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Top Excuses for Not Exercising and How to Overcome Them

You know you should be exercising. We’ve all heard that physically active people are healthier. They’re less likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, and some cancer, they sleep better, and they feel happier and more energetic. Of course, a fit body looks better, too. But when it comes time to actually get out there and start moving, many of us have a long list of excuses not to exercise — too little time, too little energy, or we simply don’t like to work out.

How can you get past the excuses and get moving? Here are six top exercises excuses cited by fitness experts who spoke with WebMD — along with tactics for overcoming them.

Exercise Excuse No. 1: “I Don’t Have Time.”

“How much television do you watch?” asks Walter Thompson, PhD, professor of kinesiology and health at Georgia State University

During your shows, use resistance bands, or walk in place. Or use Tivo so you can skip the commercials and see a one-hour show later in just 40 minutes, says James Hill, PhD, co-founder of the National Weight Control Registry: “That’s 20 minutes right there.” Better yet, turn off the TV and spend your newfound time working out.

If it’s work that’s sapping all your spare time, try exercising on the job. Close your office door and jump rope for 10 minutes, or walk in place, Thompson suggests.

Your exercise doesn’t have to be a formal workout either. Try making small lifestyle changes that help you move more: take the stairs instead of the escalator, don’t drive when you can walk, and get a pedometer and try to increase the number of steps you take throughout the day.

The U.S. Surgeon General recommends at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week, which may sound daunting, but actually works out to a little over 20 minutes each day. The good news is that three 10-minute exercise sessions work just about as well as one 30-minute one, and can be much easier to fit into your schedule.

People who exercise regularly “make it a habit,” says Hill, who is director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado, Denver. “They haven’t bought any more time during the day than anyone else. What we’ve done is prioritize it. We find time for things…

Read more: Karen Springen, WebMD

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