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No More Excuses!

Group of friends runs downtown.

It can be challenging to get enough physical activity and eat well all of the time. Here are some tips for overcoming common obstacles.

“I Don’t Have Time”

Divide physical activity into small doses. Studies show that if you exercise for ten minutes at a time, three times a day, the health benefits are the same as working out for thirty minutes all at once. See “What Can Our Family Do Together” for some specific suggestions.

When life gets busy, it can be challenging to find time to cook healthy meals. When you have time, pre-cook meals and store them in the refrigerator or freezer for several days or weeks. You can also try slow cooking. Start a large pot of stew or meat before you leave for work, and it will be done when you get home.

“I’m Too Tired”

If you are tired, getting exercise is a great way to wake up. Fatigue actually increases without exercise so gather up your remaining energy and put it towards yourself. Not only will you sleep better at night but you will feel more energetic afterwards!

Eating more fruits and vegetables will also boost your energy so get the kids involved and make sure the whole family is following the food group guidelines described in MyPlate.

“I Am Not Motivated”

Studies show that exercising in groups can help to increase motivation and exercise adherence. It is important to find exercise that you enjoy. Setting specific goals and tracking your progress can also help to keep your family motivated. See the Daily Workout Log, Weekly Fitness Tracker, and the Fitness Partner Contract on the Print Resources page.

“I Can’t Afford It”

Buying produce can be expensive. You can cut food costs by buying produce in season (Healthy Family Meals), adding low-sodium, low-sugar canned or frozen fruits and vegetables to your favorite recipes, or start your own vegetable garden. The Local Activities page also lists Farmer’s Markets that accept CalFresh.

“I Don’t Have Any Space”

If you have limited space in your house, not to worry! If there’s room for your body, there is room for exercise. When the weather is nice, try going outside for your exercise. Find your local park on the Local Activities page and take a walk!

“It’s Too Dark Outside and/or I Do Not Feel Safe Exercising in My Neighborhood”

No problem! Stay at home and have a dance party before dinner or do jumping jacks during commercial breaks. Check out What Can Our Family Do Together for some additional suggestions.

“I Don’t Have the Right Equipment”

There’s no need to buy a gym membership! Power Up In 10 demonstrates how to perform strength-training exercises that do not require equipment. Your body can provide all the resistance you need to get stronger!

 

References:
Bhammar DM, Angadi SS, Gaesser GA. Effects of Fractionized and Continuous Exercise on 24-h Ambulatory Blood Pressure. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012; 44(12): 2270-76.
Glass JM, Lyden AK, Petzke F, Stein P, Whalen G, Ambrose K, Chrousos G, Clauw DJ. The effect of brief exercise cessation on pain, fatigue, and mood symptom development in healthy, fit individuals. J Psychosomatic Res. 2004; 57(4) 391-8.
King AC, Oman RF, Brassington GS, Bliwise DL, Haskell WL. Moderate-Intensity Exercise and Self-Rated Quality of Sleep in Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA. 1997; 277(1); 32-37.Pedersen, T. (2012). Exercising with a Partner Boosts Motivation. Psych Central.

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