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Beaver Medical Group

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No excuse - it's time to start exercising

August 10, 2009

No excuse - it's time to start exercising
Published in the Sun on  08/05/2009
Author: Jim Steinberg
 

Ernie Medina Jr. is a preventive care specialist in the areas of exercise, nutrition, stress management, and smoking cessation. He has been at Beaver Medical Group in Redlands since 1993, is a clinical assistant professor in public health at Loma Linda University, and is a certified health and fitness specialist by the American College of Sports Medicine. In 2006, he helped co-found a family fitness and wellness center called Xrtainment Zone, featuring physically interactive video/computer games.

According to the new physical activity guidelines published by the Department of Health and Human Services last October, there are many benefits to being physically active. And yet, 51 percent of Americans are not meeting the lowest physical activity

recommendations.

Here are the five most common excuses that I hear from patients at Beaver Medical Group about not exercising, and some ideas on how to overcome these excuses:

1. "I don't have time to exercise."

Everyone is busy, and yet, some of the busiest people still make time to exercise. Go over the many benefits of exercise and weigh them against the time you'll spend and ask if it's worth it. You'll see that the return on investing time and energy in exercise will pay back huge dividends in all areas of your life.

Also, it's just as effective to break it down into 10-minute blocks. Even small, continuous movements that you wouldn't consider
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as exercise still counts.

2. "It's too expensive."

You don't need the latest gadgets or clothing to exercise. Doing something as simple as going outside and walking would work. There are also a lot of free (or low-cost) online sites and applications for your smart phone that can help motivate and track your exercise. The one area that you don't want to skimp on is a good pair of walking or running shoes. This can prevent injury and pain down the road.

3. "I don't have anyone to exercise with."

If you like company when you exercise, there are many groups where you can find others who have the same fitness goals and are at the same starting fitness level as you. Check out the exercise social networks online such as MeetUp.com to find an exercise group in your area.

4."It hurts; it's painful or uncomfortable."

Once you've ruled out any medical causes for your pain with your doctor, there are many options for exercise given your limitations. Pool and aquatic exercises are great for those who have feet, knee, and hip pain. Some pools are heated warmer than usual for those with arthritis or fibromyalgia pain.

Another option for those who can't use their lower body but do not have access to a pool are hand bikes, where you sit in a chair and pedal with your arms. Work with a fitness specialist or physical therapist to explore creative options for your specific physical situation.

5. "It's boring!"

This is probably the most common reason why people don't like to exercise. This excuse gives them a reason not to find the time to exercise, while they have plenty of time for things they enjoy doing. Ballroom dancing, sports and geocaching - treasure hunts using GPS devices - playing sports are examples of fun activities that are physically active. For those who are into video and computer games, a whole field of "exergaming" has come on the scene recently with games such as the Wii, where you can play fun video games and be physically active at the same time. The Drayson Center, located on the campus of Loma Linda University, houses the Xrtainment Zone, a facility that has a variety of exergames where people can play video games while getting a workout.

Exercise has been called the "magic bullet" because of its long list of benefits that it can provide, if only we would take our daily dose. Don't let excuses keep you from enjoying these benefits that are free to all who pay the price of a little sweat