Frequently Used Excuses

There’s no need to join a gym to stay fit and healthy. With self-discipline, you can do a gym workout at home. It’s a good idea to produce a weekly exercise plan, marking down the days and times you can devote to working out. You must be prepared to make time on a regular basis, say two to three sessions of about 30 minutes a week, to get any real benefit.

“My parents are overweight so I am overweight; it runs in the family”… a commonly heard argument. While there is some validity in in genetics playing a role in being overweight (10% of overweight and obese people have a genetic or hormonal defect that makes them predisposed to being heavy. It is more directly related to the habits of the environment you were raised in.

Your weight has more to do with what and how much you eat then just pure genetics does. Where do you learn to eat the way you do? You may not eat exactly like your parents do but learned behaviours of how you cook, what you cook, how much you cooked and how much you eat are often directly related to what you learned as child in your parents’ house.

We are not slaves to our genetic makeup. We can make a big difference to our health by changing our behaviour.

Many people claim they don't like "healthy food," when the truth is they reject nutritious eats without even trying them. It's recommended you eat a food 10 times before you can determine if you really dislike it or not. To acquire a taste for healthy food, try mixing the food you don't like with foods you do like. For instance, if you don’t like broccoli but like rice and cheese, trying making broccoli rice casserole with brown rice and 2% cheese. Gradually increase the amount of broccoli in the dish each time you make it.

Another common excuse people use to avoid starting and sticking to a physical activity routine is the weather. Many people begin an exercise regimen in the spring, work out in the summer, reach their fitness peak, and then, as winter approaches, give up altogether. Then they start from scratch all over again the next spring. This disruption to the routine is completely unnecessary, since it's so easy to come up with alternatives to exercising outdoors. Simply buying equipment or planning an at-home gym workout can fix this. Even shopping malls provide great indoor walking routes.

If you really prefer being outdoors but get stopped cold by winter, learn how to dress for the weather. The proper gear can mean the difference between suffering and enjoyment.

You know you need to exercise and you know how important it is, yet every time you try, you hurt. You may hurt for a little while or you may hurt for days and you get discouraged from exercising at all. Start slowly. If you exercise too much, too hard or too fast you will feel worse and it will be harder to make yourself exercise the next time. Believe in your ability to get better. Wherever you are in terms of fitness level, you can increase balance, strength, muscle tone, endurance and range of motion if you work with your body rather than against it. Every little bits count! Start exercising in short segments, and gradually add time. Breathe!

  • Move with the breath flowing freely in and out. No need to push the breath--just relax around it and give it room to flow all through the body.
  • Breathe through the nostrils, not the mouth, whenever possible. (This calms the mind and prevents strain on the body.)
  • Let your breath remind you when you are doing too much. When you are gasping and out of breath, slow down a bit so that you can work within your breath, as you gain stamina and lung capacity you will be able to exercise more and more vigorously while breathing easily and without strain.

Have fun! Find a type of exercise that feels like fun to you. Use the buddy system and regularly walk with friends, meet friends at the pool, sign up for a class with a friend or make new friends in a class. How can you help exercising be more fun for you?

Go at your own speed. Sometimes in a group, or even watching an exercise DVD, you may be tempted to over-ride your own body wisdom to keep up or compete. It is vital that you listen to your body.

Use your powerful imagination wisely. Imagination can work for you or against you. Use yours to work for you by imagining what you want (strength, muscle tone, balance, energy and beauty) and by imagining yourself gradually gaining the ability to exercise more fully and more easily. 

Remember-- your body is made to move!

Start where you are right now; soon you will see improvement.

Don't give up! There are forms of exercise that can be helpful and enjoyable for you!

You will feel better with regular exercise.

Eating healthy can be a challenge for many. Once you commit to making living a healthy lifestyle your priority, it is important to be patient with yourself and to select only one to two goals at a time to work on. Small changes over a long period of time will equal big results.

Dream big, but start small… If you plant the right seed in the right spot, it will grow without further coaxing. The "right seed" is the tiny behaviour that you choose. The "right spot" is the sequencing -- what it comes after. The "coaxing" part is amping up motivation, which I think has nothing to do with creating habits. Focusing on motivation as the key to habits is wrong.

If you pick the right small behaviour and sequence it right, then you won't have to motivate yourself to have it grow. It will just happen naturally, like a good seed planted in a good spot.

Setting aside time to exercise can be a challenge. Use a little creativity to get the most out of your time.

Squeeze in short walks throughout the day. If you don't have time for a full workout, don't sweat it. Shorter spurts of exercise, such as 10 minutes of walking spaced throughout the day, offer benefits too.

Get up earlier. If your days are packed and the evening hours are just as hectic, get up 30 minutes earlier twice a week to exercise. Once you've adjusted to early-morning workouts, add another day or two to the routine.

Drive less, walk more. Park in the back row of the parking lot or even a few blocks away and walk to your destination.

Revamp your rituals. Your weekly Saturday matinee with the kids or your best friend could be reborn as your weekly Saturday bike ride, rock-climbing lesson or trip to the pool.

Schedule exercise as you would schedule an important appointment. Block off times for physical activity, and make sure your friends and family are aware of your commitment.

Ask for their encouragement and support.

This is a common perception but one that is simply NOT true. Eating healthy on a limited budget is achievable. It requires some thought and planning and may even require learning some new skills and being willing to try new things or different ways of doing things but it can be done.

Takeaway food may be convenient and delicious but it is generally very expensive. Our families have proven that you can spend 2 – 3 times less on a healthy diet.

Without exercise, you'll have no energy. It's a vicious cycle. But breaking the cycle with physical activity is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Try getting up 30 minutes earlier to exercise and give yourself an energising start to your day.