“If you really want to do it, you do it. There are no excuses.” –Bruce Nauman
When it comes to exercise excuses, I have heard them all. And when I asked my Facebook fans for their most frequently used excuse for why they don’t workout or miss a workout, they came up with quite the list. Here are the most popular excuses I heard …
I am too tired.
I am chasing a toddler all day.
I am stressed.
I am busy.
I run my own business.
It’s too expensive or inconvenient.
I have school work.
It’s raining or it’s cold.
I don’t have energy.
I never see results.
I am bored with it.
I am too overweight.
I don’t have enough time.
I am sore from working out the day before.
I’m starting next week.
It’s time for a reality check.
Excuses are easy. We can use them to justify all sorts of behavior. But the mother of all excuses is this: “I don’t have time.” We are all busy and just because we are busy doesn’t mean we are active. You can be busy all day long sitting on your butt … right? It isn’t easy to fit in a workout and there are days I know that if I don’t do it early in the morning, I won’t do it. I often remind people: I don’t find time to exercise; I make time. Listen, if you are “looking in your schedule for an opening,” there often isn’t one, so you have to make the time. Here is another way to look at it: If you are really honest with yourself, instead of saying, “I don’t have time” you should say, “I chose to do something else I thought was more important.” Ouch,that can be tough to hear. But it’s true. You are never going to have time for exercise unless you make the time. You have to hold yourself accountable and get brutally honest by asking yourself what else in your life you are choosing to do instead. You have to make yourself and not your excuses show up. It’s basically a lesson in time management and as Lee Iacocca said. “If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.”
Break it up in smaller timeframes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issues the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. You may remember when we used to hear “exercise for 60 minutes a day” and Americans said “no way.” Then the CDC changed it to “exercise for 30 minutes a day” and Americans still said “I don’t have time.” So the CDC got smart in 2008 and put the onus back on us to do 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a week and each person decides how and when it will work in their week. I love this! You don’t have to do it all at once.
The CDC says, “Not only is it best to spread your activity out during the week, but you can break it up into smaller chunks of time during the day. As long as you’re doing your activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time.” You get the point. You are in charge. The CDC hopes more people will get moving if they can break up exercise time in any way that works for their week and schedules. So use that 150-minute timeframe to plan your week and go get it done! That’s two and a half hours per week or five 30-minute workout sessions. You can chop up the time any way you want. Try ten minutes of vigorous or moderate exercise at a time works if that’s better for your schedule. Break exercise into smaller chunks. Try going for a 10-minute brisk walk, three times a day, five days a week. This will give you a total of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity. Just remember, if you can breathe comfortably through your mouth, it isn’t heart-pumping exercise.
The CDC also recommends muscle strengthening activities 2 days a week working all the major muscle groups. For easy to follow details check here!
Put exercise back on your radar.
Start where you are and begin chipping away at your excuses and those 150 minutes. Get empowered by committing to exercise by making it important enough to schedule it. Take a look at your typical day and start using the 3 D’s: Defer, Delegate and Dump. Defer things that aren’t pressing. Delegate work responsibilities and household chores when possible and appropriate. Dump the clutter, the things that don’t matter, or the stuff that isn’t necessary. Make time for exercise and even better get a workout buddy. Time management and accountability are the biggest excuses and if you have someone who is counting on you, you tend to be more consistent and have more fun.