Exercise Lies

Do you exercise?  I do.  Currently.  I have been known to fall off that wagon sometimes, though.  So, in an effort to be brutally honest and also to remind myself why I have no good reason not to keep moving, here are eight exercise lies we may be telling ourselves…


Exercise?  I exercise by chasing my kids around all day!

Sigh.  I used to tell this one to my best friend when I had two toddlers and she was single with a gym pass.  Truth?  While taking care of small children can definitely be tiring and they are no doubt active little creatures, it only really counts as exercise if you’re truly moving non-stop like they are.  Standing at the base of a slide, pushing a swing, following them all around… these things certainly won’t hurt you, but they don’t count as a workout routine either.   Especially if you’re also following them around, munching on their snacks.

I’m too tired/exhausted/flat worn out to exercise.

I think we’re all prone to this one… whether you’re working full-time, mothering full-time, struggling to maintain a home, or a combination thereof, life is already busy and tiring.  The thought of spending what precious free time we have working out is not too appealing.  When faced with fatigue, this is what I do: I tell myself that all I have to do is work out ten minutes.  That’s it.  A ten minute walk.  Ten minutes of stretching.  Ten minutes of resistance bands.  Whatever- just ten minutes.  Nine times out of ten, once I get going, I wind up getting a longer workout in anyway.  The bonus?  No matter how counter-intuitive it might seem, exercising leaves you with more energy than if you were to sit on the couch.

I don’t have time to exercise.

Some days, you really might not.  But you probably do.  Really think about your day.  Be honest.  Do you really not have twenty minutes that you tend to blow dilly-dallying around online?  Do you really not watch a 30-minute show of some sort here and there?  Do you take time to read?  If you have time for those things, you DO have time to get some exercise in.  Like many things in life, it comes down to priorities.  You don’t have to be doing a whole circuit training routine at the gym.  Just get moving.

I’m not overweight- why should I exercise?

Who’s ever said this one?  (Raises hand sheepishly.) Blessed with a genetic makeup that keeps my weight somewhere between “slim” and “healthy” no matter what I do, I’ve never had anyone tell me I should drop a few.  If doctors even mention exercise with me, they tend to offer up excuses FOR me if I confess I’ve fallen off the work out bandwagon.  (“Oh, it’s only been three months since G. was born; you’re still recovering from your c-section to some degree.  Just keep it in mind.”)  But here’s a very important thing to keep in mind: being “slim” or “thin” or “an ideal weight” does NOT mean you’re in good shape.  Not at all.  And it also doesn’t mean you feel all that good.  Exercise is essential for good health, even if weight loss is not one of the goals.

I’ve always been overweight, even when I exercise, so why bother?

Admittedly, this has not been my path.  But I’ve heard it said.  And, believe it or not, I understand it.  Truthfully, it’s intimately tied to the reason just above.  Weight and size are in no way perfect indicators of healthiness.  Doctors realize this too.  More and more, we’re learning that people can absolutely be above their “target weights” and still be in good shape.  The common denominator of these folks?  Exercise.  This is what keeps your heart healthy and keeps your metabolism moving.  You don’t have to wear a single digit size to be feeling the benefits.

I’m pregnant.

Unless your doctor has expressly forbid exercise, usually due to a pregnancy deemed high-risk, there is NO reason to stop moving.  You don’t need to be doing high-impact, vigorous workouts to benefit from exercise.  Growing babies thrive on the good blood flow and you’ll be helping your own body cope with the upcoming changes.  I’ve said it a bazillion times: the word labor MEANS work.  It pays to be in decent shape.

I’m crampy.

Ah, yes, another female scenario that seems like a great excuse for not exercising.  Unfortunately, there’s little legitimacy to it.  Yes, it’s hard to get going but, if you do, you’ll find that gentle stretching and moderate movement will help rather than hurt you.  My favorite way to cope in this situation?  Brew a warm travel cup of tea, do some stretches, and head out the door for fresh air and a leisurely stroll.  While this is not the time I choose to run, I still get some movement in.  And, yes, I admit it: I wind up feeling better.

I like being curvy.

Oh, I’ve tried to rationalize with this one.  Though I do not tend to gain “too much” weight, I have an obviously female body.  Hips and a chest are part of my make-up and, to be truthful, I’m glad of it.  I’ve told myself, “I like being curvy!  And my husband likes my curves.  I don’t want to lose them to a bunch of muscle…”  It’s not a bad theory.  ;)  But it’s untrue.  When I’m in my very best shape, guess what?  I still have a shape.  I don’t lose my hips or cleavage; I lose my jiggly thighs and mushy belly.  And guess what else?  I don’t ever find myself missing them.


I’m trying hard these days to leave the lies behind and make choices that help me feel healthy and strong.  So tell me… what exercise lies have you told yourself?  Are you ready to let them go?


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6 comments to Exercise Lies

  • No lies here. I just don’t like it, don’t like sweat, don’t want to a lot time to it, etc etc. OK I do occasionally say I’m going to do it tomorrow, which 9 times out of 10 turns out to be a lie.

  • Oh my – I have a feeling this post was written for me ;). As you know I’m not a *fan* of exercise. But I do feel better about myself if I do. That high after running – I love it! I’m not overwieght but I’m not a healthy weight either. I’m not toned. Another excuse is I’m going to get pregnant soon anyway ( :)! ). Being in the best shape possible can improve one’s fertility, right? I’m going to keep modivated on that!

    • Oh my friend, I actually thought of you when this post published last night, but I assure you it was written a couple days before your exercise post! :) I don’t know the exact science of how being in shape can affect one’s fertility (and there are certainly oodles of out-of-shape women who get pregnant all the time while some perfectly in-shape ladies struggle with fertility), but I always figure it certainly can’t hurt! And I will also say that, the first time I got pregnant, it was after I had spent a fair bit of time working on my OWN health and toning. I was in fantastic shape going into that pregnancy and, as a result, I carried comfortably and bounced right back. So… I think it’s a great move to be in good shape for getting pregnant!

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