Overcoming Exercise Excuses

By Lynn Bode

You've told yourself dozens of times that tomorrow you are going to start exercising. Yet, tomorrow has come and gone, and you still haven't starting moving. What's holding you back? What excuse seems fitting today? And what changes can you make?

It's time to face your excuses head-on so that you can overcome them and begin living a healthier lifestyle. Following are some of the most common excuses for skipping exercise, along with practical tips for combating them.

I Don't Have Time

This is by far the most common excuse for not exercising. People that use this excuse are actually saying that exercise is not enough of a priority to make it on their weekly to-do list. If you fall into this category, it's time to review your daily priority list.

Certainly there is something less important you are doing for 20 minutes every day that can be replaced with exercise. After all, exercise is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family to ensure that you live a long, full, disease-free life.

I've Tried and Failed in the Past

It's true that it can be difficult to get motivated to try something after you have failed in the past, but isn't your health worth another try? If you've been unsuccessful at exercising in the past, then re-evaluate what went wrong. Did you try to do too much, too quickly? It's common for new exercises to be overzealous when starting their workouts and end up either burning out or getting injured early on.

Did you set unrealistic goals for yourself? Try to stick with small goals that are truly achievable. For example, set a goal that you will work out three times a week for the next month.

I Can't Afford a Gym Membership

You don't have to spend a single minute in a gym in order to lose weight or improve fitness. Just walking outside is a great place to start. Also, home fitness equipment has become very affordable and accessible. For as little as $30 you can buy some great home equipment that will really challenge your body. A resistance band and an exercise ball allow you to work every muscle group and even get a cardiovascular workout.

I'm Too Fat (or out-of-shape)

Unless your physician has forbidden exercise, then it's unlikely this excuse has any validity. If you are extremely out-of-shape, then you simply need to start with baby steps. Walking is always a great place to start. You may need to start with just five minutes. That's okay. You can gradually add more time each week.

If walking is not an option, try some pool exercises. At the very least, you can start by getting active while sitting. There are many beneficial strength training exercises you can do while sitting.

I Don't Have Any Exercise Equipment

Nice try, but it doesn't require special equipment to get your heart pumping. Don't underestimate what you can do with things that are already in your house. For example, if you have a flight of stairs in your house then you've got an awesome way to get your heart rate up with through walking or running up the stairs. Grab soup cans or milk jugs filled with sand to immolate dumbbells for strength training exercises (though you can buy plastic weights at Walmart and other stores for a few dollars). Try push-ups and tricep dips and you'll quickly realize how hard your body has to work when just using it's own weight.

I Don't Know What Exercises To Do

There are literally dozens of ways to learn what exercises will help you. A great way to ensure effective workouts is to hire a personal trainer. You can even hire one online. They can guide you every step of the way so that you don't waste any time doing exercises the wrong way. Also, there are books, online websites, television shows and videos that offer loads of advice and tips.

I'm Too Old to Get Started

It may sound cliché, but you are never too old to get started. Everyone can benefit from exercising. Even if you are a senior citizen you can reap many rewards from starting an exercise program. Okay, so maybe you won't be a marathon runner or a bodybuilder, but you'll be able to walk the stairs easier, play with your grandchildren, improve your balance, improve your strength, and more.

I Just Can't Get Motivated

Don't view exercise as a lifetime evil. Set small, short-term goals to help you get started. Start with a promise to just take the stairs instead of the elevator, for example. Then you might move to scheduling 10 minutes of activity a couple of times per week. Also, make a list of all the positive benefits of exercise. Your list might include giving you more energy, reducing your health ailments, and so forth. You should be able to come up with a long list of reasons why exercise will improve your life. Post it where you will see it regularly - it will motivate you to make exercise a priority.

I Hate Exercising

You probably think you hate it because you've doing activities you don't enjoy. Many people still have the old "no pain, no gain" mentality and think that in order for exercise to be worthwhile you have to be miserable doing it. This simply isn't true. Consider things that you really like to do. Do you prefer competitive situations? Then consider joining a recreational sports team. Do you enjoy spending time alone? Perhaps yoga, or an exercise video, or evening walks will work for you.

I'm Too Tired

This excuse creates a self-defeating cycle because the more sedentary you are then the more tired you become. Of course, the more tired you are then the less appealing exercise sounds. So, try to nip this excuse in the bud. Exercise can actually make you feel more revived than taking a nap. Regular physical activity increases your energy level. Plus, exercisers tend to fall asleep faster and sleep better, resulting in waking up feeling truly rested and energized for the day.

When you find yourself making an excuse not to exercise, read through these tips again. And remind yourself of the many benefits of working out: lower body fat, decreased risk of many diseases, reduced instances of depression, improved bone density, reduced risk of injuries, and many more.

Lynn Bode is a certified personal trainer specializing in Internet-based fitness programs. She founded Workouts For You, which provides affordable online exercise programs that are custom designed for each individual. Visit: http://www.workoutsforyou.com for a free sample workout and to sign-up for their monthly fitness newsletter. Fitness professionals, visit: http://www.trainerforce.com



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