50% said
“I know exercise is good for me but I just don’t have time to work out.”
Besides helping you keep your weight in check, regular exercise is associated with improved muscle tone, greater flexibility, better blood circulation, stress relief, reduced anxiety, enhanced sleep, and a lowered risk of diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

Izzuddin Tahir, fitness manager at Virgin Active Singapore, suggests finding a workout buddy so that you’ll feel obliged to commit to exercising. “If you commit to an exercise date with your buddy, you’ll probably stick to it because you wouldn’t want to let her down,” he says. “So schedule an exercise session together and promise to show up. If you have common fitness goals, work towards fulfilling them together.”

20% said
“I’m too tired to exercise after a hard day at work.”
If the mere thought of exercising at the end of the day is enough to wear you out, why not schedule your workout in the morning or during lunchtime? Izzuddin says that working out at a time that you can commit to is half the battle won. So pick a time where you know you’ll have the most energy, and stick to it. Once your body experiences the benefits of regular exercise, you’ll feel more motivated to keep at it.

20% said
“There’s no reason for me to get any medical tests done – I feel perfectly fine.”
Don’t wait until something bad happens. Dr Kiran Kashyap, a general practitioner from East Coast Family Clinic, says that you can – and should – get medical check-ups even when you are feeling well. “This will help pick up any illnesses before the symptoms show up. If something is wrong, the illness can be treated immediately to minimise any long-term detrimental effects.” 

10% said
“I don’t need to have a cancer screening because cancer doesn’t run in my family.”
“Some kinds of cancer are hereditary, but many are not, so it’s better to get checked anyway so the disease can be caught early,” says Dr Kashyap. There are many tests available depending on your age and risk profile – your doctor will be able to advise which ones are suitable for you. Pap smear, mammogram and colon cancer tests are some of the more routinely recommended ones.

30% said
“I’m afraid that a medical test will detect some deadly disease.”
If the test does detect something, then at least the illness can be dealt with as soon as possible. Says Dr Kashyap: “I had a patient who put off doing mammograms as she was afraid of what the test would find. When she eventually got herself checked, she was found to have a cancerous lump in one of her breasts. Had she gone for a test earlier, she would have saved herself a lot of trouble.”

40% said
“It’s impossible for me to manage my weight because I’m always finishing my kids’ leftovers.”
Jane Freeman, a dietician from Food Equation, suggests eating meals with your children. “If you wait until after they’re done, you’ll feel so hungry that you’ll be tempted to finish what they can’t,” she points out. If you can’t help being your kids’ “garbage disposal”, then make sure you prepare healthier foods. 

10% said
“Convenience foods like luncheon meat and instant noodles are cheaper and quicker to prepare.”
These pantry staples may be easy to cook, but they’re typically high in calories, low in fibre, and made from low-quality ingredients, says Jane. Not only would they be bad for your waistline, they can also zap your energy since they don’t provide much nutrients.

Jane believes there’s really no excuse for not preparing your own healthy meals at home from scratch. “You can make something delicious and nutritious in a flash using just three ingredients – check out meal planning apps and websites, and plan ahead.” If you want to order takeaway, go for healthier dishes or ask the stall vendor to add more veggies to your meal.

40% said
“I’m so hungry after a long day that I’ll eat whatever’s in front of me, and a lot of it.”
This is one bad habit that can cause you to stack on the kilos in the long term. It can also set you up for other health problems associated with binge eating. “Don’t let yourself get to that stage where you’re so hungry that you end up eating everything in sight,” says Jane. The key here is to be prepared – fill up on high-fibre or protein-rich foods throughout the day. Think salad wraps, boiled eggs, soup and beans.

20% said
“I’m still young, so I can get away with not exercising and eating whatever I want.”
“Not only do we wear ourselves out earlier with these bad practices, but we risk them becoming habits that can be difficult to change when we are older,” says Dr Lim Boon Leng, a psychiatrist from Dr BL Lim Centre For Psychological Wellness. His advice: Never use your age as a reason to ignore your physical and mental well-being. “The younger you are, the easier it is to form good habits, so start establishing healthy routines as early as possible,” he explains.

50% said
“It’s hard getting a good night’s sleep because I go to bed late and wake up early.”
If you find that you aren’t sleeping well – experts recommend getting between seven and nine hours a night – you may have trouble focusing at work and feel sluggish or moody. 

Dr Lim suggests establishing good habits get a refreshing night’s sleep. To help you fall asleep faster, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Second, have a soothing pre-sleep routine, such as sipping on warm tea, meditating, or listening to relaxing music. Third, put your gadgets away as using them in the bedroom can have a stimulating effect and keep you awake longer than you want to.

If you still can’t fall asleep, avoid tossing and turning in bed, as this will increase your anxiety. Instead, says Dr Lim, go to another room and read a book, and go back to bed when you start to feel tired.

This article was originally published in Simply Her May 2015.