- “I just don’t have the time”
- “I would but I get my workout at work”
- “Since I don’t have the time to do it every day, I might as well not even start”
- “That program was too intense”, “I get too sore”
- “Healthy? I’m healthy enough.”
I’ve heard them all, in fact I’ve said them all at some point in my life. But each one is invalid in it’s own way.
In this forum I have stated time and time again that if we don’t portray a person who is making an effort to be “healthier” than we cannot be disappointed when our overweight children develop sickness because their workout is based on a battery powered handheld electronic device. We are the key to our children being healthy. Period. To ensure better tomorrows for our children we must work on getting healthy ourselves today. So lets answer all of these excuses listed above with logical answers.
Not having the time: Believe me, I know this one. Most of the year I start work between 7:30 and 8 every morning, I work until 2:15 when I go pick up my sons from school. I return to work at 5 and work until about 9 every night. A good chunk of the year I travel on weekends to competitions or business functions. “I don’t have the time” would be easy to say. But I get up at about 6 am to get a run in. I try to play with my boys, weather permitting, between morning work and evening work. At night, I exercise the dogs before turning in. 30 minutes here, 20 minutes there and I have a workout. It is suggested that adults try to get a minimum of 20 minutes per day and even that seems like an overwhelming amount. But it’s per day not per workout. Could a 10 minute walk in the morning to wake up and clear your mind be added to a noon time stretch or exercise break, added to a dog walk in the evening to make up 20 minutes? Of course it could and quite easily. Often people think that intensity training is essential because it condenses time. If I could walk 30 minutes, run 20, or sprint 6 minutes, I would choose 6 minutes because I’m a busy guy. But there is a trade off: Comfort. Don’t overdo it. Remember the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. You can accomplish anything in small bites.
I get my workout at work: Unless you are a professional athlete, you do not. Most of us spend our work days sitting and being inactive. We fool ourselves into thinking that mental activity is equal to physical, or that stressing at work is just like working out. In fact there is a lot of research that shows that excessive work stress makes us less productive and moves us away from “healthier” and toward “dis-ease”. If we equate stress with physical activity, we are fooling ourselves. We may be fooling ourselves to death.
Since I don’t have the time to do it every day, I might as well not even start: Nope, too easy. We all have to start someplace and if 10 minutes here and there isn’t an option, then 5 minutes is. Get what you can get when you can get it. Eventually the natural benefits of how you feel and how your days go will become evident and you will be looking to add time.
That program was too intense, I get too sore: This is a real concern. Many people jump into an effort to get healthier by joining a class at a local health club. Often the class is at a level that they could have maintained a few years back but it kicks their butt now. Or they think that a walk should be a speed event and to the corner and back isn’t an option, they set out to cross the town or go a greater distance. When they feel sore, they get negatively reinforced and quit. Take the pride out of the equation. Start small. The corner and back at a leisurely pace is perfect for starting out. Enjoy the scenes of an early morning walk, the sounds of birds, or the rising of the sun. Don’t be so focused on making good time just yet. When our activity is enjoyable we tend to repeat it and start the pattern of behavior that we were after. When it’s not enjoyable, the opposite is true.
Healthy? I’m healthy enough: No you’re not.
Remember that our health and making good decisions about our health are not only investments in ourselves but investments in our children’s futures. It’s not enough to get up and move; it’s also essential that you share the stories. Talk about your walk, take your kids with you. Talk about how you feel so much better after a workout, or how that guy at work who is constantly sick is hardly ever seen being active. It’s a war of attrition, and we must gain ground strategically to guarantee our children a healthy life. Your children will pick up the clues and make better decisions for themselves. Step 1: get away from the computer and go outside to play. Easy war to win with strategy that simple, huh? Now stop making excuses and go. I’m talking to you…go on.