Busting Excuses to Avoid Exercise, No Matter Your Size

By , SparkPeople Blogger
By Beth Donovan aka ~Indygirl

I used to think I had to have a goal of running a 5K or working out for at least a half hour a day to get any benefits from exercise. I was dead wrong. Every little bit of moving we do adds up and studies have shown that even daily broken up exercise routines work to reduce health concerns. SparkGuy himself sets a modest goal of 10 minutes a day, which he usually surpasses. I followed his lead and although at first I wasn’t able to do a full 10 minutes, I broke it up into a few minutes a few times a day. Something happens after 10 minutes though, and I find myself reaching for that 11th minute, the 12th minute and more.

If you haven’t moved in awhile, start slowly and ask your doctor what exercises might be right for you, especially if you have chronic pain or a disability. I started my exercise routine with sessions of in-home physical therapy because I was bedridden at the time. Wherever you are at with your fitness level, accept it and find the best workout for YOU, not for your friend or favorite celebrity. Just moving at all for some people is a workout, while others might need more vigorous training. You need to find your personal fitness level and build on it. When looking for a workout routine, remember it needs to be something you will enjoy. Try different things until you find what suits your tastes. Here's what works for me:

  1. Set modest goals. Don’t burn yourself out before you even get started. If you haven’t worked out in a year, starting with an hourlong walk a day might not be practical and might burn you out or leave you injured. You might start with a 10-minute walk for a week, then go to 15 minutes the next week depending on your fitness level. My goals usually change each month. I’m very slow to progress, but I do progress. If I progress too quickly, I suffer from too much pain and start to dread working out. When that happens, I slowly find reasons not to exercise. The trick is to not let that happen in the first place. To avoid the problem, I make my goals as easy to reach as possible. I want to succeed, so I make them attainable. Making them impossible or too challenging would serve no purpose for me.
  2. Music can be extremely motivating. My playlist is something I try not to listen to unless I’m working out. Why? It’s my reward for working out. I get to hear music I like when I exercise and I make sure the music is downright addictive to me so that I want to hear the next song. That way I will keep working out so I can listen to the music.

    I get motivated to go to the gym by people I meet there. I’m very social most of the time. If you are like me, a gym might be a great place to make friends by taking a class or showing up at the same time each day/night. If you like exercising at home or alone, having an accountability buddy might work. My friend Tina and I call each other and brag on our exercise or good choices throughout the day. It keeps me motivated and wanting to make more good choices.
  3. Workout clothing makes me feel motivated, too. I never thought I would say that, as I always considered myself inactive. When I dress in workout clothes, they make me feel like moving. The problem with being large is that finding cute workout clothes isn’t easy. Lately I’ve had a lot of fun shopping at Goodwill for my workout clothes, something I was never able to do before. (For more tips on workout clothes, equipment and more, check out: Solutions to the Challenges of Living Large or Less Mobile)
  4. If you just aren’t the indoor exercise type, take it outside. Enjoy the scenery, no matter what season; there is something to do, even if it is just to march in place or shovel snow. Walk to the mailbox to get your mail if that’s all you can do or make a few trips up and down the driveway. Look into dog-walking programs at the local pound if you enjoy animals. Some nursing homes have buddy programs, too, or you might be able to befriend a senior and exercise at a slower pace together.
  5. Make a dream list of activities you would like to do in your “fit life.” Using that dream list to motivate yourself to train for those activities might be another way to get excited about exercise. Personally, I would like to walk through a water park again and swim in the wave pool. I would also like to walk through Disney World and Epcot Center again and along the beach in Florida with my husband. To do this, I am strengthening my legs as much as I can via use of my walker and cane. I also do cardio on my arm bike, pushing the resistance as far as I can to get resistance training at the same time.

These are the ways that I stay on track when exercise seems tedious or too difficult. I hope these tips help you as well. Remember that before you start or change an exercise plan, you should discuss it with your doctor.

What are your dreams? What could you strengthen to reach them?

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KHALIA2 10/1/2019
Thanks! Report
PATRICIAANN46 7/26/2019
Thank You...……….. Report
MINILOVER1 7/26/2019
Thank you for sharing. I am motivated to get moving more. Report
KACEYSW 2/18/2019
Definitely needed this article today! Report
SHOAPIE 2/9/2019
Great article. Report
HOLLYM48 2/9/2019
Great article! Report
Great article! Report
Great article, thanks for sharing. Report
MARTHASC 2/9/2019
Thank you for sharing. Report
I love the idea of the music being a reward for exercising. Great motivation! Report
MARTHASC 1/7/2019
Thank you. Report
AJB121299 10/16/2018
nice Report
Good advice! Thank you! Report
Thanks Report
Thank you! Report
I love using the wight machine and free weights! Report
Thank you Report
Excellent article! Thanks Beth! Report
One important key to success is self-confidence.
An important key to self-confidence is preparation.
- Arthur Ashe Report
Great! Thanks Report
Great tips Report
Certainly doable ideas. Now on to actually applying the motivational skills needed. You are such a great writer! Report
Great blog! Music tends to motivate me too! Workout clothes on the other hand, can go either way... They tend to be comfy so there's a chance they'll make me want to curl up with a cup of tea and book instead. Report
Thank you so much, I have to loose 200 lbs, have COPD, Sjogren's disease which is an overactive immune system that actually attacks the body's cells...I have chronic back pain...arthritis in my knees, and so on. This blog has given me new hope, I might start with only 30 seconds at a time, several times a day. Thank you so much and best of luck.

Thanks for sharing. Report
WOW, what a great article. Thanks. Report
Thank you for the inspiration! I am very sedentary and it is hard to move a lot. I have always tended to over-do it when I begin to exercise so short periods of time might work better for me. Report
I'm already jotting down Excuse Busters that I can post on my mirror to remind myself what's best for me, and excuses are definitely NOT best! Thanks for the great tips!!! Report
Great info, very motivating. I am coming back from a pinched nerve and sciatic issue in my leg and this really made a difference. Report
thanks for the motivation Report
Excellent suggestions, thanks for the motivation! Report
Thank you for this! It is so encouraging! Report
I totally get where you're coming from. Once the workout clothes are on and you're already 10 mins in, it is an awful shame to stop if you can keep going. The little tricks we play on ourselves are important. Thanks for this excellent blog! Report
Great advice! Thanks for your inspiring blog!!! Report
Thanks for the great advice. I like going to aqua fit since I had hip and knee replacement. Easy on the joints Report
My first time to read this blog...I found it very inspiring!! Thank you! Report
Beth I looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooov
e your articles PLEAAAAAAAAAASE keep writing them. Report
Thank you for the inspiring article! Report
I really enjoyed your article and couldn't agree more. Music is my biggest motivator...ear buds, my ipod, and I'm good to go! =) Report
My dreams are to be able to do a marathon and a triathalon. I could strengthen my legs for the marathon and my whole body for the triathalon. Report
Love it!! Thanks girl - just what I needed to hear today! Keep up the great work! Report
I admire your spirit and determination--you go girl! You have my respect :-) Report
My dream is to run a 5k all the way through. I know getting back into walking and running is my first step. Then training. It may take one or more 5k's to run the whole thing through but I know I will make it one day. And since I know I am so competitive I can see me then working on lowering my time each new 5k. :) Report
What a great inspirational blog. My dream - to be 50 pounds less for my 40th (yes 40th) high school reunion in 2012. Thank you for the inspiration. Now my goal is to find that accountability buddy. Anybody interested? Report
Dreaming is what finally got me to do strength training. I'm determined to be able to do a full pull-up, and then whatever the President's Fitness test is for the kids. There's an assisted dip machine at the gym, and once I've done that, it's pretty easy to move on to the next one. Report
first thing i do every morning without thinking about it is to just put on my workout clothes. by the time I 'wake up' and get the kids out to the bus, i'm ready for the gym. can't skip it if your dressed for it already. Report
My dreams are to have a good strong body, and get back into exercise at the pool. I'm having a lot of joint problems, and am focused on getting them under control at the moment. Report
Thanks for a great blog. I was stuck in the house due to bad weather last night and I decided to walk in my living room. I challenge myself to get in at least 10 mins a day of some activity. Report
I just checked in and have to be at work at 5 am. I haven't read the artice, but I saw the headline and reminded me of driving down our blvd when we saw a woman powerwalking. One of the Jr. Hi kids said, "Look at her! She's fat." I turned on that child and said, "She's trying (to make herself healthy), what the hell are you doing?" I don't normally curse at anyone, but dang(!) anyone who is out there trying, deserves respect!
As I said, I don't have time to read anything tonight, but I hope that what I've said lets people know to keep trying! Report