Friday, March 23, 2012

How to Beat Your Exercise Excuses

We all know that exercise is very important. So why do we always find an excuse not to do it? Well I'm here to turn your excuses into motivation.

Excuse #1: I don't have enough time
Not too many people that I have met say that aren't busy at one point or another. It comes down to setting priorities, you need to MAKE time to exercise. Do what I do and schedule it into your day, make it an appointment. Physical activity actually increases productivity. So by exercising, you may get other tasks done faster than you had originally planned. Take time to reflect on what you are making time for, is it something like watching TV?

Excuse #2: Exercise is boring
Exercise does not mean you need to spend an hour on the treadmill. I haven't met too many people that thinks that is fun. Instead, take your run outside, try a new sport or Zumba class. The key is finding something that you enjoy. One of my favorite things to do is walk my dog, a workout for both of us! Exercise does not need to take place in a gym. Also, switch up your workout routine every couple of weeks to keep things fresh and for other benefits.
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Excuse #3: I'm in pain
Exercise can actually help you manage pain. Exercise strengthens your muscles that support your joints. Strong muscles also keep your bones healthy and strong. Yoga has been found to manage back pain better than conventional methods. If you have arthritis you can try swimming. It is a full body, low impact activity that won't place stress on your joints.

Excuse #4: I don't have enough money
Yes, gym memberships can be expensive, but you don't need a gym to be in shape. Gyms haven't been around forever after all, so there had to be a way that people stayed in shape back in the day. There are many free or low cost ways that you can exercise. Activities like walking, dancing, exercise videos, buying a few dumbbells for your home can all be great ways to get active.
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Excuse #5: I'm too out of shape to exercise
I say it over and over again, IT'S NEVER TOO LATE! In fact, this excuse should be the reason that you do exercise. It is understandable that many who are overweight are afraid to even step foot in a gym with a fear of being judged. First of all, most people aren't paying attention to what others are doing at the gym anyway. However, if you are still discouraged, find a more private spot to work out until you feel more comfortable. (Refer to the previous excuse for ideas).

Excuse #6: It's too hot/cold
I will admit, this is an excuse of mine occasionally. When exercising in the heat it is imperative that you stay hydrated. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that you drink at least 1 pint of fluid for each pound of body weight lost. There are some heat related illnesses that can be acquired, but staying properly hydrated and wearing breathable clothing are the best way to prevent these. For exercising in cold weather ACSM says, "For the most part, cold weather is not a barrier to performing physical activity." Make sure that you are wearing cold weather gear and as exercise intensity increases, you can reduce your clothing insulation.

Excuse #7: I don't want to mess up my hair
I am also guilty of this excuse. However, I have found that dry shampoo products can work wonders as a touch up. Sprinkle some of that on your hair and blow dry it and it will look post-shower fresh.

Excuse #8: I'm hung over
Calling all partiers!! Being hung over is not an excuse to not go workout. Working out may seem like that last thing you want to do, but physical activity can actually help your hangover. When you get moving you get blood flowing to your muscles and oxygen to your brain. Just remember to stay hydrated.

Excuse #10: I'm tired
Exercise actually helps you feel more energized and alert. As a group fitness instructor, there have been many times that I did not want to go teach because I was too tired. However, after my class was finished, I felt great! Exercise gets your blood flowing and when your body has the oxygen and nutrients that it needs, you will have more energy.
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Excuse # 11: I'm not seeing any changes
This is a common one. many people get discouraged because they are not seeing any changes in their body. Change in your body do not come overnight, it takes time. It takes up to 12 weeks to start seeing changes in your body. However, the health benefits start immediately.

Do you still have excuses? Tell them to me and I will come up with a solution!

Whaley, Mitchell H., Peter H. Brubaker, Robert M. Otto, and Lawrence E. Armstrong. ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006. Print.

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