps a small packet of crisps, a small chocolate bar or a burger.
Whilst you savour it, remember how hard you have worked for this and how well deserved it is - this is the reward you get for hard work.
CJ is a part time free lance writer specializing in pregnancy and prenatal care. She has worked as a nurse in the prenatal care unit for several years before putting her career on hold to look after her kids. A number of articles by the author can be found in the article repository for easyDNA Ireland.