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When it comes to excuses for why we don’t exercise, the list is endless. The average American logs roughly 5,000 to 7,000 steps per day. However to benefit our health, we should strive for at least 10,000 steps per day.
Why is 10,000 steps such a magic number? This number was actually created by a pedometer company in the 1960’s in Japan and then became adopted by walking clubs around the world. Later research determined that 10,000 steps was actually a good indicator you were improving your health. Bottom line, the more we move, the better we feel.
So why is it hard for us to make exercise an important part of our day? When you look at the excuses folks give, it really comes down to these main three reasons:
- I’m too tired to exercise. I know I have felt this way MANY days. Most of us have. What may surprise you though is exercise gives you MORE energy. As little as 20 minutes of exercise such as a walk every other day, will boost your energy levels. I can personally vouch for this. On days when I feel too tired to do much of anything but push through and exercise, my energy increases and I can tick off my to do list.
- I don’t have time to exercise. Yes, I get it. We all live extremely busy lives. We all feel squeezed by the number of things we need to accomplish in any given day. That said we ALL can squeeze out 20 to 30 minutes a day to exercise. Many fitness classes are designed to be 30 – 45 minutes. The classes I teach are all 45 minutes or less. You don’t need to spend HOURS exercising. Does the thought of driving back and forth to the gym alone tire you out? No worries. Exercise at home by taking a walk or playing with the kids. Keep it simple.
- I’m too out of shape to exercise. Good news for you! Moving forward on your fitness journey begins with one step. If you are not happy with how you feel, start slow and build from that point. Instead of trying to get 10,000 steps the first day you begin exercising, start with a few laps around your yard. Any exercise you do is moving you in the right direction. As you adjust to the increase in activity, add more distance, minutes, reps or whatever you are using as an indicator of how long you have exercised.
Every day as you continue moving forward in your fitness journey, tell yourself “good work.” Too often we forget to praise ourselves and simply acknowledge that what we accomplished today, we didn’t do yesterday. And remember when you reach your first big goal, reward yourself with something fitness related like a new exercise t-shirt in a smaller size or a glass water bottle. You DESERVE it! Go you!
To your health,