Most people don't want to exercise. Despite a multitude of health benefits, it's hard to get people on board the exercise train. Why? Excuses! It is not difficult to find a long list of reasons why today is not a good day to exercise. But if you let excuses dictate your life, you'll never get the health and fitness benefits that only a good workout offers. As the saying goes, exercise is medicine. Are you ready to ditch the excuses and start moving your body more?
If you're like most people, the list of excuses that keep you from exercising is long. There are the "I don't have time" excuses, the "I'm too busy" excuses, the "I'm too tired" excuses, the "I don't know what to do" excuses, and the "I'll do it tomorrow" excuses. None of these are valid reasons to not get moving.
Here are the most common excuses people give for not exercising, and why you should silence that little voice that tells you not to do it.
1) I don't have time
Time is valuable, but even if your life is jam-packed with commitments, you can spare 15-20 minutes to enjoy the health benefits an exercise session offers. Studies show exercise boosts energy and can make you more productive, so it can help you conquer your busy day. To get health benefits, you do not need to exercise for 30 minutes or more. Even a workout lasting 10 or 20 minutes can be beneficial for your health and fitness.
If you're strapped for time, cut the length of your workout and increase the intensity. If you don't know when to fit a workout in, start as soon as you wake up in the morning. Many long-term exercisers attribute their success to working out as soon as they wake up.
2) I don't have the right equipment
You don't need a basement full of equipment or a gym membership to enjoy the health perks that an effective workout offers. For strength training, do body-weight exercises, like push-ups, triceps dips, body-weight squats, planks, and lunges. For cardio, a jump rope, jumping jacks, or plyometric exercises like jump squats will boost your heart rate enough to boost endurance and heart health. If you want more of a challenge but are strapped for cash, invest in resistance bands to work your muscles harder and build more strength.
3) I am busy
Perhaps you are busy, but in that case, you don't have time for illness either. Regular physical activity lowers your risk for some of the most common chronic health problems that shorten life, including heart attacks, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Studies even show that exercise lowers the risk of 13 types of cancer. If you're pressed for time, you need exercise even more, because health is what helps you get through your to-do list.
4) I don't want to sweat
Sweating is your body's way of lowering your core body temperature, so it's nothing to be disgusted by. But you don't have to work up a huge sweat to get the benefits of a workout. How about a walk outdoors? When you take a walk, you don't work up a sweat, yet research shows walking at a moderate pace offers some protection against cardiovascular disease. You don't have to run a marathon or lift heavy weights to enjoy a healthier mind and body. You can work your muscles at moderate intensity as long as you're consistent.
5) I'm too old to exercise
If you're older, you need to exercise even more. Physical activity helps preserve muscle strength and size, and prevents the gradual decline in physical function that comes with age. At age 80, you may have lost half the muscle mass you had at 20. That's a lot of muscle loss, and you can mitigate that loss through exercise. If you're physically capable, then you're not too old to exercise. It keeps you flexible and helps preserve stamina and strength, so you can continue to do the things you enjoy.
6) I'm too unhealthy to exercise
Ask most doctors, and they'll tell you that anyone can exercise, even with health problems, although you may need to modify your workouts if you have limitations. Many people use knee arthritis as a reason not to work out, but studies show exercise increases blood flow to the knee joint and the muscles that support it while helping to reduce stiffness. Developing the quadriceps muscles in the front of your thighs also helps give your knees more support and protection against injury. Ask your doctor for recommended exercises that fit your ability.
7) I'm not athletic
Most people are not athletic, but that doesn't mean they can't benefit from working out. No matter how unfit you are, you can do a pushup, and if you can't, you can modify the movement by doing push-ups on your knees. You can do squats even if you don't have weights. Your body weight can serve as resistance. Everyone starts somewhere, and it's not the finish line.
8) I don't feel like it
Most people don't feel like exercising until they get started. The hardest part of working out is putting on your exercise shoes. But once you do, you'll be glad you did. Think about the end result before you decide to skip a workout.
Know that even if you don't feel like it now, a workout will boost your energy level. According to Harvard Health, exercise increases oxygen delivery and boosts the number of mitochondria inside your muscle cells. Why is that important? Mitochondria are the energy producers that give you the stamina you need to do the things you enjoy.
9) I'm too embarrassed to exercise
Why should you be embarrassed to do something so good for yourself? Even if you exercise at a gym, people aren't focusing on you. They're trying to get through their own workout. If you feel self-conscious, you can always work out at home. More people are doing that these days and there are advantages to doing so (the Actlive Life box can help).
The Bottom Line
Don't let exercise excuses get in the way of better health and fitness. The time you spend exercising is well spent. If you're on the fence about working out, keep this quote in mind:
"Good things come to those who sweat." - Anonymous
"Does exercise really boost energy levels? - Harvard Health." 01 Jul. 2021, health.harvard.edu/exercise-and-fitness/does-exercise-really-boost-energy-levels.
"35 Inspirational Quotes On Exercise | AwakenTheGreatnessWithin." 19 Aug. 2021, awakenthegreatnesswithin.com/35-inspirational-quotes-on-exercise/.
Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise routine. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.