“I have to pick up my kids.”
“I had to stay late at work.”
“I have to cook dinner for my family.”
“I’m too tired.”
“I’m intimidated by the gym.”
“It’s too cold outside.”
Most of us already know that we should take the time to exercise, but something always seems to get in the way. Let’s face it. We all have plenty of excuses not to exercise. Some of them even seem pretty legitimate. When we share our excuses with others, they sympathize. “I know how you feel,” they say.
We know the health benefits of exercise are numerous. It can help control weight, lower cholesterol, give us more energy, regulate blood sugar, reduce the need for some medications and contribute to our well-being and mental health. However, despite what exercise can do for us, something always seems to get in the way.
At times there are real emergencies that demand our immediate attention. More often than not however, we are letting excuses rob us of the benefits of exercise. So how do you conquer excuses so that you can take full advantage of the benefits of exercise?
Try keeping an exercise diary for a month. Use a small calendar or even just a sheet of paper. Keep it by your bedside and take a few seconds to fill it out each night. Simply mark down whether you exercised or not. If not, record why.
Why keep an exercise diary? It can assist you in finding your trouble spots. Remember, “a problem well-defined is 95% solved.” If you don’t know where you are having trouble, you can’t pinpoint the problem or fix it.
Does the same excuse seem to pop up often? Is it something you can avoid or solve with a little creativity? For instance, can other members of the family cook dinner one or two nights a week freeing you to take 30 minutes for exercise?
The bottom line is that you must make the decision not to let excuses get in the way. In reality, it is a choice. You can choose to have a lifetime of health with regular exercise or to end up with a long list of excuses and some potentially serious health problems.
Jennifer D. Wetmore, DPT has been involved in the field of Health and Fitness for over a decade, working with a range of clients and patients from health clubs to hospitals in positions such as group fitness instructor, personal trainer and physical therapist. Dr. Wetmore is president of LifeHealth Physical Therapy and author of “Small Changes, Big Results: The Health and Fitness Manual With the Secrets To Working Smarter, Not Harder.” Please visit [http://www.LifeHealthPT.com] for more information and tools to help you achieve a healthy and fit life.