Monday, August 8, 2011

Overcome Your Exercise Excuses

Why is it so easy to find an excuse not to exercise?

People want to lose weight. People know they have to exercise to lose weight, but they don’t. Why? A busy schedule, no access or can’t afford going to a gym, family history lacking exercise, etc.

Reason #1: A busy schedule
This is the most common excuse people use. We are all busy folks. More and more is added to our plate in modern day life. Once upon a time life once moved at a slower pace, many mothers didn’t have to work a full time job outside of the home, etc. Now most Americans wake at the crack of dawn, ready the kids and themselves for the day, drop the kids off at school/daycare, stop by Starbucks for the morning Joe, rush to work a grueling 8-9 hour day, pick up the kids, make a quick dinner, get daily chores done, take care of kids/pets (help with homework, take to little league, etc.), and crash into bed to do it all over again the next day. Not to mention many people with multiple jobs. Just writing this day out made me exhausted, and yet we do it every day. It seems like a lot to ask for us to meet these daily demands and find time to eat right, exercise, get more sleep, or have any fun.

Make time. That’s right – you know that if you want to lose weight and be healthy that you need to exercise so, like Nike, just do it. Figure out a time of day that will work for you. Do you need to wake up 30 minutes earlier just to get it out of the way for the day or is that too much of a chore and would it just be easier to working after dinner? You are in control of your schedule and you have the power to choose when you incorporate taking care of yourself. Have the kids or pets join in and make it a family activity. It could be as simple as playing a game of basketball, soccer, going to the local public pool to swim, going for a hike (take dinner in a picnic basket to enjoy with a fantastic view), or even just running around catching lightening bugs in the backyard. Remember - play counts as exercise, many chores can work up a sweat, and you have to walk the dog anyway = multitask!

Reason #2: No access/can’t afford a gym
Many people don’t live in an area that has easy access to a gym. I don’t know about you, but unless I can get to a gym in less than 15 minutes, including parking, I don’t bother going. That travel time everyday can really add up = waste. The more time it takes to get to and from a gym, the more difficult it is to make time for every day. Then there’s the added cost: $40-$50/month = $600/year. That’s a lot of money to spend during a recession.

Don’t go. Yes, you read me right. Here is my plug for the Primal Lifestyle: You don’t need to go to the gym to workout. You can save your time and money by following the Primal Blueprint:

I walk/rest/play 4 days a week, strength train for 2 days a week, and sprint 1 day a week for $0 and spent approximately 5 hours. Gizmo (pug) makes sure he gets his daily walk, which makes my number of hours to week ratio higher.

Reason #3: No family history of exercise
Change is difficult - for some more than others. Everyone grew up in a particular family environment: some are into sports, others into the arts, or academics. Some of our parents went to all of our little league events, some of us loved helping mom prepare meals in the kitchen, and some of us rarely spent much time with our parents and were left to govern ourselves. Whatever your childhood environment happens to be, you carry habits with you into adulthood and practice some of the same parenting techniques in your families. So if you were from a family that was always on the run to and from sporting events, chances are, you still love participating in sports and do the same with your children. So if your family wasn’t very active when you were a child, it is more likely going to be more difficult for you to incorporate more activity into your life now. This isn’t the case for all folks, just in general.


If you have difficulty working activity into your life, start small with things you enjoy doing. Do you have a dog? Take it for an extra 15-30 minute walk. It’s not only good for you, but it’s great for the dog as well! Get a group of friends together and join a league. There are several public places where you can get a team together and register to place volleyball, baseball, soccer, plus many more. Not only are you getting out and being active, you are having fun with friends. Usually drinking/celebration follows these events for added fun, so get out there and get registered in a local league today! The idea is to start adding activity to your life so it becomes a part of your family history.

Sometimes we just need a little inspiration or motivation to get ourselves going.

My 5 Motivation Tips & Tricks:

  1. Watch a physically challenging television show or movie: I watch The Challenge on MTV and Expedition Impossible on ABC for motivation. After the show, I immediate want to strength train or do sprints. Watching Lara Croft kick ass in a Tomb Raider movie also gives me motivation to get more active.
  2. Post a picture of a fit person on your refrigerator. Many people will post a picture of what they don’t want to look like, and if that works for you go for it, but I prefer to see what my goal is to keep me from snacking too much.
  3. Get a dog. Dog owners are 69% more likely to get more activity into their schedules than those that don’t have a pet. Pets are good for your health.
  4. Kids – I love playing with my nieces and nephews. Go spend time playing with the kids. Family time + activity + fun = health. Come on, how is that not a win, win, win?
  5. Friends. Get together with a couple (or one) walking buddy 1-2 times a week. You’re not only making time to keep up with friends, but you are having fun while being active (if you are not having fun, you are not doing it right).

Has this post motivated you to get active yet? If yes, awesome! If no, do you have any tips/tricks you use to get motivated?