Don’t Let Excuses Ruin Your Workout

Lazy guy sleeping in a recliner.

If you’re like millions of Americans who made a resolution on January 1st to lose some weight, get in shape, and exercise more, you may very well be facing the same problem most of them are facing right now– laziness.

It’s the same thing every year. This is the year we’re going to do it. We’re going to get in shape. We’re going to quit smoking. We’re going to be brand new people. Then, sometime during the last, dark weeks of February, all of our goals are forgotten. We emerge from our winter caves in April, pasty and full of carbohydrates, right in time to promise to lose weight in time for beach weather. Why do we do it every year? Because we offer up excuses and we trick ourselves into believing them.

Not all excuses are bad; some things may be legit like a cold, the flu, or an injury. We often just talk our way out of reaching our goals, not out of laziness, but because we are just not in the habit.  It is easy to find reasons to put it off or just avoid it all together. Our minds help us to justify our behavior accordingly.

“We make excuses to reduce what’s called cognitive dissonance,” says Dan Kirschenbaum, Ph.D., professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Medical School. “If we are committed to exercise and yet don’t do it, the excuse allows us to feel less dissonance, or discomfort.”  It may be easy to create reasons why not to exercise, but there are also important solutions that poke holes in these common excuses.

“I don’t have the energy” is the number one excuse given for not working out. Research has found that exercise actually increases the amount of energy that we have, so this common excuse is invalid.  Exercise will provide you with more energy to go about your daily routine.

Street sign reading now and later. “I just don’t have the time.” We are all busy people, that’s for sure. Consider mini workout breaks throughout the day, like taking a brisk walk during your lunch break, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. If you make exercise into a priority, you can find the time.

“Exercise makes me hungry, so what’s the point?” Eat a nutritious snack right after you work out. This will help keep you feeling full, so you don’t pack on all the calories you just burned off. You can also treat the snack as a reward for a job well done.

“I don’t have access to a shower afterwards.” You can use things like travel size deodorants and antibacterial wipes to make yourself presentable very quickly after a light or intermediate workout. Just a little planning goes a long way.

The bottom line is, if we make exercise a priority, we can train ourselves to fit it in. Once it becomes a habit, the excuses will just fall away. Talk to your Chiropractor about what your proper weight should be and what types of exercise are best for your body type. Chiropractors are uniquely qualified to explain how weight and activity level are important to overall health and wellness. 

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This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.