10 top excuses people use to avoid exercise—part 4

Active senior woman is playing tennis in front of blue sky

Image: Lammeyer/Bigstock.com

Being healthy for retirement means getting healthy before retirement. In this 7-part series, health researcher and exercise guru Darren Morton talks about the top 10 excuses people use to not exercise.

4. I have too many stressful things going on to exercise

At times, life throws stressful events at us that can derail our resolve and it’s one of the most common obstacles to more active living.

Yet even in our most stressful periods, it’s a good idea to prioritise being physically active as it can help keep us sane. I have a friend who is the principal of a large high school with no shortage of challenges and stresses. He claims that as his stress levels increase, so too does the length of his daily walk.

Physical activity is one of the best things we can do to manage stress. So, the busier and more stressful life becomes for you, the more important it is that you keep physically active. It can be your lifeline.

5. I don’t know what to do

The notion of exercising for the sake of exercising is a relatively new thing. Going back only a century or so, we didn’t need to be intentional about moving our bodies because our daily living demanded it.

It’s only because our days are commonly filled with inactivity that we need to be purposeful about taking the time to exercise. Remember, we are designed to be active and things go wrong if we aren’t.

Unfortunately, the concept of ‘exercise’ has been made so complicated that it’s little wonder that people are puzzled about what to do. Then it’s further complicated with the information we get bombarded with about the latest exercise gimmicks that say you only have to do something for ‘three minutes a week to achieve rock-hard abs’ or specialised zones in which you need to set your heart rate to burn fat.

Here’s where to start. Say to yourself: ‘I need to be active. I can be active. I deserve to be active and enjoy the benefits.’

Start simply. Walk, perhaps. Wash the cobwebs off your bike. Find people you can exercise with. Tennis, anyone? What sports have you played that you enjoyed? Some enjoy the challenge of the gym. Others hate it. Find what works for you.

Say it again: ‘I need to be active. I can be active. I deserve to be active and enjoy the benefits.’

Now push yourself out of your chair and move for 10 minutes—and you’ve started.

Darren Morton is the lead researcher at the Lifestyle Research Centre at Avondale College of Higher Education and the author of Live More Active.

Category: Physical Health

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