Excuses for not exercising (and how to overcome them)

This article first appeared on the Chaufit blog on December 21st, 2018 for ‘Chau’s Top Five’. 

We’ve all been there — trying to get out of exercise in one way or another. For some of us, it’s an occasional thing since sometimes we just don’t feel up to it. For others, finding ways around exercise is a way of life. They are the dedicated couch potato. Here’s the thing — almost every excuse that you can think of has a solution. Here are some of the top excuses for not working out and what you can do to motivate yourself to still do it.

5)    I’ll start in January — Making exercise your New Year’s Resolution or any other procrastination technique isn’t helping. Many people either keep pushing back their start date or they start and their drive wanes within a month or two. The only way to start, is to start. To make it easier on you, you can start small — start with some walking, some light weights, some bodyweight exercises — anything that will help you slowly transition into making exercise a regular part of your lifestyle.

4)    I just don’t like exercise — Many excuses boil down to just not wanting to exercise, but every now and then, you find someone who will straight up tell you that they don’t like it. I recently addressed this and how to make exercise fun in another article. Exercise isn’t all about that gym life or squats and pushups. It can be walking, running, riding, playing sports or even yoga (which is, truth be told, a very challenging, yet relaxing, form of exercise). Find something that you can enjoy even while you reap the health benefits of the activity.

3)    Gyms are intimidating to me — Many people are out there being afraid of gyms. They’re afraid of the grunting, the noise and, most importantly, the judgement. The reality is that there is, in fact, a small group of individuals who are so unsatisfied with themselves that they spend time ridiculing others. The good news is that they are in the minority. You’re more likely to get support from, or just ignored by, the majority of gym-goers, so being judged isn’t really that big of an issue. If, however, you find that small group is enough to keep you away, remember that the gym is not your only workout option. You can get DVDs, or hire a trainer and take your training to a park or even your own home. It’s easy to find ways around gym-fear and still work on your fitness level.

2)    I’m too tired all the time — Interestingly enough, this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Making light to moderate exercise a habit would actually increase your energy levels. It would also help you to be more focused in the rest of your life while improving the quality of your sleep to ensure that you wake up feeling more rested after. Start small (as mentioned above) and gradually increase intensity until you find the level that works best for you and then you can take note of the changes that you feel in your body and in your energy levels.

1)    I have no time — In this hectic time where people work overtime or multiple jobs while trying to maintain their family and social lives, it seems that we have no time for exercise. Exercise can actually help you to handle the other parts of your life a bit better so that you don’t always feel so overwhelmed. But how do you find the time to start? If you have 15-20 minutes a day, 3-5 days a week, you can exercise. You may not be able to train to look like a bodybuilder, but you can improve your health and your physique with small routines that allow your to incorporate exercise into your busy schedule.

It is really tough, with images of super-slim or super-muscular bodies grinding away in aerobics classes or lifting hundreds of pounds of weight to get motivated to exercise. This means that it is easy to find every reason not to. Luckily, there’s almost always a solution to each exercise problem. If you haven’t started exercising yet, why not? I hope this article helps you to find the drive to overcome your excuses and set out on the road to a healthier, fitter you.

Marc Chauharja Singh, aka ‘Chau’, is a certified Fitness Instructor who is well versed in various training techniques. He created his fitness brand, ChauFIT in 2011 and is a  Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force trained Physical Training instructor (PTI ), as well as a certified  Massage Therapist (Therapeutic and Sport), who holds a Diploma in Nutrition. He has helped many people regain a life of wellness through a holistic approach to fitness. For more of his fitness tips, or to contact him, visit his blog (https://chaufit.wordpress.com/)

Three major benefits of wearing a proper sports bra

Panache sport bra, available at Underpinnings

When you joined the gym, or decided to partake in that Zumba class, you bought all the things you thought necessary for your new exercise adventure. Water bottle =check, cute gym outfits= check, branded sneakers= check! But what about a new sports bra? Did you think that the cute lace number that you wear everyday would be suitable? Well, I have some news for you, no it is not! Yes, your everyday bra has been professionally fitted, and it was one of the best investments you’ve made in yourself, but it cannot do the job of a sports bra, and here’s why: sports bras are manufactured to provide a level of support and comfort during exercise that the typical everyday bra does not.

Here are the top 3 reasons why you should be fitted for a sports bra as soon as possible:

1. Avoid permanent damage to breast tissue and ligaments: Exercising without a sports bra can cause damage to breast ligaments (called Cooper’s ligaments) causing the breasts to sag and droop. No matter the breast size, damage can be done when the chest is not properly supported during physical activity. A supportive and well-fitted sports bra will protect your breasts and minimise any damage to the soft tissue and ligaments.

2. Maintain comfort while exercising:  The moisture-wicking materials of a sports bra makes them better equipped for exercise. Manufacturers of sports bras pay attention to making the bras out of materials that will keep you comfortable while exercising, while preventing you from chafing (something that can develop from wearing a wet bra during prolonged physical activity).

3. Reduce pain and discomfort: Wearing a sports bra prevents breast pain by reducing bounce. Sports bras are designed to restrict movement, which means less pain. However, you need to make sure that you replace a sports bra every 6-8 months after continuous wear to make sure that the supporting fibres are not worn out.

With that said, now is a GREAT time to make that appointment to have yourself fitted for the perfect sports bra. Visit us at book.prettyunderpinnings.com and we’ll get you properly outfitted for your fitness adventure!

Ban the Bounce! 3 things you should know about sports bras

We’ve all seen (or been!) the lady running on the treadmill with her breasts travelling a greater distance than she is.  Ouch.  Here are the 3 things you need to know in order to ban the bounce and have a (breast) pain free workout.

1.       All women should wear a sports bra when exercising.

Yes, all women, regardless of their breast size. This is because our breasts have no muscular tissue and instead are thought to be supported by delicate Cooper’s ligaments which can stretch and lengthen over time.  As we move, so do our breasts, and not just up and down, but also side to side and in and out, in what research has shown to be an overall figure-8 type motion.  In one research study, a well fitted sports bra reduced this movement by approximately the same percentage in a woman wearing an A cup (53%) as in a woman wearing a G cup (55%).  Reduced movement puts less strain on the Cooper’s ligaments and can result in increased comfort during your workout and less breast soreness afterwards.

2.       Not all sports bras are created equal.

There are two main types of sports bra designs on the market: compression and encapsulation.


Compression Sports Bra


Encapsulation Sports Bra

A compression sports bra, as its name suggests, compresses the breast tissue against the chest wall, holding the breasts firmly in an attempt to minimize the up and down movement.  Note: beware of what are essentially crop tops which offer no real support or movement minimization being marketed as compression sport bras. In encapsulation sports bras each breast is separately “housed’ in its own cup.  This design has been shown to control not only the up and down breast movement but also the side to side and in and out movements, resulting in better support across all cup sizes.  Additionally, this design is  often more comfortable for fuller busted women as compression bras can result in breasts touching, making it more difficult for perspiration to run off and potentially leading to chafing.

3.       You must try on a sports bra to know if it’s going to fit.

If you are fuller busted, sports bras that are sized like regular bras (32D, DD, etc) will often offer a more precise and comfortable fit than the more general small, medium, large.  See our bra-fit tips here.  The same rules will apply for bra-sized sports bras.

Regardless of if you choose to go for encapsulation or compression sports bras, put them to the test in the changing room.  Jump up and down a few times, move around, run in place.  If the bra is uncomfortable or the bounce factor isn’t well controlled go back to the drawing board.

Now, stop reading and go work out!