Exercise Tips: Fight Back

Don't let excuses knock you off the exercise track

You want to exercise. You know it's good for both your mind and body. And you actually feel better when you do it.

So what's getting in the way?

Maybe dozens of things. Some are pretty persuasive too. Life happens. But other times, excuses are ... well, just excuses.

Here are some common thoughts that derail good exercise intentions — and tips for what to do about them.

The excuse: "I'm too tired"

The remedy: The truth: Consistent exercise actually boosts your energy. But if you wait until you're too pooped to pump, it might not happen at all. So schedule your workout for a time of day when you have some get-up-and-go.

The excuse: "I don't have time."

The remedy:

  • Schedule exercise just like any other priority.
  • Keep your walking shoes at your desk and head out for a brisk stroll during lunch or breaks.
  • Pack your gym bag the night before.
  • Break exercise into 10-minute chunks if you need to.
  • Do double-duty: Walk in place while watching TV; ride a stationary bike while on the phone; park 20 minutes from work and walk to and from your car.

The excuse: "It's too wet/cold/hot."

The remedy: Come up with an indoor routine you can do when the weather doesn't cooperate. Doing calisthenics, climbing stairs, jumping rope, walking in a mall or swimming indoors are no-cost or low-cost activities.

The excuse: "Who cares? Why bother?"

The remedy: Oh, that negative inner voice. It zaps confidence and destroys motivation. Keep track of your miles, time, reps or steps. Give yourself credit for a job well done!

Healthy Motivations can help

Another popular excuse: “I can’t afford a gym.” Well, first you don’t need a gym to exercise. And second, Rush Oak Park Hospital does have a gym and offers FREE Zumba Gold classes twice a month through its Healthy Motivations program. These classes are for people who haven’t exercised in a while or have physical limitations, and they offer support plus motivation.

So, stop making excuses and join us for Zumba Gold. Check out our calendar of events to find the next class.

Sources: American College of Sports Medicine; American Council on Exercise; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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