Sunday, August 19The Voice of London

Is Procrastination More Powerful Than The People?

Both a busy city schedule and the rising prices in London can be demotivating for Londoners. So there is no surprise why so many people cannot commit to keeping fit and healthy.

Words: Gemma Smith, Subeditor: Shannon Cowley

Most Londoners face a non-stop lifestyle topped with depressing weather and high-end city pressures to earn money. This can make keeping fit and healthy almost impossible for Londoners who are desperate to find a way out and make healthier choices.

“I’ll do that tomorrow instead,” are words that young Londoners are guilty of saying. It’s easy to opt for the grab-and-go food option when you only have a sharp 30-minute lunch break. Not only that but exercising in the evening can seem painful and tiring: a huge unwanted effort when caught up in a nine-to-five lifestyle.

Looking outside and seeing the pouring rain is not exactly the most encouraging situation either. Being a Londoner it can be frustrating knowing that traffic awaits at just about every corner of London, so it may not be appealing to even leave the front door!

But just how powerful is procrastination? And why does it have such a strong hold over people? One of the biggest points to think about is how far gyms go to combat this issue to make it possible for Londoners, especially the younger generation. London isn’t cheap and living in the City may not be considered as the most convenient place to enjoy an afternoon jog. So what about a gym membership?

Source: Praba Tuty,
Source: Praba Tuty,

Britain’s biggest gym chain:
A spokesperson at PureGym commented on these issues saying:

“We think fitness is for everyone, but we also appreciate everyone is different and some aren’t easily motivated. But that is our mission!”

PureGym offers a ‘New Member’ membership costing £12.99 a month with a £5.00 joining fee, and after 12 months the price will increase to £17.99.

They said: “It is tough, but with our no-contract, low-priced memberships and 24 hour opening times, I think we have a good shot!”

“Plus, we want to make working out fun! You don’t have to be a ‘fitness freak’ to use PureGym.” They went on.

But, are young Londoners focusing more on their career than getting fit?

Tim Saunders, a Senior Youth Worker at Alford House youth club in Kennington, says that most young people just need the opportunity to get involved in sport and fitness. Londoners know that protecting their health is important but often feel too restricted to do anything about it.

London Youth offers Londoners the chance to develop their fitness through their Getting Ready sports development programme, which is one way to stay fit in a fun and proactive way.

Source: Casa Velas Hotel Gym, Flickr Creative Commons
Source: Casa Velas Hotel Gym, Flickr Creative Commons

Many people with a gym membership find themselves in the spa area more often than the gym itself, which is very ironic…

21-year-old Louisa Smart from Holborn had a 6-month membership at a local DW Gym but rarely used the gym facilities.

“I would finish work and feel motivated to work out but then when it came to it, I just couldn’t be bothered.

“I would pack my swimming gear instead and go straight to the Spa. I’d used the pool and steam and sit in the Jacuzzi to unwind.”

Procrastination is getting the better of people, so how can we beat this outcome?

A word of advice:
The NHS has some tips and tricks to encourage a healthier approach:

  • Keep a photo diary of yourself and track the progress. Also, jot down your measurements, targets and feelings. It will feel great to look back and see a ‘different you’, giving you the boost to carry on and not give up so easily.
  • Find alternative ways to travel. Walk or cycle to work instead of getting the bus; these small changes amount to a big life change.
  • Visualisation is one of the most powerful ways to attract something into your life, which is a proven fact, so start visualising the new you! Try meditating and see yourself living a healthier life.
  • Make achievable, step-by-step goals so you don’t put yourself off.
  • Get sponsored to do something out of your reach. So push yourself to do that 5K run.

What the Government are doing:
The new government Cyclescheme is so refreshing for Londoners, it really gives people the glimpse of motivation that they may be searching for.

So how does it work? You pick your bike and hire it for an agreed amount of time and buy it for almost half the price.

“It’s like a year-round sale, with interest-free credit available in over 2,000 retailers nationwide. We’ve worked hard to provide a transparent and easy to understand process.

“There are just four steps to go through to get a bike through Cyclescheme,” and these steps are explained online.

Why don’t you try it as a way of travelling to work and get a discounted bike too?


Herbalife have some valuable words of inspiration, reminding us to not let procrastination get the better of us: “Always remember the feeling you get after exercise – endorphins flying around your body, you feel healthy and pleased with yourself. Next time you’re thinking of skipping a session, remember this feeling and get exercising!”