stronger, fitter you
1. I'm too busy.
This is by far the most common excuse. Yes, schedules are busy...but if something is a priority (the season finale of Scandal or How To Get Away with Murder), you will make time for it. So make time for exercise. Try scheduling it into your PDA or datebook the same way you plan meetings or other commitments. For time-saving strategies, including interval training and gym shortcuts, check out this guide to making your workout quick and sweaty.
2. I'm too old.
No, you aren't! Almost no one is too old or too frail to work out. Exercise can help stave off sarcopenia, or muscle loss, and prevent falls. It might help to find a trainer who has experience with older folks.
3. I hate going alone.
You don't have to. Find an exercise buddy, and you'll be spurred to work harder, not to mention motivated to simply show up. Here are 10 tips for working out with a partner, whether a significant other or a friend.
4. It's so boring.
The best way to avoid being bored is to find an activity that doesn't bore you. Don't like to run? Don't do it. Bike, box, row, dance, or do whatever floats your boat. And once you find something you enjoy, make changes now and then to keep your interest.
5. My kids get in the way.
Work around your kids' schedule as best you can; waking up before they do may not sound appealing, but many parents say it's the only time they can be sure to get in an uninterrupted workout and some much-needed alone time. Alternatively, work out with your kids—try hiking, walking, biking, or playing an outdoor game
6. My back hurts.
Rather than taking to your bed, get moving. Regular activity is a primo way to treat and prevent common lower back pain. Talk to a doctor or physical therapist about specific stretches or exercises.
7. I'm too fat.
As with age, extra pounds are rarely an excuse for not exercising. Just be sure to start gradually—walking, swimming, biking, or other exercises that don't involve a lot of pounding are great. And all of us, not just the overweight, need to remember that exercising is not a free pass to eat a lot more. Many people don't realize how many calories they should actually be eating or how to balance what they take in and burn off.
8. I'm thin already.
Being lean is definitely associated with better health. But exercise has independent benefits that you can't get simply by keeping your weight down. And even if you are in a healthy weight range, you may have an excess percentage of body fat, or what one researcher calls a "TOFI": thin outside, fat inside.
9. I'm not a gym rat.
There are plenty of options for people who don't have the time, money, or inclination to make regular trips to the gym. Depending on the climate, you can exercise outdoors. Or you can work out at home.
10. I have arthritis.
Like people with back pain, the arthritic are not exempt from exercise. In fact, strengthening, stretching, and aerobic exercises can build up muscles and remove strain from the joints. Exercise also helps keep off the excess weight that can exacerbate painful symptoms. The government's recently revised fitness guidelines say that people with arthritis, cancer survivors, stroke victims, Parkinson's patients, and the mentally ill should all talk to their doctors about how to start and maintain an exercise routine.
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I pledge to make a NEW START today, and forgive myself for my past, and to stop being so critical of myself.
I pledge to take control of myself, to stop making excuses, and stop blaming other people or situations.
I pledge to take care of myself by setting and reaching my fitness and health goals.
I pledge to dedicate the time and energy necessary to discover a fitter, stronger self.