HealthA positive mindset will keep you enthused and prevent you from giving up when the going gets tough

The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will and the other from a strong won't. – Henry Ward Beecher

TAKEAWAY:Adopt a positive attitude; don't let small obstacles deter you from setting out to achieve your fitness goals. Be determined to stick to your exercise routine, no matter what!


1. I have never been the athletic kind. I am afraid I will hurt myself.

Solve it:You need not be an athlete to enjoy the benefits of physical activity. Try yoga or go for a walk instead.

2. I do not have anyone to watch over my grandkids when I work out.

Solve it:Kids need exercise too. Find something physically stimulating to do with them — walking, running or playing a sport. This way, they will have a more active role model and get into the habit of exercising from an early age.

3. My family and friends are not physically active, so I feel like neglecting exercise too.

Solve it:Once they see you reaping the benefits of a workout — sound sleep, more energy, a stronger, healthier body — they will be inspired to join you.

4. Getting a gym membership or buying home equipment is expensive.

Solve it:You don't need to invest money, just invest your time and enthusiasm. Go running or jogging or take a brisk walk in the park nearby. You could do yoga or callisthenic exercises such as push-ups and crunches at home. Or you could exercise to your favourite fitness show on television; all you need to do is follow the instructions.

5. I hate anything to do with exercise. It is such a struggle.

Solve it:Exercise isn't just about sweating it out, struggling with weights or jogging a marathon. Find a physical activity that you enjoy the most and stick to it — such as playing badminton or taking dancing lessons. Different personalities connect with different fitness routines. Take a look at some of the options available and figure out where you fit in.

6. Exercise hurts.The pain makes it seem like a chore. I would rather not do it.

Solve it:Give it time. You may feel some discomfort or tiredness initially but in the long run, a workout session will make you feel invigorated and increase your endurance levels. Having said that, discomfort does not equal pain and if something's hurting, you must slow down or stop. If the pain continues, consult your physician.

7. I should have started exercising when I was younger. It's too late to do anything now.

Solve it:You are never too old to exercise. As long as the fitness programme is chalked out with your needs in mind, age should be no deterrent. Also, studies prove that even a mild fitness regimen started at any age can bring about significant improvements in your life and cut down risk of heart disease and cancer.

8. I am too obese to exercise.

Solve it:Don't I have to lose weight first in order to start exercising? That day will never arrive unless you start moving. Adopt a two-pronged strategy that involves both your diet and exercise routine — cut down calories and burn them.

9. I cannot do strenuous exercises.

Solve it:Sure, then how about light exercises like walking? They aid weight loss and reduce anxiety, stress and blood pressure.

10. I do enough work at home. I don't need exercise.

Solve it:You said it yourself. You do work, not exercise. Exercise works your entire body to make it more supple, toned and less stressed. It also improves your circulation, strength and stamina.


The writer is a certified Clinical Exercise Specialist, Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist.