10 top excuses people use to avoid exercise—part 7
Being healthy for retirement means getting healthy before retirement. In this, the final of a 7-part series, health researcher and exercise guru Darren Morton talks about the top 10 excuses people use to not exercise.
9. I don’t have the facilities or the money
You don’t need expensive equipment or a gym membership to be active. There’s plenty you can do with minimal equipment—in a sense, you can be your own gym.
There are plenty of exercises that require minimal, easily accessible equipment so this excuse does not need to stop you. There is a range of resources online or in your bookstore. I have put quite a number of them in my book, Live More Active. You can check it out here.
In addition, there are many free activity options you can access. There’s no charge for walking, and walking paths are provided in many places. Free access to outdoor exercise equipment is also becoming increasingly popular.
10. I’m too tired, old, or just can’t be bothered
Let’s start with the ‘I’m-just-too-tired’ excuse. There are times when the most important thing for your quality of life is to lie down and have a rest.
However, often those who claim they are too ‘exhausted’ to exercise are the ones who drive to work, sit at their desk all day moving only their finger muscles on a keyboard, then drive home only to collapse into the recliner. They should be bursting with energy because they’ve hardly expended any all day.
Conversely, active people are usually the ones who seem to have energy to burn at the end of the day.
There is a profound irony that applies to most areas of our lives: ‘The more you give, the more you get.’ This applies—within limits—to your energy levels. When you get into the habit of using energy, as occurs during exercise, your body expands its energy reserves.
Energy levels are increased according to the ‘overload principle’—when you extend your body beyond what it is accustomed to, it responds by adapting to cope and function better in the future. The overload principle explains why muscles get stronger in response to lifting weights and the heart gets more efficient in response to brisk walking.
With regard to being too old, you are never too old. At any age being physically fit (within your abilities) is an essential ingredient for living more. In fact, national physical activity recommendations are the same for older adults as they are for younger adults.
Finally, for those who can’t be bothered, my advice is two-fold.
1. Go through the reasons why being physically active is so essential. Go back through this series and you will find quite a few, but you will already know that exercise is better for you than not exercising.
2. Just start something. Put on your walking shoes and get out the front door. Once you’re on a roll, it’s easy to keep rolling. Simply moving in an energetic manner causes you to feel more energetic.
I often tell people who can’t be bothered going for a half-hour walk to just go for five minutes. I then add, ‘If after the five minutes you feel like it, go for another 25 minutes!’
It’s amazing how just five minutes of walking can evaporate the ‘I-can’t-be-bothered’ feeling.
Category: Physical Health