The first reason that people give for not exercising is the claim that we dont have the time. We wont insult people but telling them what they already know: any exercise is good exercise. By now you know that exercise is good for you, and that you should do something on a regular basis. Whats the best time for you to exercise? Anytime. Honestly. For example, when youre sitting and watching TV, stretch your muscles. Never stretch so hard it hurts. Rather, stretch to the point of mild tension and hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. (Making Time, 2007).
The reality is that we do a lot of things every day that we dont think we have time for. We wait in traffic for what seems like hours on end. We wait in lines. We talk of the phone. The truth is it all comes down to desire. If we want to exercise, we find the time to do it. The next excuse people like to use is that they are too old to begin an exercise program. We all know someone who began exercise at middle age or later and accomplished things that they never thought they could do, like a 70 year old woman who starts lifting weights or a 65 year old man who runs a marathon.
But studies have shown that it doesnt have to be anything that extreme. Enjoyable Light Exercise Cuts Death Risk Dramatically. A study of 9,611 adults showed that those who were regularly active in their 50s and early 60s were about 35 percent less likely to die in the next eight years than those who were sedentary. For those who had a high heart risk because of several underlying conditions, the reduction was 45 percent. (Bumgardner, 2005). In addition, risks of osteoporosis are significantly decreased in people who do weight-bearing exercises.
The concept of suffering a debilitating injury from osteoporosis is in many ways more devastating that the thought of death. How many of us want to end up in a nursing home unable to care for ourselves because of a preventable broken hip? The third excuse people often use for not exercising is that they are not healthy enough to exercise. What does this even mean? The healthy people who exercise didnt start out that way. No one runs a marathon his first night out. Instead, it is a matter of starting small, walking around the block or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
For some people that may mean finding an instructional video on beginning yoga in a chair or it may mean exercising in the swimming pool. It may mean enjoying a garden or walking around the shopping mall. Of course, everybody should check with their physicians before beginning an exercise program and the doctor will be able to make good recommendations regarding how to begin an exercise program. The only real excuse people use that has any meaning at all is, I dont feel like it.
Most people have heard that beginning an exercise program will help them to have more energy and feel better, but no one really believes it. The reality is that more water and more exercise will help you avoid the not feeling like it problem (Waehner, 2007). Most often the feeling of exhaustion that comes in the middle of the day is the result of stress and one of the best ways relieve stress is: you guessed it, exercise! Even when you dont feel like it, forcing yourself to take five or ten minutes to exercise can help you feel better.
Aside from the physical effects that exercise has on the body, think about how accomplished you feel when you do something that was difficult. Its that extra little boost that comes from doing something you knew was the right thing to do. And, the endorphins released are something akin to a drug-induced high. The reality is that we all know that simple exercise will help control diabetes, reduce the risk of heart disease and reduce the risk of injury from osteoporosis. But no one wants to do it.
Its like eating the vegetarian dinner when you really want steak and a baked potato loaded with sour cream and bacon bits and real butter. Thats what you should do and you know it. The more fun thing to do is to watch television or stuff your face with another piece of pizza. You can continue to make more excuses or you can admit that you know it is time to make a change and do the right thing. Making excuses about why you cannot exercise is wasting valuable time that you could be using to exercise. Instead of complaining that you dont have tiome to exercise,w hy not just take that time to go for a walk.
Or go bowling. It doesnt have to feel like exercise for it to be good for you. Some women use strolling that mall as exercise. As long you can keep from exercising your credit card at the same time, it is a good way to get some exercise. The ground is level and the mall will be temperature controlled. Too old? Too old for what? If sixty is the new fifty and forty is the new thirty, the reality is that we can live long and healthy lives well past retirement, if we make the effort to do so. Being too unhealthy to exercise is not an excuse either.
After all, the only way to stop being unhealthy is to make an effort. If we just complain that we are not healthy enough to exercise then we are not taking care of our own lives and not taking responsible for our own health or destiny. Its like sitting back and waiting to die. Finally, we know that the only real excuse for not exercise is a matter of personal choice. No one can stop the I dont feel like it excuse but you. Ultimately, that decision has to be your own. We hope you do it, for your health and our happiness.