Excuses Not to Exercise

by Graeme Rundle Coast to Coast Personal Trainers

I have been a Personal Trainer for the past 12 years and believe I have heard every excuse ever invented for why people can’t, wont or don’t exercise. An excuse is a reason you give to make yourself feel better after you didn’t follow through with what you set out to do.

You use it to save face with friends and family after publicly stating your intentions. An excuse is a reason given to disguise the lack of importance and priority you place on your health or ability to stick to a commitment. Basically it’s the only way you know how to justify copping out to yourself and others.

I have compiled a list of the most common excuses with some positive suggestions for countering them and keeping you on track.

I don’t have any time

This is by far the most popular excuse ever invented. After hearing it for 12 years I still haven’t met anyone who is absolutely flat out 24 hours a day 7 days a week as they claim. Priority and planning are the keys. There are 168 hours in a week, 40 are used at work, 56 for sleep, leaving 72 hours of time. To improve your health you only need to find a minuscule 3.5 hours for exercise out of the whole week, that’s 2% of your time or 30 minutes a day. If you consider that the average Australian watches more than 20 hours of television a week, I think you can throw that excuse out with the dishwater.

When you have these facts you can see that time is a choice like everything else. What people should say is that they choose not to make the time to exercise.

I’m too tired I have no energy

The more sedentary you are the less energy you have. It becomes a vicious cycle, you feel too tired to do anything and doing nothing increases fatigue. Exercise has been shown to increase energy levels. A recent study showed that a brisk 10-minute walk can increase energy levels for up to 2 hours. People who exercise regularly fall asleep faster and overall sleep better allowing them to be fully rested for the following day.

Exercise is boring

Exercise doesn’t have to be as boring as watching paint dry. Variation is the key. Find something that you love to do, something active that you have a real passion for. It could be dancing, gardening, surfing, rock climbing, walking the dog, it doesn’t matter so long as you enjoy it and it’s active. Be adventurous, if you’re easily bored try a new activity every week. Don’t get stuck in a rut like a lot of people and do the same thing every week, get out there and give it a go.

I just can’t get motivated

Don’t view exercise as a chore, it shouldn’t have the same appeal as washing the dishes. Do what you love doing so that you will do it even when you don’t feel motivated. The key is not feeling motivated, it is being disciplined. Disciplined people do the things they have to do even when they don’t feel motivated or even want to. Focus on the benefits of exercise and not the process. Focus on how great you are going to look and feel in a couple of weeks. Focus on the abundance of energy that will be heading your way, the feelings of wellbeing, improved health. Think positive, just get up and do it.

I can’t exercise I have children to look after

That’s great, now is your chance to get them involved. Include them in your exercise sessions, take them to the park, play games, ride bikes, go swimming, teach them healthy habits now that will last them a life time. Be a positive example for your children. If your child is too young to join in, purchase a really good pusher and take them walking. Change the route regularly to avoid boredom. When they’re asleep you could follow an exercise program in your lounge room, it’s just a matter of getting yourself organised. You can hire an exercise video and have the volume turned down. Even cleaning up after them or doing housework is considered exercise. Just make the time to do something for a minimum of 30 minutes a day that slightly increases your heart rate.

To live a long and healthy life, exercise must become a priority. Stop making excuses and start finding ways to get moving.

No matter how tired or exhausted you feel, no matter how boring you find it, just make the time and do it.

In a few weeks you’ll be glad you did. GET TO IT!!!!