We all know that exercise is good for us. Yet, it seems there is sometimes an internal war within ourselves—a war of excuses against exercise—that may keep us from exercising instead of moving our bodies. Here are some common excuses and new ways of seeing why these excuses don’t stack up to a healthier you.
I’m too tired. Energy produces energy, so if you feel tired now, a short 10-minute walk will get your blood pumping and will boost your energy levels for up to two hours. Exercise also helps regulate your sleep cycles, so you fall asleep easily, sleep more soundly and wake up more rested.
I don’t have time to exercise. Take 30 minutes off your television viewing each night and instead exercise for half an hour. Record your favorite shows and view them while lifting weights or running on the treadmill. Get up an hour earlier to exercise or take your sneakers to work and go for a walk during your lunch break. By fitting in some exercise in your day, you will be strengthening your muscles, burning fat, lowering your cholesterol plus reducing your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
I can’t afford a gym membership or equipment. Sign up for the bare bones membership package or exercise at home. Do you really use all the perks the gym offers anyway? If you cannot afford a gym membership, exercise at home. If you enjoy exercising with other people, ask some friends to join you. There are so many workouts you can find on the internet, such as videos and fitness resources to keep you engaged with exercise. You can even borrow some fitness DVDs from your local library if you get bored with your exercise routine.
I feel self-conscious about my appearance. Buy a well-fitting pair of yoga pants and a new T-shirt. Buying fitness clothes that play up your best body assets, is a good way to make you feel better about your body. If you would rather join an exercise class but are afraid that you will be the biggest person in the class; sign up for a class targeted specially for overweight individuals or a beginner’s class. Remember that everyone had to start somewhere. The chances are that no one is really paying attention to you or if they are, they are probably cheering you on towards your goals.
I feel too depressed. Just 20 minutes of aerobic exercise boosts the levels of your brain’s feel-good chemicals that make you feel happier and more invigorated. Exercise will improve your mood and lower the amount of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is produced when you are stressed. High cortisol levels have been linked to the accumulation of harmful abdominal fat.
We all have busy lives and we know that we need exercise to help us stay healthy, lose weight and cope with the stresses of everyday life. By using excuses to avoid exercise, we are telling ourselves that our physical and mental health are not as important as watching TV, doing the dishes or other activities that may keep us from exercising. Nothing could be further from the truth.