I was caught gasping for air, while moving 5.0 mph on the treadmill in a 7.0 mph athlete zone at the gym. My jail sentence: 10-15 minutes of self-inflicted questions. Not about the treadmill, of course, but the millions of other excuses left to consider; the kind that always seem to get in the way of me continuing my exercise route.

As I struggled to climb down from the treadmill, I’m thinking, how am I going to continue this? Am I going to be able pay for this two year gym membership? With the economy in shambles, who’s to say I won’t have a job in the next month or so.

Am I really going to get up at 6AM every morning to work out? But no wait, if I wait until 5 PM the place is going to be crowded? When am I going to have the time? And what on earth can be done about my hair? By this time, the members of the gym looked on as if to say, wasn’t her hair curly when she came in.

I’m sure many of these questions are common when adapting an exercise route. After all, the hardest part of exercising is just getting started. Not everyone has the money to buy a gym membership, and finding the time to exercise can be quite tricky, when under a demanding schedule. And not mention the hair issue. Whatever the case, we shouldn’t let these factors get in the way of our health.

As a wise woman, once said, where there’s a will there’s a way. It can be done and here are a few tips to help you:

  • Find other Alternates: If a gym membership or exercise class is out of the question, there are other alternates. In fact, Comcast (Xfinity OnDemand) and Direct TV (FitTV) offers 24 hour exercise programming that includes everything from Cardio to Yoga (if included in your cable package). In addition, running and walk are also great alternates. If you’re not a fan of the great outdoors, considering using a workout video.
  • Do what works for you: If you concerned about time, try breaking your exercise route up into increments. For example, it may be helpful to try exercising 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening.
  • Do Your Hair Research: There are tons of hair blogs and Youtube videos targeted toward maintaining Black hair while exercising. Find one that corresponds to your hair type.
  • Find the Motivation: Think of all the reasons you would like to start exercising. Then think of all the benefits: More energy, better health, etc. Be sure to include a list of exercise accomplishments; it will help to motivate you along the way.
  • Be Prepared to Make a Few Sacrifices: If a healthy body means exercising at 6 AM, be prepared to make the sacrifice.
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