Posted: 26 Apr 2011 09:18 AM PDT
I’m pretty good at making excuses – and I expect you are too. It’s all too easy to come up with a reason not to do something if we’re feeling a bit tired or lazy.
Now, we all know that we should be exercising. We’ve heard all the benefits – lifelong health, weight loss, more energy, fewer illnesses – but we’re great at finding ridiculous reasons not to get moving. Do you recognize any of the below ones?
#1: “I Don’t Have Time”
I’ll bet you’ve said this before – I know I have! It’s so easy to think I don’t have time to exercise. But is that really true?
Sure, you might not have three hours to go to the gym every day. I don’t either. But you do have twenty minutes to go for a brisk walk in your lunch hour. You can squeeze in some sit ups during the ad breaks on TV in the evenings.
The truth is, we all have enough time to do enough exercise to stay healthy.
#2: “I Hate Exercise”
When I was a teen, I was convinced that I hated exercise. I was overweight and pretty uncoordinated. I dreaded gym class at school because I got bullied by my classmates.
Maybe you’ve had similar experiences – and maybe you associate exercise with being unhappy and uncomfortable.
It really doesn’t have to be that way. There are hundreds of different types of exercise: you certainly don’t have to jog around a school field or fail to climb up a rope. How about:
- Housework – you can burn calories by vacuuming, cleaning, even ironing
- Walking – a leisurely walk in the countryside can be very relaxing
- Swimming – if you hate getting sweaty, then exercising in a pool is great
- Fun! I’ve surprised myself by enjoying activities like trampolining and fencing
#3: “I’m Too Tired”
When you get home from work, you probably feel like slumping on the sofa. You certainly don’t feel motivated to go jogging or to do an exercise DVD. You might even worry that if you do, you’ll be even more exhausted.
Tiredness can actually be caused by insufficient exercise. If you get up and move, you’ll probably find your energy returning. Often, saying “I’m too tired” really means “I’m too lazy” – but once you get started, it’ll get much easier.
If you really struggle to exercise in the evenings, how about fitting in a short workout in the morning, or during your lunch hour? If your workplace is within walking or cycling distance of your home, you could even have an active commute to and from work – a great way to de-stress at the end of the day.
#4: “I’m Too Fat”
I do have some sympathy with this excuse. I know how shy I felt when I was overweight, and how much I hated exercising in public.
Whether you’re just a few pounds overweight or seriously obese, the thought of exercise can be terrifying. If you’re very out of shape, you might struggle to walk for more than a few minutes.
Exercise doesn’t need to be strenuous in order to be beneficial. If you can only walk round the block, do that – each week, you’ll find yourself able to do a little bit more.
If you hate the idea of anyone seeing you exercise, then don’t force yourself to go to a gym or jog outside. Look for some cheap equipment that you can use at home – like hand weights, a jump rope or DVDs.
#5: “I Don’t Wanna!”
I think this is what all the other excuses add up to: what we’re really saying is “I don’t want to exercise!”
You might think that’s true. I know that I have days when I feel like the last thing I want to do is get on my elliptical trainer. But every single time, once I get past the first few minutes, I find myself enjoying it. And I’ve heard lots of other reluctant exercisers say the same.
Of course it’s easier to stay on the sofa. But once you get up, put on your workout gear and get moving, you’ll be glad that you did.
So – what’s your ridiculous excuse for not exercising? And how can you get over it, this week?