Physical activity has plenty of amazing benefits. It gets you toned, builds muscle and perhaps most importantly, prevents or reverses some serious health issues such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and even depression. Exercise is just as good as some of the best (and very expensive) medicines. Why then do people seem to make so many excuses to avoid this free/low-cost way to stay healthy? The simple answer includes laziness, procrastination or simply the fear of the unknown. Here are a few of the top excuses for not exercising.
1. Time. One of the most popular excuses for not exercising is time. If you're having this issue, the problem is poor time management. One hour out of each day is simple to set aside. If one hour truly is too much, 15-30 minutes of high intensity exercise also leads to positive results. If you only have smaller time slots available throughout the day, break exercise into short 10 minute sessions instead of one long 30-60 minute session. Shorter exercise sessions have just as many positive benefits as longer sessions if the total amount of daily physical activity is sufficient (30-60 minutes).
2. Don't Know How. Exercising is easy. At its basic level, it involves movement causing the heart to beat fast for an extended period of time. If you need help building a routine, the internet offers plenty of tools. For additional help, hire a personal trainer. Great examples of exercise include: weight lifting, running, biking, swimming, circuit training and most sports. Get a free and personalized workout routine at SH Trainer.
3. Not a Member of a Gym. Think of a gym as a luxury rather than a necessity. It's really nice to have but also unnecessary. Equipment-free exercises include running, swimming, push ups, sit ups, pull ups and body weight squats. Non-exercise physical activity also counts. Washing your car, yard work and walking instead of driving can substitute traditional exercise.
4. Don't Need to Lose Weight. Prevailing wisdom says exercise is only for people who need to lose weight. Weight loss is only one of many potential benefits of exercise. Exercise contributes to a feeling of well being, battles depression, makes daily tasks such as walking up stairs easier and improves overall health. Everyone (even those at a normal weight) benefits from exercise. Physical activity level is a much more accurate indicator of overall health than weight. A low body weight isn't enough to be healthy.
5. Too Lazy. Are you too lazy to workout? Tough luck. Get away from the TV and start moving. Exercise has plenty of health benefits including increased bone density, lower cholesterol levels, and decreased blood pressure. Once these problems take over, it'll be much more difficult to start exercising. Taking easy steps today prevents you from having to take much harder steps tomorrow.
The Bottom Line
Yes, starting a consistent exercise routine is hard, but once you get into the habit of working out everyday, it becomes a part of a new lifestyle rather than a chore you hate doing. Once you begin to see the positive changes, exercising stops being hard and starts being enjoyable. You only get to the enjoyable part when you stop making excuses and get it done.