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There's no such thing as a good excuse. Not when it comes to exercise.
When you make excuses, you (try to) justify sitting on the couch. When you refuse to make excuses, you can actually accomplish something. You crank out those last few reps. You run the extra mile. You hold that plank a little longer. And that's how you get stronger, faster and fitter.
I talked with Todd Mills of Better Bodies gym near 120th and I Streets and Laura Binetti of Anytime Fitness in downtown Omaha about the most common excuses people come up with to avoid exercise. Then I tore those apart.
Tough love, people. Tough love.
It's too expensive.
. . . you said while sipping a $4 Frappuccino. C'mon. If you can splurge on a pedicure or meeting the guys for a few beers, you can find the funds for a gym membership. It's an investment, and the return is a longer, healthier, walker-free life. Not willing to give up your caffeine addiction? Sidewalks don't charge a dime. Push-ups are free. So are lunges. And wall-sits. And crunches. And jumping jacks. You get the idea. BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IT SNOWS? Look up indoor workouts on YouTube. Just ignore the siren call of cat videos until you're done.
I don't have time.
Do you own a TV? Then you have time. The average American watches more than 30 hours of television each week. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that we exercise 150 minutes a week. That's less than three hours. So wake up a little earlier. Take a shorter lunch break. Log off Facebook. Stop “pinning” workouts, and go do them. You can tweet about it when you're done. And if you really need to keep up with the Kardashians, do it at the gym. Most have TVs in front of the cardio equipment.
I'm too tired.
I hear you. Especially now that you've given up your Starbucks habit, right? That doesn't get you out of exercising, though. Nothing a nap or earlier bedtime can't fix. If you think you may suffer from chronic insomnia, see a doctor. Click here to read up on the symptoms. And then go to the gym.
No, you're sore. There's a difference.
No, I'm really hurt. Bad knees. Sprained ankle. Tight back. The works.
Oh. So it's serious? There are ways around that. In fact, exercise can reduce joint pain and stiffness and help alleviate chronic back pain. Talk to a physical therapist or schedule an appointment with a personal trainer. They'll be able to give you tips for working around your injuries.
I don't like working out between the Heidi Klum look-a-like and Ryan Lochte's long-lost twin.
Ugh. Those people are the worst. You can avoid them and zero in on your workout to spare your self-esteem, or you can ask for their secrets. They might be able to show you an exercise or two that scored them those killer legs. Go ahead and wear the fancy-pants dri-fit gear when you exercise, too. Research shows when you look the part, you feel and perform better, too.
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