Friday, August 29, 2014

Save the Excuses - a Perspective on Fitness

People are amazing creatures. We put men on the moon, created a way to connect with others all over the world, and have been able to cure many diseases that were once thought to be incurable. People can do anything they set their minds to.

Unfortunately, this is not always a good thing. While people can do anything they set their minds to, they can also not do anything they set their minds to – i.e. make excuses. While we are great at being an innovative species, we are also great at being procrastinators.

What are your excuses for not working out? Or, if you do work out, what are some excuses you hear from others? “I’m too busy”? “I’m too old”? “I don’t have the resources”?

I used to be the fat kid. I had no confidence whatsoever. My doctors would tell me that I just needed to be more active, but I didn’t want to be. I was lazy and had no desire to sweat and force my body to change. Then one night a friend randomly decided that she wanted to be my fitness coach (although what she really wanted was someone to work out with). So I agreed and we started working out together.

This was me just a few years ago at the
Harry Potter midnight premiere in 2011.
About three days into our fitness goal, my friend abandoned me. But my body was already sore and I thought, “Well, I’ve come this far; I might as well keep going.”

I had excuses, too. The truth was that I just didn’t want to do it. All it took was a little push to get the ball rolling and now here I am about three years later, working out 5-6 days a week and 20 pounds lighter. So here’s to hoping this post will be the little push that you need to get you where you want to be!

This was taken last year at my graduation.
Photo courtesy of Sabrina Bailey from The
Red Room Photography.

“I don’t have time.”

There are 24 hours in a day. Working out for 20 minutes a day is a good starting point for beginners. I promise you that 20 minutes out of your day will not cost you much, even if you take another 20 to freshen up afterwards. If you total it up, 40 minutes comes to less than 3% of your day. Even if you're only up for 16 hours, that still comes to only 4%.

There are 24 hours, or 1440 minutes in a day. Taking 20
minutes a day will not cost you much. Image courtesy of
Sabrina Bailey from The Red Room Photography.

“I’m too old.”

How old is “too old”? Is it 30? 40? 50? My dad lifted weights about twice a week until he passed away. He was going to be 57. But maybe you’re really up there in your years. According to WebMD, only one out of four people between the ages of 65 and 74 actually work out. The same article discusses a lot of myths concerning exercise and older adults. They quote Dutta, PhD, chief of the clinical Gerentology Branch at the National Institute of Aging, "Some people in their 70s, 80s, and 90s are out there running marathons and becoming body-builders." You can check out the article here. The bottom line, though, is that no matter your age, exercise is good for you!

“I don’t have money for equipment.”

I remember working out with my mom every morning with Denise Austin when I was little. Do you know what I used for weights? Cans of vegetables. I work out every day with Jillian Michaels’ DVDs with only a mat and dumbbells (and a cute outfit). You don’t need gym equipment to get in shape – your body weight is fine! You can get a good cardio workout in without a treadmill if you just move your body. And if you can’t afford workout DVDs, there are plenty of exercises available online. Truth be told, the only thing you need to work out is your body and a sturdy pair of tennis shoes.

All you really need is a good pair of shoes!

“I just don’t want to.”

Well at least you’re not hiding behind excuses. Good for you! But you know what? I didn’t want to do it, either. In fact, I still dread my workouts. If anyone tells you that they like to exercise, they are lying. It’s only what comes after that we enjoy (the production of endorphins, the toned body, the overall sense of being healthy, etc.). No one wants to work out. We just do it because we know the ends justify the means.

Sometimes I feel like I'd rather be dead than work out.
But I do it anyways. Photo courtesy of Sabrina Bailey
from The Red Room Photography

Save the excuses!

20 minutes a day won’t kill you. And if you’re really struggling to find the time, start off by just taking a 10 minute walk every day.

Age is not a defining factor – only your mindset can tell you what you can and can’t do. But if you really are anxious about your age, talk to your doctor and ask them what they recommend.

So what if you don’t have equipment? You have a working body, don’t you? Get off the couch and move it!

Exercising isn’t easy. But you know what? It’s worth it. It makes you healthy, it produces endorphins that make you happy, and, frankly, it makes you look and feel great.

Save the excuses and get to work! I promise you won't regret it :)




  1. You would be surprised at the number of senior citizens who work out at our local YMCA. My husband and I are in our late 60's and have recently joined. I can tell a difference already in my energy level and am lowering my blood presure at the same time! Hoping soon to see some weight loss.

    1. Good for you! (And for the others!) Keep it up and I'm sure you will be seeing awesome results :)

  2. I have a gym membership and had been going pretty regularly, but not so much through the summer. After this past week (first week back at school) I plan on going again. I'm so out of shape! One of my goals is to get in shape to be able to really ride again. A friend just called me yesterday to tell me she's getting a new horse that I can probably ride, so I'm excited about that! Great post, by the way. :)

    1. Summer is a good time to get distracted. For some reason, I'm finding that the school year allows me to have an easier schedule even though I have less time to do things.
      Getting back in shape isn't easy, but it's so worth it if you can stick with it! Good luck and have fun riding! :)