There’s just always some justification for why our couch, bed, to-do list, or Netflix queue should come first.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing; when we’re being pulled in a thousand different directions, it’s perfectly okay to say that at this stage in our lives, finishing a marathon isn’t feasible (not a running one, anyway).
But at the same time, when we shortchange our health and fail to take care of ourselves, we suffer. And our families suffer. Our children suffer.
So if all that’s holding you back from getting in some exercise—and finally feeling better, both physically and emotionally—is your running list of excuses, it’s time to bust ’em.
How? By replacing them with these exercise mantras to keep you motivated to work out!
Your 9 Biggest Exercise Excuses—BUSTED!
Your Excuse: I’m too busy.
Your New Move-It Mantra: Every little bit counts.
These days, most of us are too busy to log an hour or more of exercise every day. The good news is that we don’t have to!
It is completely possible to get fit in 30 minutes a day. Indeed, the American Heart Association’s recommendation for overall cardiovascular health is 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week.
If even that is too daunting, try breaking it up into 10 minute increments, which might fit your schedule even better.
Your Excuse: It’s too expensive.
Your New Move-It Mantra: All I really need is a pair of sneakers.
Gym members are great, but yes, they can be pricey. The same goes for that elliptical machine (the one that could very well end up collecting dust in your basement anyway).
So forget about spending money! Just throw on your sneakers and head outside for a walk or light jog.
Want to try strength training? Don’t worry about buying a fancy collection of dumbbells; instead, just focus on exercises that use your own body weight for resistance (think pushups, crunches, and lunges). When done properly these are very effective.
Your Excuse: I’m too tired.
Your New Move-It Mantra: Exercising regularly will give me more energy.
It’s counterintuitive, yes, but when we expend a little energy through exercise, we are rewarded with more energy in return.
This is especially true if we’re not exercising so rigorously that it leaves us exhausted. Sure, if you go run 10 miles when you’re not used to going that kind of distance, you’ll probably want to sit on the couch the rest of the day (and the next day too, honestly!). But if you just go for a brisk 30 minute walk, you’ll probably feel more energized and invigorated the rest of the day.
Your Excuse: I hate working out.
Your New Move-It Mantra: I’m on a quest to find exercises I truly enjoy.
Repeat after me: If I don’t love to run, I won’t go for a run!
Same goes for pretty much any type of exercise.
Banish from your brain whatever preconceived notions you have of what exercise is supposed to look like. Instead, find out what types of movement you truly find FUN.
Working out should be your “me time.” It should leave you feeling less stressed. If you hate your exercise of choice, that’s never going to happen—and it’s time to find something else.
Your Excuse: It’s too difficult with young kids.
Your New Move-It Mantra: I’m modeling healthy behaviors for my children.
Fitting in exercise when you have young kids is a significant challenge. Believe me, I get it—I’m there!
But considering how important it is to take care of our health, it’s worth attempting to reframe the issue so that our children become our motivation rather than our excuse.
We want them to live long, healthy lives, right? So we need to show them how to do it.
Your Excuse: I’ve tried and quit so many times before. What’s the point?
Your New Move-It Mantra: My past is not my destiny.
Whether you’ve tried and quit once before or one hundred times before, it’s not a lifelong sentence. This time can and will be different!
Your Excuse: I’m too overweight to exercise.
Your New Move-It Mantra: I refuse to let my current weight hold me back.
Exercise and good health are for everyone, not just those people who look like they belong in a fitness magazine.
Having said that, it can be intimidating to go to the gym or hit the bike trail when you’re self-conscious about your body. If that’s the case, consider starting out in the privacy of your own home with exercise DVDs or workout videos you can watch on your television or computer. (I’m personally a huge fan of FitnessBlender and JessicaSmithTV, both of which have lots of options for beginners.)
Beyond that, make sure you dress comfortably to help keep your own focus on your workout and not your body. Many people also find that exercising with their headphones on—their favorite tunes blaring in their ears—helps them tune out that ugly voice in their head that says they’re not good enough.
Your Excuse: I’m already thin.
Your New Move-It Mantra: Exercise is more about my overall health than my weight.
Just because you’re naturally thin doesn’t mean your heart, lungs, and muscles—not to mention your mood—won’t benefit from regular movement!
Indeed, it’s perfectly possible to be thin on the outside but extremely unhealthy on the inside. And in the long run, those internal problems will probably lead to health conditions you’d rather avoid.
Your Excuse: I don’t know what I’m doing.
Your New Move-It Mantra: I will take advantage of the myriad of fitness resources at my fingertips.
In the age of Google, it’s tough to justify not exercising because you don’t know how to get started.
True, you can’t trust everything you read on the Internet. But what you can do is read articles from reputable websites, watch videos from certified trainers, and search for local resources to help you out, like group fitness classes.
Whatever your question, you can find an answer.