Reasons Why Most People Don’t Exercise a.k.a. Excuses!
The list of benefits that come with regular physical activity is huge, and seems to grow on a daily basis. Just some examples, exercise has been shown to:
- lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol.
- lower blood pressure.
- improve lung and heart capacity.
- lower body fat levels.
- increase muscle mass.
- improve cellular metabolic activity.
- reduce the rist of various cancer.
- reduce the rist of diabetes, heart disease, stroke.
- improve emotional and psychological mood.
Get the idea? Now, if it’s so good for us then why do so few of us exercise? Below are some ideas to help you evaluate ‘your’ reason and to hopefully overcome whatever it is that is inhibiting you from being active.
- Do something you enjoy! If you hate jogging, don’t jog. If you like swimming, go swimming. Many times I’ve been asked, “what is the best type of exercise to do.” My answer is always, “the one that you are most likely going to do.”
- Variety! No one can do the exact same thing day in day out, no matter how much they enjoy something, without eventually getting bored. So, switch things up a little bit. If you play squash, every couple of weeks do something else, go for a few bike rides. Or, do things according to their season e.g. if you go to a gym during the winter, in the summer go for walks.
- Find friends to exercise with, assuming these friends don’t have less motivation than you:) Make it into a social activity. There is absolutely nothing wrong with talking while exercising. And after wards, go out for a coffee. In addition, schedule things in advance and promise each other not to cancel.
- Time. Ok, this is probably the biggest excuse, but it’s not a good one. All you need is 30 minutes a day to go for a walk. Turn off that TV and go. Or, walk to work. Or, walk during lunch. Take your children with you. Take your spouse with you. If you must, break the walk into 2 – 15 minute walks. Make it part of your daily routine, just like eating, or talking on the phone, or playing video games.
- No gym near you, or you don’t want to pay for a membership? You don’t need to. Walking outside is just as good as walking on a treadmill. You don’t need to be looking at a screen telling you how many calories you’ve burned. Those calories will be used up regardless of what a stupid monitor says. Wanna do some weight lifting? Get on the floor and do some push-ups. Do some squats and abdominal crunches while watching TV, you don’t need a bench press or a squat machine. Get yourself a few dumbbells, they are much cheaper than a membership.
- Results. Most of us want to see results almost immediately. But this just won’t happen. In fact, visual results might be very minimal. But you need to also consider the results that you don’t see, that do happen. Better circulation, stronger heart and lungs, increased energy, lower cholesterol, stronger bones and muscles, etc.
- Injuries. Ok, if you have an injury you should use common sense. But you can still exercise to some extend. For example, if you have a knee injury go swimming. If you have a shoulder injury go walking.
- Lack of motivation. This is a big one. But many people, once they start can keep going. Here’s one trick I’ve used on myself and it helps. I tell myself I’m just going to put on my running shoes and go for a 10 minute walk (instead of a jog). Once I’m out in the fresh air jogging comes much easier. Another example, just tell yourself you’ll go for a 5 minute walk. Chances are, once you start that 5 minutes will become 20.
- Don’t over do it. If you don’t want to exercise every day then don’t. Sticking to 3 times a week is much better than quitting all together because you got really bored exercising everyday.
- Weather. If you live in a country where weather is a factor look for indoor facilities. Maybe a near-by shopping center. Or if you live in a building walk in the hallways and the stairs.
Where there is a will there is a way.