6 Tricks to Excuse-Proof Your Workout

For many, the hardest part of physical activity is getting started. Once you get going, you’ll want to keep moving simply because you’ll feel toned, strong, healthy, and energetic. If you haven’t felt that way in a while, this can be a hard statement to believe! That’s one reason we hear the same objections to exercise again and again. Here are the solutions for the most common obstacles:
1. Excuse: “I have no time”
Prioritize activity by tying it directly to other things that are important to you. And redefine what’s important. For instance, how much TV do you watch? Would you give up one show? If you don’t want to give up TV time, then find a way to multitask. Put a treadmill in front of the screen and walk your way through your favorite program. Remember, too, that you don’t have to complete your planned activity all at once. It’s okay to spend 15 minutes before breakfast, at lunch, and before bedtime.
2. Excuse: “I’m too tired”
Get moving anyway. You’ll discover that physical activity actually boosts your energy. Most of the time, just getting moving is the biggest hurdle. Tell yourself, “I’m just going to do it for 10 minutes, and if I’m still too tired, I can stop.” After 10 minutes, you’ll probably feel able to handle 10 more. If this doesn’t work, move your activity time to the morning, when your willpower is strongest. Try this morning routine for two weeks and see if you find it easier.
3. Excuse: “It hurts”
Find something that doesn’t. No matter what your ailment and no matter how out of shape you may be, there’s something you can do without pain. If walking strains your knees, try an exercise bike. If that’s painful, too, try exercising in the pool.
4. Excuse: “I have no place to do it”
You walk anywhere. If all else fails, you can walk laps around your living room or the local mall. Get creative. Break down your day into increments from the moment you get up until bedtime. How could you move more throughout the day? Walk whenever you are on your cell phone (and it’s safe to do so), or find a track that’s on your way home from work. If you prefer to walk with others, join a walking group or simply grab a friend and get moving.
5. Excuse: “It’s too hot, too cold, too snowy, too humid, too rainy-too something”
Head inside. Join a gym. Put a stationary bike in front of your TV. Walk laps around the local mall or a large retail store. Climb stairs in an indoor building. Try a DVD or an exercise tape. Find a friend with an exercise bike or a treadmill and ask if you can come over and use it. Come up with your own “last resort” exercise plan.
6. Excuse: “I hate exercise”
Do an attitude adjustment. Write down what you like about exercise-even if it is just one thing and even if that thing is that you like how you feel when it’s over! You can also focus on the good things that will happen as a result of exercising. For example, you’ll have more energy, sleep better, get a mood boost-the list can go on and on. Try some positive reinforcement: Consider it play. If you believe it will feel good, it will. Revisit your purpose and again see if you can tie why you want to lose weight to your activity routine. Or try salsa dancing, tai chi, or something else that doesn’t feel like exercise. Any activity counts!


Article adapted from Rodale Wellness.

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