Recently I developed a nagging pain in my neck, upper back and shoulder area. Stretching didn't help, so I stopped doing upper body weight training and doubled-up on lower body exercises. Then my low back went out. Now, I was really out of commission!
I stopped doing all weights to let my body rest and called Roseann, my brilliant massage therapist who lives down the hall from me in my apartment building. She worked her magic hands on the trouble spots and was able to release the muscles and restore proper alignment in a couple of sessions.
Now, I was ready to resume weight training, but wasn't in the mood! Overcoming inertia is a real challenge at times. So I decided to pick four exercises, two for the upper body and two for the lower body, and start with one set of 12-15 repetitions for each exercise. That takes about five minutes, so no excuses.
I chose compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups. For upper body: push-ups for the chest and bent-over rows for the back muscles. For the spine and lower body: "good-mornings" (back extensions) and squats, using my 27# body bar. In a week or two, I added a second set of each exercise. After doing my cardio walk or run, I come home, put on some music, and do the weight training interspersed with yoga stretches. It's easy, effective and convenient.
If you're stuck with inertia, try this rule of four: Pick four exercises that work the major muscle groups and do one set of each, to start. You might try the "4 for Life" exercises from my book Strength Training for Women . Or pick any four that you like and start with them. You can always add to them, but at least you'll have a start.