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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Fitness Excuse Busters

Mountain guide and author of Fit by Nature John D. Colver offers up these hints for staying motivated and fit no matter what your excuse.

by: John D. Colver and Jason Stevenson

Motivation to get you moving (by K. Phillips)
Photo by Motivation to get you moving (by K. Phillips)
Motivation to get you moving (by K. Phillips)

Excuse: I reached my goal.
Strategy for overcoming it: Congratulations! You should celebrate and even take a couple of weeks off. Even professional athletes do this. Consider this a recovery phase. The next phase is the transition phase, during which you reflect on what you achieved and dream about new heights you want to attain. Did your first back-packing trip, how about a hiking vacation in Italy! 

Excuse: I’ve got no time.
Strategy for overcoming it: To bust this excuse, remind yourself that 30 minutes of exercise often gives you extra energy. You may think you've got no time, but skipping exercise is like skipping breakfast. By mid-morning, you'll wish you hadn't.

Excuse: I got bored
Strategy for overcoming it: Start changing things up! Change your workout order, your location, your clothing, even your playlist if you think it'll help. Physical change can lead to a corresponding attitude change. Mood follows action--nearly always

Excuse: I got injured.
Strategy for overcoming it: All athletes get injured at some point. Take it as a warning to re-boot your training intensity, duration, and routine. When recovering from an injury, you'll learn new things about your body and your limits. Figure out the problem, develop an alternative workout routine that isolates the affected area, and re-start your training a slower pace. There's always a silver lining to every setback.

Excuse: My training partner quit on me.
Strategy for overcoming it: Start by congratulating yourself that you didn't quit. Because you won’t be quitting. Ask yourself: "What am I doing right?" and focus on the positives. Recruit another person to train with you. Or, if you decide to train alone—celebrate your newfound solitude by devoting your trainng time to brainstorming or problem-solving. Try this: When running or hiking, say 'Hi’ to everyone you meet along the trail. Doing so connects you to the wider outdoor community, even if you're exercising alone.

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