Quite a strange name for an article title a few of you may be thinking?

For those of you that don’t know ‘Getting your ducks in a row’ basically means when someone wants to get all of the small details right – before proceeding with a new project, such as losing some weight.

I think this rule is often used with regards to exercise and nutrition.

Is it a good strategy?

I think NOT.

Many people fail in their attempts to start eating healthy and exercising because they wait until their ducks are all in a row.

They are waiting for the right time to join the gym.

Getting all of the preparation steps before starting and they wait and wait and wait for the right time – and ultimately they never start.

Sound familiar?

There is NO right time. It’s best to get started now and stop thinking about it.

By waiting you are just making the task more difficult when you do start.

There is no perfect time to start exercising, your ducks are very rarely all in a row you just need to bite the bullet and start.

Many people just procrastinate for a week or two before beginning exercise. They will do things such as buy a pair of trainers online and wait 10 days for them to arrive.

In these ten days you could have bought the trainers in the shop, joined a gym/hired a personal trainer and trained 5 times!

I’m not saying that preparation isn’t important and that everyone should go in all guns blazing regardless of their physical and mental condition but I am just trying to say to people – get on with it – stop waiting around and make some positive changes to your life.

Most of us are the type of people who procrastinate – it’s only natural – we will look for excuses when it comes to exercising.

Did you ever hear the saying “something is better than nothing”?

In this article I will discuss some of the most common reasons why doing something is better than doing nothing and give some solutions which they will struggle to talk their way out of.

I Can’t Afford to Exercise or Get a Gym Membership

This is probably one of the most popular EXCUSES. I can’t accept that gym memberships “are expensive” because they are not.

A gym membership is one of the best value for money purchases you can make. (Some are as little as £10 per month)

Think of it like this – even if you pay a whopping £30 per month – that’s £7.50 per week, to have full access to the facility. Say you go three times that’s £2.50 per visit.

For £2.50 you get – to park your car for free, be greeted by a receptionist, change in a nice changing room, do your workout and have a sauna and a shower – all for £2.50.

Where else in society do you get anything close to that sort of value for £2.50? (there is only one place I know, and that’s the library, there is great value there too).

Pizza £10

Sandwich, drink and crisps £5

Chinese £15

Coffee £5

New clothes to go out £50

Night out £75-100

Get my point, we waste so much of our money on negatively affecting our progress, and then say that we can’t afford to exercise, it’s all a matter of what people think is important.

Some of the young people I used to work with would do stuff like – spend over £100 on a Saturday night in town, and then question the cost of the gym membership the following week, saying stuff like “the gym is too expensive” which is absolute nonsense.

Be honest with yourself.

The probable truth is – you’re like me and everyone else – you don’t really like exercise – and it’s any excuse to quit.

Exercise may have some costs. My question is – Can you afford NOT to exercise?

Solution - If you really can’t afford gym membership, speak to your GP about being referred for exercise (at a reduced cost) or do something at home or outside.

I Don’t Have the Time or Energy

I have mentioned in countless articles just how beneficial short workouts are.

People say they are busy – but they are not.

They are just tired and can’t be bothered to do anything more than watch TV series’ and mess around on their i-pad or on facebook.

This used to be me and some of my clients, I would watch three-four hours of TV a night, and it’s an easy habit to slip back into again.

Personally, I know some VERY busy people (with families and businesses and more) and guess what – they all find time to train.

Even if they are ten minutes long and you can get 3-5 in a week then you will see massive improvements.

As far as I’m concerned there is no reason for normal people to be spending hours in the gym, there is a lot of science and evidence to back this up as well.

I know with a job and family, time can be tight but I don’t believe that people can’t find 10-30 minutes spare on 3-5 days a week. As I said in the first point you don’t need to join a gym, you can exercise at home or outdoors.

Solution - Try doing 10 squats every time you go into the kitchen to do something.

Exercise is proven to give people more energy. Initially you may feel tired during and after your workout, but this will pass after a short while.

A regular exercise routine will give you more energy throughout the day and help you to sleep better.

Many people will say to someone who is always on the move, always going to the gym, ‘Where do you get your energy from?’…

…Well it’s from going to the gym!

Solution - do short 10-20-30 minute sessions to start off and build up the duration and intensity over time.

I Don’t Know What to Do

This would be a popular response.

If you are unsure of how to exercise then just – ASK FOR HELP – have a look on the internet or ask an instructor at the gym(you will get varying degrees of success with this in my experience).

Try starting off by going with a friend or joining a group, you may have to try a few to get one which suits you and has a good instructor who will be able to deal with beginners.

I Have the Children to Look After

If they are old enough bring them with you! Some places have child care facilities.

It will be a great activity for them. You might not enjoy the workout too much but the children certainly will! Anything from playing football with them to running around in the garden, it all helps.

My Knees are Bad

This is my favourite, so many people blame their knees, and in my experience, sometimes unnecessarily so.

Over the years I have helped many people who thought their knees were – past it.

I spoke to one of my ladies who is in her 60′s, who for some time has been having varying degrees of pain in her knees, while exercising and while doing everyday activities. I was amazed to hear she had never seen a doctor or a physio about her knees and had just “written them off” as being that way – all by herself.

So she now has a physio referral and we will see if she has prematurely given up on her knees or if she is right.

Another chap who I’m also working with at present, came to me and was suffering knee pain, he was running three times a week.

I stopped him running in the first instance – which he was not happy with at all. After he had seen a physio, we worked through some rehab exercises for 8-10 weeks, strengthening his hamstrings and buttocks.

Now he is running again, but pain free.

These examples are typical of many of you who may have bad knees.

With injuries it can be a bit more difficult that just not having motivation and looking for any excuse, but there still maybe ways around this.

If some people waited to be 100% injury free – they would never get to the gym.

If you have bad knees then depending on the severity you may not be able to run, cycle or squat that well.

Solution - If you are okay with getting in and out of a chair without pain, then I would recommend trying exercises such as the box squat and the glute bridge. For cardio try using the ARM BIKE.

These exercises will put less strain on the knee joints and after time should hopefully help to build your knees back up to be able to perform normal squats and other exercises.

Plus bad knees don’t affect your upper body so there are still tonnes of exercises you can do.

Solution - See an exercise specialist if you have any medical conditions.

I Have a Bad Back (I really do!)

Some peoples backs are so bad, the only solution is just managing the pain, this is the end of the road for some, next it’s a wheelchair or a stick, if this is you, you need specialist help. Ignore what I say below as it doesn’t apply to you.

If you have a bad back like mine (infrequent pain and some stiffness) and it affects your ability to do any cardio work or weight bearing activity then try the arm bike in the gym.

Most gyms have them.

This will put less pressure on your back as you are able to sit up straight, you will get a good cardio workout from it and also will be good for the muscles in your upper body.

As you probably know your back won’t get any better in the long term by not exercising, and resting it by sitting down or lying in bed.

Walking can be very good for back problems.

Solution - Again, try the arm bike and focus on what you can do (step ups, walking), and do more of that.

I’m Too Old

You’re not! I currently train and massage people in their 70′s and early 80′s.

Exercise is linked with so many benefits which help to offset the negatives that come with aging.

You may not be able to exercise quite like before, but there is still a lot you can do which will dramatically increase your quality of life.

There is a 93 year old woman who comes to one of the gyms I use, who does a full stretching routine, treadmill work, cycling and she lifts some weights.

What’s your excuse again?

The western world is in the worst state for obesity it has ever been.

Lack of exercise and an abundance of unhealthy eating are the main reasons behind this. I’m trying to do my bit to make more people stand up and realise that if they don’t make these changes then they will not live a long healthy life.

So please no more excuses and let’s get up and make a difference to our lives.

Are you STILL waiting to get your ducks in a row? Don’t wait – get started now.

Take care,


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