Getting Past Our Good Reasons For Not Exercising
Most of the reasons we have for not exercising contain an element of truth. However, a bit of truth does not alter the fact that bodies thrive on activity.
To stay strong and healthy, we need to:
- Acknowledge the element of truth in our reason(s) for not exercising.
- Go beyond that grain of truth by saying or thinking, “however...”
- Then, tell ourself a larger truth about why we can and must stay active.
Ten Reasons We Don’t Exercise, However...
The “howevers” given here are suggestions; feel free to substitute your own.
- “I don’t have enough time to exercise.” There are periods of time in all our lives when children and work responsibilities crowd out other activities. However, if good health is one of our priorities, most of the time we must make time for ball room dancing, a two-mile walk, swimming, or hoola-hooping.
- “Exercise is too boring.” Exercise is boring if you’re doing an activity you find boring. However, out of all the possible ways to exercise, there will be at least one or two you enjoy—do those.
- “I’m too self-conscious about how I look.” Some people will pass judgement on your appearance or athletic ability. That’s what humans do. However, you can choose to exercise at home, with a group of supportive friends, or remind yourself that what others think about you is none of your business—and just keep moving.
- “After work I’m too tired to exercise.” A day’s work can be very tiring. However, there are different ways being of tired. If your job is physically strenuous, maybe yoga, Qi gong, or Tai chi would be a good exercise choice. If you are mentally or emotionally spent after work, a vigorous, aerobic workout might refresh and energize you.
- “I’m just too lazy to exercise.” Maybe you are lazy. However, no one is too lazy to have fun, and there are plenty of fun activities that get our heart rate up and tone muscle. You might shoot hoops, play catch, try folk dancing, walk the dog, play volleyball, tag with the grandkids, or join a water aerobics class.
- “I’m not an athletic person.” You might be the most uncoordinated klutz in the world. However, you can still move, and don’t need athletic prowess to walk, mow the lawn, pedal a stationary bike, or follow an old Richard Simmons video in the privacy of your home.
- “I’ve tried to exercise regularly in the past, and failed.” You might have tried and failed 15 or 30 times. However, unless you have exhausted all exercise possibilities in the universe there are more left to try. Think about what you enjoyed as a child. Think about what might be fun. Think about being able to dance at your grandchild’s, or great-grandchild’s wedding.
- “I cannot afford gym fees.” Not having money for Health Club fees may be true for you. However, no one needs a gym to get moving.
- “I worry I’ll hurt myself if I exercise." Sometimes people do get hurt while exercising. However, if the doctor has given you a green light to exercise simply start slow, take small steps, or consider working with a trainer for a while. Joining an exercise class for beginners is another good way to get started. As you build strength and stamina you will also build confidence.
- “My family doesn’t support my fitness efforts.” Sometimes those closest to us become uncomfortable when we make changes—even positive ones. However, this is about your health, and exercising will role model an active lifestyle to your children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Try getting the nay sayers to join you by starting a backyard kickball game, organizing a nature hike, or taking them to an indoor climbing wall.