I Don't Exercise Because.... What's Your Excuse?
No matter what your excuse is, it’s important to remember that your health and well-being depend on regular exercise. Below, I will attempt to discredit some of the most common excuses for not exercising, including some of my favorite old standbys. With these excuses out of the way, hopefully you (and I) will find it easier to start and stick with a workout routine.
1. I don’t have the time to work out
Maybe you’re waiting for work to slow down, or you’re waiting for the school year to start so your kids will be busy. The truth is, you do have the time. Here are a few tips to help you fit exercise into your busy day:
- Break up your exercise. Try fitting in a few mini-workouts during the day; walk at lunch, take the stairs, lift weights, or engage in some other activity that gets your heart pumping without requiring too much of your time. Work in just 10 minutes’ worth of these activities, three times a day, and you’ll have an exercise routine that meets the recommended requirements for health.
- Schedule your exercise. Just like you would schedule a work meeting or your kid’s soccer practice, set aside time to exercise.
- Remember the benefits. If you feel like your day is stretched as it is, remember that exercise increases energy and helps you feel more alert throughout the day, enabling you to get more done.
2. Exercise is a waste of time if I can’t work out intensely every day
You don’t have to train for a marathon or become a bodybuilder to see results and reap the benefits of exercise. The latest minimum exercise requirements from the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommend doing 30 minutes of moderately intense cardio (getting your heart rate up but still being able to carry on a conversation) five times a week and doing 8 to 10 strength-training exercises with 8 to12 repetitions of each, twice a week. These are the minimum recommendations for good health, so if your goal is to lose weight, boost your cardio to 60 or 90 minutes a few days each week.
3. If I can’t lose weight, there’s no point
Many people get discouraged and stop exercising because they don’t see results right away. Or they view weight loss as an impossible task, so they give up before they start. Losing weight and building muscle take time. However, the health benefits that come with regular exercise begin right away, such as lowering your blood pressure and risk of diseases such as diabetes.
4. Exercise is boring
Of course you won’t want to exercise if you don’t like what you’re doing. The key to sticking with an exercise program is finding activities that you enjoy. You can also keep your workout routine fresh by making changes to it every few weeks, such as increasing the time or resistance, or adding a new activity.
5. Exercise hurts
The old saying “no pain, no gain” should not be your workout mantra. In fact, feeling sore for more than a day after working out is a sign that you overdid it. Although you should feel a slight burn when lifting weights, pain is a sign that the weights are too heavy.
6. I can’t afford a membership at the gym
You don’t need to go to a fancy gym to start an exercise routine. There are a number of exercise videos to choose from that will enable you to establish a structured training regimen at home. Simply taking brisk walks and lifting hand weights at home will help you to get started. The key is to stick with whatever routine you begin.
7. I don’t know where to start
If you’re new to exercising or you’re just getting back into it, consider investing in a few sessions with a personal trainer. He or she can show you how to get started the right way. There are also a number of good online resources with information on how to begin a workout routine.
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