What's Your Exercise Excuse?

Forget excuses! Start a list of reasons why you want to exercise

By Jean Lawrence
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD

When you see the phrase "excuses not to exercise," does a half-dozen of them jump into your head?

For some people, running away from the idea, leaping to conclusions about exercise, and diving into a chocolate sundae are the most activity they get in a day.

"Tsk, tsk," say doctors, editorial writers, and national nannies. They claim that being fat kills 822 Americans a day. That could equal the entire population of a small town in the Midwest. And obesity (everyone's favorite word) is just behind smoking as a cause of death.

Exercise also prevents or lowers the severity of diabetes and other serious ailments. Surprisingly, though, Jay Kimiecik, PhD, associate professor of exercise science at Miami University in Miami, Ohio, says trying to lose weight or prevent diseases should not be the reason you exercise.

You should exercise because it feels good!

"People don't exercise," Kimiecik maintains, "not because of the reasons they give, but because they haven't found a way to enjoy exercising. Most people have not taken the time to find out what makes them feel good. You like something if you become successful at it on your own terms."

Instead, what do we say to ourselves and others?

'I Don't Have Time'

According to Joan Price, MA, a fitness motivator, public speaker, and author of The Anytime, Anywhere Exercise Book, the most common excuse not to exercise is, "I don't have time."