What's Your Exercise Excuse?
Forget excuses! Start a list of reasons why you want to exercise
When you see the phrase "excuses not to exercise," does a half-dozen
of them jump into your head?
For some people, running away from the idea, leaping to conclusions about
exercise, and diving into a chocolate sundae are the most activity they get in
"Tsk, tsk," say doctors, editorial writers, and national nannies.
They claim that being fat kills 822 Americans a day. That could equal the
entire population of a small town in the Midwest. And obesity (everyone's
favorite word) is just behind smoking as a cause of death.
Exercise also prevents or lowers the severity of diabetes and other serious
ailments. Surprisingly, though, Jay Kimiecik, PhD, associate professor of
exercise science at Miami University in Miami, Ohio, says trying to lose weight
or prevent diseases should not be the reason you exercise.
You should exercise because it feels good!
"People don't exercise," Kimiecik maintains, "not because of the
reasons they give, but because they haven't found a way to enjoy exercising.
Most people have not taken the time to find out what makes them feel good. You
like something if you become successful at it on your own terms."
Instead, what do we say to ourselves and others?
The No. 1 Exercise Excuse
'I Don't Have Time'
According to Joan Price, MA, a fitness motivator, public speaker, and author
of The Anytime, Anywhere Exercise Book, the most common excuse not to
exercise is, "I don't have time."
Well, she asks, do you have time to be sick or disabled? Probably not.
"Exercise gives you energy. It doesn't take it away. You gain time -- you
can do everything else you need to do more quickly and with a clearer
Price points out that you don't need a big expedition to the gym or an
all-day bike ride. "You can accumulate exercise minutes," she says,
"not do it in one big chunk."
For example, if you are waiting at the copy machine, on hold, or at the car
wash, you can do calf raises, desk pushups, or thigh presses. If you don't have
to sit in your job, stand. If you don't have to stand still, pace back and
"You can do squats anywhere," she says. "Other people don't have
time, either, and won't take time to stare at you." Be sure not to throw
stress onto the knees with these, she adds. Don't let your knees go forward and
keep your weight on your heels.
Price also recommends parking your car near your last errand. Walk in
between and when you are loaded with packages -- there's your car!
Of course, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk up moving
escalators, and in the store, take two hand-baskets instead of a cart.