CLEARING AWAY EXCUSES
It’s a sad irony of life that many of the activities that benefit you the most in the long run are the hardest to motivate yourself to accomplish. This is especially true when it comes to exercise. While many understand the importance of daily exercise, it is easy to come up with seemingly valid excuses to put it off to another day.
The tricky thing about excuses is that you may be so good at making them that you see them as reasons beyond your control and let yourself take the easy way out. However, if you want to change your mental and physical wellness, you must hold yourself accountable and clear away the excuses that are holding you back.
First off, you need to recognize that exercise really is that important to your overall health and wellness. Not only does regular exercise have the power to help fight the devastating affects of depression and anxiety, it also has the power to strengthen and condition your body so that it is better able to fight off illness, injury and infection. The good news is that even some exercise is better than none, which means you can benefit from exercise without spending hours in the gym or money that you don’t have on costly training programs or equipment. You just need to make a commitment to yourself and begin.
EXCUSE #1: I DON'T HAVE THE TIME
Many scientific studies have shown that you don’t have to spend hours on the gym or pumping iron to reap the many benefits of exercise. All you really have to do is find 20 minutes in a day. You can even break it up to a few minutes throughout your day or fit it all in on your lunch break. If you still say that you can’t find 20 minutes in a day, keep a log of your activities to find out if you have any down time that you forget about when making your excuse. If you still can’t find the time then look at your daily activities and see where you can fit in odd bits of exercise. Do you need to park at the back of the parking lot? Take the stairs at work? All those little bits can add up to great effect.
EXCUSE #2: I DON'T HAVE THE MONEY
This is one of the easiest exercise excuses to clear from your list. Thanks to the advent of YouTube and Pinterest, there are plenty of exercise routines and circuits designed to do at home without any equipment. Even if you start with simple jumping jacks, push ups and crunches, you’ll start to see a difference without ever leaving your house. If you want to be more active than a walk or jog around your neighborhood only requires a pair of socks and sneakers.
Excuse #3: I HAVE A BAD [insert any body part here].
On first glance, this appears to be a valid excuse, but it’s not. If you have an injury or a weak area, talk to your doctor about ways to accommodate your injury. More often than not a focused and gentle exercise routine will help you heal and lessen chronic pain. Be sure to work with your doctor and don’t do anything that causes significant pain. If you have weak knees, then consider swimming laps or riding a bicycle instead of running. Also, many exercise programs such as Yoga, Pilates or other cardio workouts provide a range of modifications to make things easier or more challenging as you need.
Whether you’ve never had a regular exercise regimen or simply put it aside for too long, the first step is to take an honest look at your physical health and make a plan that will accommodate your current fitness level. It’s very important that you don’t start out too quickly, or you could risk injuring yourself or feeling defeated before you begin. It’s always important to remember that it is a personal practice for you alone, not for anyone else and you owe it to yourself to feel good!