Health column: Why is it so hard to exercise?

Health column: Why is it so hard to exercise?

Column by Anna Keith, Exercise Specialist / UNC Lenoir Health Care; 

There are many excuses for why folks don’t exercise. Here are a few — and how to fight them:

1. “I don’t have enough time.”

This is probably the most common obstacle we face in today’s world. Who can find time to exercise on top of their job, doctor’s appointments, soccer practice and dance class? It’s easy for life to get busy but that doesn’t mean you have to neglect your health. The easiest way to overcome this obstacle is plan ahead. At the beginning of the week, take a look at your schedule and see when and how you can squeeze in 30 minutes of exercise. I promise it helps.

2. “I’m too tired.”

Often times, we simply feel too tired to even think about exercising. Many people think exercising will only make their fatigue worse. It makes sense right? Wrong. Exercise actually gives you energy when you need it and it can also help you sleep better at night — which leads to more energy throughout the day.

3. “I have care-taking responsibilities.”

Many people can’t seem to exercise because they have someone to take care of. Kill two birds with one stone and overcome this obstacle by taking that person with you while you exercise! Not only are you getting your exercise in, you are helping that person become healthier as well.

4. “I don’t have a safe place to exercise.”

Lucky for you, you don’t need fancy equipment to reap the benefits of regular exercise. There are many places around town that offer a safe walking environment for free! UNC Lenoir has a great outdoor walking track. If the weather is bad, that’s OK. You can walk in a large department store like Lowe’s, Walmart or Belk.

5. “I don’t feel like I succeed with exercise.”

We’ve all been there. We set a goal with the best intentions, just to fall short of reaching it. When setting goals, make sure they are SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-oriented. Instead of saying “My goal is to lose weight,” try saying “My goal is to lose 2 pounds each week by walking for 30 minutes each day.”  

6. “Plain and simple…I don’t enjoy exercise.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a type of exercise that was “one size fits all?” Unfortunately, there is no such thing. Instead of forcing yourself to jog/run, try another type of exercise like dance fitness or kickboxing, or maybe just try a new piece of equipment. Once you find something you enjoy, it will be hard to stop.

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