Body Buzz: No More Exercise Excuses

We all have excuses why we didn’t make it to the gym or our water aerobics classes. We have a million things to do, we’re tired or we just want to go home and sit to catch Oprah. Working out is just as much a mental game as it is physical. The trick is to learn how to counter the excuses that keep you from exercising. Michael Sachs, Ph.D., a professor of exercise and sport psychology at Temple University says, “By adjusting your thinking, you can overcome any hurdle.” Taking control of your workouts you can not only help you attain the body you want, but will also make you feel more in control of your life.

Excuse Number One – I’m too tired! Unless you are sleep-deprived or you have jet lag this is no excuse. Believe it or not, working out actually gives you more energy. How to Beat it – Try taking a brisk 10-minute walk, or drinking a cup of coffee before your workout. The caffeine will give you a jolt and by going on a walk it can give you up to two hours of
increased energy.

Excuse Number Two – I’m too busy! Many people don’t exercise because they feel weighed down with work, but a good workout will make you more productive on the job. You will have less stress, a clearer head and a better perspective. Now, who doesn’t want less stress? How to Beat it - Figure out how to incorporate physical activity into your workday. Try exercising at lunchtime, when many of us can steal away without missing too many calls or meetings.

Excuse Number Three – I’m too stressed! Exercising can actually reduce the tension in your life. Studies show that when faced with stressful situations, people who exercise regularly are less likely to experience chest or joint pain, anxiety or depression. How to beat it - By diverting your attention away from your worries, exercise is the most effective at lowering tension levels. The calming effects of working out can actually last up to five hours. So, if you work out in the evening you will have a better night’s sleep, free of worry and stress!

Excuse Number Four – I’m not in the mood! Bad mood? The cure might just be a good healthy workout! A rigorous cardio workout can improve your mood almost instantly. How to beat it - Researchers at the University of Georgia in Athens have found that women who have experienced high levels of anxiety, found relief in those levels after riding a stationary bike for 40 minutes. Many researchers attribute the exercise-induced mood-lift to numerous biochemical changes in the body, including a rush of endorphins to areas of the brain that control emotion and behavior (a phenomenon called runner’s high).