10 top excuses people use to avoid exercise—part 5

Middle-aged man jogging on a sea promenade covered in snow

Image: Hootie2710/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.

6. The weather is no good

There’s no doubt that you feel like being active outdoors when the weather is agreeable, and less inclined when the weather is miserable. But there are plenty of indoor activity options, so ‘bad’ weather is not a legitimate excuse.

That said, I recommend exercising outdoors whenever you can, especially in natural environments.

Too many people spend the bulk of their time indoors and away from the natural world we’re designed to inhabit. In fact, a new term has been coined: Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD).

Children suffering from NDD—those who don’t get out to regularly spend time outdoors—are more prone to anxiety, depression, attention deficit disorder, and being overweight.

Outdoors is where we can find fresh air and sunlight—both of which can do us much good.

Clearly, there are limits to the environmental extremes in which we should be active. Hot and humid conditions can be potentially dangerous and it’s best to exercise early in the mornings or later in the evening in these climates.

Similarly, extreme cold can be hazardous and appropriate care should be taken—although I have a doctor friend in Canada where –20 °C is not uncommon. He says, ‘There is no bad weather, just bad clothing.’

Given the many alternatives, ‘bad’ weather doesn’t really cut it as an excuse for not moving.

7. I feel embarrassed

On one hand, I can understand that someone who isn’t in good shape might feel embarrassed to be seen exercising in front of others who are physically fit. But when I see someone who is carrying a bit of extra weight out exercising, my instant thought is, ‘What a legend!’

I feel genuinely proud and want to cheer them on.

I’ve competed at a high level in triathlons and similar events. On many occasions when I’ve crossed the line, I’ve stood with the front-runners who have already finished to cheer the rest of the field.

It’s always those at the back of the pack who receive the greatest cheers. There’s no condemnation, only praise.

Don’t feel embarrassed. Feel proud! There are people applauding what you’re doing. Of course, there are always mockers, but don’t let them stop you. It’s all about your journey and the wonders you are working in you.

I have a good friend who has—in her words—gone from ‘fat to fit’. She says that when she first started she would say to herself, ‘At least I’m lapping everyone sitting on the sofa!’

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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