Physical activity is good for us. We all know that. Being active
helps us to sleep better, maintain our weight, keeps us mobile and
makes us feel good. The million dollar question is, if it's so
great, then why do we make up excuses not to do it?
The simple answer is that we either lack motivation or haven't
yet found something that works for us. Finding our own unique
source of motivation takes some digging and perseverance, as does
fitting physical activity into our busy lives. Whilst Aussie adults
have been increasing their physical activity over the last 10
years, 40% of us still do not achieve sufficient physical activity
for health benefit.
So how do we make it happen?
Diabetes Queensland's accredited exercise physiologist Kathryn
Kirchner says, "First we need to understand the health benefits
physical activity can offer us and why it's important for our
health. Once we know the benefits we then need to make our routine
achievable and break down the barriers that are holding us
"Physical activity is a great way to prevent unhealthy weight gain
which is so important to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and
other chronic conditions. Physical activity also is a great way to
socialise, meet new people, fight infections, develop overall
physical and mental health and wellbeing and maintain and/or
improve your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose
Here are some tips to help you find your motivation and get rid of
those excuses once and for all:
Excuse 1 - "I don't have enough
time after work" or "I'm too tired"
What's the issue? This is probably the most common barrier to
exercise. At the end of a long day at work, the last thing you feel
like is donning the running shoes and heading out for a long
What can I try?
- We know from research that just 10 minutes of exercise in
one go is enough to reap benefits. If timing is an issue,
split your exercise up into two or three daily sessions.
- If meal preparation is eating into your exercise time,
pre-prepare meals a few days in advance or look for quick recipes
to save time in the kitchen.
- Try a workout at the kitchen bench while dinner is cooking,
take the kids for a bike ride, hit up a spin class at your local
gym or walk home from work.
- Exercise helps to improve your sleep as it
helps reduce cortisol levels (stress hormone) that prevent us
from getting to sleep at night.
Excuse 2: "It's too hot/cold/wet
What's the issue? Depending on where you live in Queensland, the
depth of winter or height of summer can be uncomfortable to
exercise in and no one wants to get wet.
What can I try?
- Try bringing your workout indoors into air-conditioning
during the summer months.
- Try exercising outdoors during the most tolerable times of
day and dress appropriately.
- Use each change of season as an opportunity to try
something new and keep a wet weather plan on hand for rainy days to
keep you in your routine.
- Just a day or two off exercise can throw things out and
make it harder to get back into the swing of things once the
weather fines up.
Excuse 3: "I have an injury or
What's the issue? If you're like many other Queenslanders who have
a chronic health condition or chronic pain, you have no doubt had
some hits and misses on the exercise front.
What can I try?
- Get expert advice from an accredited exercise physiologist
or physiotherapist who can give you tailored, safe exercise advice
for your individual situation.
- Exercise is proven to be an incredibly beneficial treatment
for many health conditions including depression, diabetes and
osteoarthritis, so harness it as a tool just like a medication to
improve your health!
So, don't let excuses hold you back from living your life - it's