There are a million and one excuses not to exercise and I would like to cover a few of my favourites. If you are too busy to read this whole blog... just read the bold text!
#1 Excuse: too busy. This is the most common and one of my favorites. I saw a great quote on-line that said “What is more inconvenient? Exercising an hour a day or being dead 24 hours a day?” Certainly a hard line approach but correct regardless. You can tell people that, if they exercise, they will be more efficient during the day, have more energy, sleep better (and, therefore, they will need to sleep less if they are exercising regularly and thus will actually be able to do longer days), but none of that will matter because they are not actually too busy, they are just looking for an excuse!
#2 Excuse: too tired. This is a great one, but probably the easiest to dispute because of the well-known, proven, obvious effects of exercise. Healthy people who exercise have more energy. Fact. Saying "I'm too tired" is like saying I am too hungry to eat. Well, guess what? Eat and you won’t be hungry anymore; exercise and you won’t be tired anymore! You can tell people this, you can show them the research that proves it, but none of that will matter because they are not actually too tired, they are just looking for an excuse!!
#3 Excuse: hormones keep me from losing weight so why bother?. The short and simple answer to this is that the goal of exercise is to be HEALTHY not to be skinny. I am going to write an entire blog on this topic next week, so, for now, we will just leave it at that. There is no question that, as we age, our hormones are not our best friends. They slow down our metabolism and make it more and more difficult to lose weight. However, exercise will still make us feel better and healthier, sleep better, think better and give us a multitude of other benefits. At a certain point, weight loss becomes secondary. Of course people can read this and still it won’t matter because they are just looking for an excuse!!!
#4 Excuse: I am not totally committed yet...but once I start, etc., etc. This is an excellent excuse - for creativity! In reality, it is laughable to think that we become committed to something and then start it. No, we become committed to something by doing it...scheduling the time in our “busy” days and making it happen. We will not, through a magical happening, suddenly "get committed" one day and then start exercising (unless that day is also the day we leave the doctor who has just told us that, if we don’t start to exercise, we are going to die of a heart attack!). Of course, even knowing all of these things and being aware that not exercising can contribute to death at an early age, we can still "not be committed quite yet" because we are just looking for an excuse!!!!
#5 Excuse: I need to get my diet in check first. This is perhaps the most ridiculous of them all. Constantly my clients tell me that they are starting to watch what they eat since they are putting all this effort into exercise and it seems like a waste to eat crap. This is a very common reaction to starting a new exercise regime and is an example of the positive reinforcements that exercise gives us. Waiting until our diet is in check means it is never going to happen because it is simply another excuse!!!!!
We may be busy, tired, hormonal, lazy, and "needing" to get your diet in check, but it is still time to get our asses off the couch and start exercising. It is one of the few things in this world that works 100% of the time, so we need to stop with the excuses. It is time to stop lying to ourselves with excuses and trying to make it okay to be unhealthy. It is not okay.
At some point in our lives, we will regret the rationalizations we told ourselves and the very whimsical excuses we made, but, then, there will be no excuses as to why we are unhealthy. It will all be on us! Exercising assists us in living to be healthy, happy, relaxed people...and helps us live to great old ages to enjoy it all.