Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

When I speak with individuals who are interested in exercise, I am usually bombarded with a good amount of reasons why they don’t exercise. Most of the time I counter them by making simple, yet logical recommendations which usually results in the individual throwing their arms up in frustration and walking away. My motive is not to irritate or frustrate them (although it is a perk I’ll admit) but to clarify and dispel some of the confusion they have based on what the industry has deemed as “requirements” for fitness. Many people fail to recognize that there are countless ways to improve their fitness and strength levels and no one has THE answer to it all. Many exercise routines and fitness recommendations are cookie cutter at best, being merely some form of guideline. To follow something verbatim while unknowingly doing so makes little sense to me, but there are many who are lead to believe that “three sets of ten repetitions” and “60 minutes of cardiovascular training” is the only way to exercise and therefore are handcuffed with their fitness.

It never ceases to amaze me how rationalization is such a convenient approach to doing or not doing something. You know how it goes; you can make excuses for or against doing something and use the most cockamamie reasons to make it work for you. You can come up with a million and one reasons why you should or shouldn’t do something and talk yourself into believing it’s OK. Based on the dogmatic view points of exercise that are espoused on the Internet, in magazine and in books, it’s no wonder people consider exercise to be a hassle.

So can you guess what the number one reason most people don’t do some form of exercise? Is it:

A) They are already too healthy and don’t need to exercise

B) They don’t want their physique to change too much because they don’t want to shop for new clothes

C) Their significant other loves them just the way they are

D) They don’t have enough time

Yep, it’s D - They don’t have enough time. Most people feel that because of the “rules of exercise” that have been past down like the ten commandments that they don’t have an hour or more each day to exercise and work on their fitness. My question is “Who the hell does?” and better yet “Why the hell would you want to?” Improving you strength and fitness is about quality of work, not quantity. Train intensely two or three times per week and you can significantly improve your strength, muscularity and cardiovascular system. Incorporate some recreational activities if you choose and you have a well-rounded program that will enhance your life. If you can devote that much time then train for 10 - 15 minutes a day by doing bodyweight squats and some plank holds one day and then some pushups and run some sprints on another day. Fitness doesn’t need to be complicated or too time consuming so enough with the excuses and get moving. - Fred Fornicola