The company we keep says a lot about us, but when our friends make bad decisions that reflect badly on us, should we have to suffer their consequences? It doesn't seem fair to be put in the same category as our less responsible counterparts, but it's inevitable that we sometimes are. So ladies, since we all have an imperfect friend or two, what I want to know is: Do you ever make excuses or take responsibility for a friend in need?
When people find out that I teach Pilates and yoga, they often immediately disclose the reasons they don't practice either exercise form. I hear this excuse most often, "I could never do yoga, I'm so inflexible. I can't even touch my toes."
This is not the first time I've heard this excuse, and I actually love that people confess this to me. It gives me a chance to explain that inflexibility is not an excuse, but rather a reason to do yoga.
Most people aren't naturally flexible, but doing yoga can increase your flexibility almost immediately. Even after just a few classes, you will begin to notice a change in your body. You just have to get over that mental block that tells you you can't do it, and you just have to try.
If you can commit to a couple of classes every week, I guarantee that your muscles will become longer and suppler. That's what is so great about yoga. Our bodies were made to move, and your muscles crave it. Not only does yoga relax your mind and reduce stress, but the increased flexibility you'll feel can alleviate chronic pain and prevent injury.
So go ahead and take a yoga class. It's like with any new thing you try, whether it be playing an instrument or running a marathon. That amazing sense of pride and accomplishment you feel can only come when you witness yourself improving. No one is instantly great in the beginning, but as you practice, you'll get better and better.
A lot of us have our favorite excuses for not working out, but if yours is: "I can't keep up in a class," then here are some tips for overcoming that issue:
- Start with a beginner's class and work your way up.
- Remember that everyone has to start somewhere and chances are that everyone in the class started out just like you, not having a clue what to do.
- The teacher is there to help you and in most cases they will not scold you or make you leave the room if you are messing up. Boot camp instructors may be a bit more harsh, but that is just the nature of the class and is not something you should take personally.
- Chances are the instructor will realize you are new and assist you when you need it and go easier on you than those that have been in the class every single day for the past two months. If it eases your worries, get there early and tell the instructor that you're new, but you're going to do your best to keep up.
- There is nothing wrong with taking a breather every once in a while to catch your breath or just so you can get back on track.
- Go with a friend who has also never done the class before, then you can fumble and laugh together.
- Make a buddy at the class, someone who knows the drill. Chances are they will guide you when you need a little extra assistance.
- Get a spot in front. I know the very last thing you want is to draw attention to yourself but being able to hear and see the instructor is an important key to learning the moves.
Have your own suggestions for keeping up with an exercise class? Then share them in the comments section below.
One excuse I hear all the time coming from people who don't workout is that they just "Don't have the space to do it."
I lived in a small apartment in NYC for years and while I feel your pain, there are other ways to get active than just plunking a big ole' treadmill in your house. So here are some options:
- While your apartment (or house) may be small, the great outdoors is not. Go outside and start walking, running, etc.
- Maybe you don't have space for a treadmill, but you most likely have a TV and a DVD player to play fitness videos on. I've reviewed a bunch of great workout DVDs that you may want to try for yourself. Believe it or not the Rock Your Body with Jamie King DVD requires very little space to do.
- Still not enough space to workout along to a video where your TV is? Recruit a friend, who happens to have a decent size space, to do the DVD with you at her house. You may even find out she's been wanting to start working out too!
- Exercise bands take up no space and are great for resistance training. I love to travel with exercise bands because I can toss them in my suitcase on top of all my clothes -- Apply this concept to your home as well.
- Learn to love one (or all) of these things: Jump ropes, hula hoop and inline skates. They're all easy to tuck under a bed or in a closet and they're all great workouts.
- Now you see 'em, now you don't. Get a pair of Aquabells - water inflatable and collapsible dumbbells. When you're not using them, deflate them (let the water out) and store them away.
Summer is here and man is it hot out! The heat can dehydrate your body and drain your energy. This combined with feeling uncomfortably sticky and sweaty can make you want to skip the workout and head for your air-conditioned living room.
There are plenty of things you can do to work your body without overheating. Here are some ideas:
- Swim! If you hit the pool for 30 minutes, you can burn up to 270 calories.
- Take up a water sport like kayaking or water skiing. It works your upper body and if you get hot, you can just jump in.
- Take a bike ride. When the wind's blowing through your hair and over your body, it feels cooler than if you were going for a run.
- Don't do as much. If you are used to playing tennis for an hour, cut it down to 30 minutes or less.
- Workout in an air-conditioned gym.
- Keep ice water close by while you work out and drink as often as you feel you need to. If you are doing high intensity cardio, try to sip small amounts - drinking too much could give you a bellyache.
- Walk the mall. That's right. It's not hot in there so you can walk back and forth staying cool and totally entertained (don't you just love people watching and window shopping?).
We have all committed little white lies before, whether or not we want to admit it! Sometimes it is easier to fib than to speak the truth, especially when you speak before you think. While we know it is wrong to do, ladies, do tell, what is the worst white lie you have ever told? Don't worry; your secrets are safe with me!
Have you ever said yes to a date because you didn't know how to say no? Dating is tough enough as it is, but when you regret saying yes in the first place, it just makes matters worse. As much as we hate to admit it, I am sure we have all reneged on a date at the 11th hour, so ladies, do tell, what is the worst excuse you have ever given to get out of a dubious date?