Fight Back | Don’t Let Excuses Knock You Off the Exercise Track

You want to exercise. You know it’s good for both your mind and body. And you actually feel better when you do it.  So what’s getting in the way?

Maybe dozens of things. Some are pretty persuasive too. Life happens. But other times, excuses are … well, just excuses.

Here are some common thoughts that derail good exercise intentions—and tips for what to do about them.

The excuse The remedy
“I’m too tired.” The truth: Consistent exercise actually boosts your energy. But if you wait until you’re too pooped to pump, it might not happen at all. So schedule your workout for a time of day when you have some get-up-and-go.
“I don’t have time.”
  • Schedule exercise just like any other priority.
  • Keep your walking shoes at your desk and head out for a brisk stroll during lunch or breaks.
  • Pack your gym bag the night before.
  • Break exercise into 10-minute chunks if you need to.
  • Do double-duty: Walk in place while watching TV; ride a stationary bike while on the phone; park 20 minutes from work and walk to and from your car.
“It’s too wet/cold/hot.” Come up with an indoor routine you can do when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Doing calisthenics, climbing stairs, jumping rope, walking in a mall or swimming indoors are no-cost or low-cost activities.
“Who cares? Why bother?” Oh, that negative inner voice. It zaps confidence and destroys motivation. Keep track of your miles, time, reps or steps. Give yourself credit for a job well done!
“I’ll start tomorrow!” There’s nothing wrong with saying you’ll start tomorrow, but if that’s the case, we recommend getting your plan in place today. What time, put it on the schedule, go to sleep tonight knowing that no matter what else happens tomorrow, your exercise date with yourself will not be put on the back burner. Then get your exercise clothes ready, charge your ipod if you like to exercise to music, and put your shoes by the door.

Sources: American College of Sports Medicine; American Council on Exercise; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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