Everyone wants to start the New Year with a fresh, positive attitude and a renewed focus on their health.  Exercise—even as little as 10 minutes a day—can have a profound impact on many aspects of your life.  Besides incorporating exercise into your weekly schedule, you need to prepare yourself when the excuses start to fly.

Lose the Excuses

Eight out of ten people do NOT exercise on a regular basis.  It’s really easy to make up excuses when you don’t want to do something.  By learning how to respond to this common list of excuses, you’ll become stronger both mentally and physically.

  • I don’t have the time. This is probably the most common excuse people use to avoid exercise.  It’s true, you’re busy and juggling schedules but you can find small windows of time to help you get fit.  If you consider there are 24 hours in a day, it seems reasonable that you should be able to find 20-30 minutes to exercise.  If you’ve tried this and still continue to use this excuse, there are fitness routines that have been trimmed down to as little as 10 minutes!   And, you can do them right in your home.  Give them a try—you’ll be surprised at the difference 10 minutes a day can make.
  • When I lose 10 pounds, I’m going to go to the gym. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this one.  It’s a common misconception that all health club members are super fit and wear tight-fitting clothes. Believe me, this is simply not true.   Health clubs are filled with people of all ages, all sizes, and all fitness levels.  Whatever category you fall into, rest assured that you will fit in just fine.
  • My joints hurt too much. Most joint pain is caused by arthritis.  Interestingly, if you have arthritis, exercise is critical.  Moderate, gentle exercise not only reduces joint pain, it increases strength and flexibility.  The key to success is finding a type of exercise you enjoy and one that makes you feel good.  Throw away the notion that all exercise is regimented and start moving your way to healthier joints.  And, don’t be afraid to ask a fitness professional to help you design a program—that’s what we’re here for.
  • I don’t want to get bulky. Women often use this excuse as a reason NOT to perform strength exercises.  To get “ripped” like this female body builder, you would have to spend hours and hours in the gym and eat an extremely strict diet.  A typical routine for increasing strength will not cause you to get bulky.  Strength training will increase your metabolism, slow down sarcopenia (the degenerative loss of muscle mass and strength that naturally occurs as we age) and decrease your risk of osteoporosis. 
  • I’m too tired to exercise. Regular exercise increases your energy and improves your sleep.  For years, I developed and conducted exercise programs in a retirement facility.  Most of the people I worked with were over 85 years old!  Before they joined my program, they said they were “too tired” to exercise.  But after a few weeks of exercise, drastic improvements were made—including improvements in ambulation, increased energy levels and overall feelings of well-being.  Needless to say, this excuse needs to be tossed out and never used again—by anyone.

Never Say Never

Too many people tell themselves they’re just not meant to exercise.  If you have said this in the past, you need to redefine what the word exercise means to you.  If you hear yourself say “I hate to exercise” simply replace exercise with activity and see how it makes you feel.  My mom, who says she doesn’t like to exercise, loves flowers.  So instead of “exercising”, Mom walks around her neighborhood checking out all the different kinds of flowers (while getting exercise).  It is all about changing the way you look at things.

Let this be your year to throw away all of your old excuses.  May abundant health and all good things come your way.

Happy New Year!