10 Reasons Not to Exercise

I was a great exerciser for most of my life. Recently I seem better at making up excuses not to exercise than to actually exercise.

As a motivation tool for myself I have listed all my good reasons for not exercising. You may find a few of your favorites. Hopefully you will see my folly and get back on a program yourself. So after a little reflection, here are my favorites.

1. I am middle aged and don’t need to pretend I’m young.
2. I am too busy to exercise – work, child rearing, keeping the house livable doesn’t leave time for exercise.
3. I don’t get enough sleep as it is without getting up an hour earlier to exercise.
4. My back hurts. You may substitute knees, hips, or your big toe – pick your favorite, or least favorite, body part
5. It’s too hot to exercise (115 F in Phoenix as I write). Of course too cold, humid, windy, rainy or generally inclement works equally well. It could also be too light or too dark for that matter.
6. I have a big meeting tomorrow and I need to be well rested.
7. I’ve been married for 17 years and my wife still likes me (even without exercise).
8. My weight is good and I look like I exercise (I actually stole that one from my wife a decade ago).
9. No matter how much I exercise I still don’t look like Arnold (or Halle).
10. If I can’t do the exercise I want, why bother.

So use one excuse a week and it will be a long time before you exercise.

More seriously, most of these are easily swatted away and I have done that myself many times.

A few to discuss:

No. 10 is a real struggle for many. I had two back surgeries that put a stop to my running and weightlifting. It took some pondering, but rollerblading is easy on the back and aerobic exercise. Aging and injuries do force you to lower the exercise bar, but throwing in the towel is not necessary. If you can only walk, do that. Almost anyone can swim for exercise, the weightlessness makes it joint friendly.

Looking like you exercise is not the point. Living longer and being able to participate is the point. Exercise can make some wheelchair bound people walk again. You can be fat, thin, short, tall, old or young and still make your life better with exercise.

Most studies show exercise helps joint pain. This is true even with relatively advance degenerative joint disease. It also helps you lose weight, lessening pain.

Hopefully, I will think of these counterpoints tomorrow morning when I wake up with an excuse at my lips.

I will recognize it for the excuse it is and move anyway. If doesn’t work, Sheba, my Siberian Husky, will remind me she needs exercise also and doesn’t take excuses.

Take Care.

Dr. Bucklin


2 responses to “10 Reasons Not to Exercise

  1. Sorry to hear about the back surgeries…! I had a lumbar laminectomy myself, and although it slows me down a bit I have good friends who drag me outside for a regular dose of the good sweatin’. Be good to Sheba.

  2. This is a great article!
    We hear these all the time and it’s awesome that you recognize them as excuses and keep moving

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