Drop These 5 Excuses for Not Walking
Walking is a great way to burn some calories since it is such a low-impact activity.
While walking helps you lose weight, another great benefit is how it boosts our mood levels. If we were to add a slight incline to the treadmill or walking up some hills, studies suggest that it lowers the risk of injury to our lower extremity joints.
We all know walking is great for us, but we come up with so many excuses to not walk that it's impossible to get exercise in. We have to juggle our busy lives, work, obligations, and fight off any depression that kills any motivation to even get off of the couch.
Related - 4 Week Power Walking Plan to Lose Weight
You ever wish you could write a note to yourself and go back in time and give it to the younger you? That's the goal of this article — to write to myself and others about how we need to stop making excuses.
So if you're trying to get into shape but always seem to find a way to justify not exercising, this article is for you.
Here are five excuses you need to stop if you want to get into shape.
Get Up and Get Walking
1.) Walking is a Solo Activity
While I'm not a huge fan of trying to exercise with others due to sheer self-hate for my body, walking with someone can be very helpful. This is a great time to catch up on life, talk about that TV show you and your friend watch, or you could spend some time gossiping about people at work. Studies suggest that walking with a friend or a group can push you to want to exercise more often.
Try to find a walking group online or jump into a local town Facebook group and see if you can find a local neighbor that would like to get some exercise with you. If there aren't any walking groups in your area, you could also try to start one.
An easy way to get some exercise in is to try to schedule walking meetings at work — you can use this time to clear your mind, listen in on the conference call, or you could all hash it out while you walk.
2.) You're Too Tired to Walk
We've spent all of our energy at work, stress, and trying to have some sort of social life, so we don't want to walk after work. A study published in the Journal of Psychology and Behavior suggests that walking for only 10 minutes can energize you more than 50mg of caffeine.
So next time you go to grab a cup of coffee, why not spend 10 minutes to unwind and get some steps in? They all add up.
3.) Treadmill Only
Treadmills are nice because they are in a temperature-controlled environment, they can change the incline, and some of them even have a TV in them. What more could you want?
A study published by the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry found that those who train in the open air actually enjoy it more. The excuse to use a treadmill only helps you justify not exercising... plain and simple.
Walk around your neighborhood, find a nice park, or find a nice walking path to take. Check out the surroundings, post pics, and inspire others to join you. You could motivate a friend or family member that needs that little boost of encouragement.
4.) Walking Is Boring
Walking can be boring, but there are a few things you can do to add some spice to that walk.
Try some new scenery – is there a park or someplace you've been wanting to check out for a while? Walking a beautiful trail or simply embracing your surroundings while you walk can help you pass the time and see some sights you'll never forget.
A study at the University Health Network suggests that turning on your music while walking can help you stick to your routine.
5.) You Don't Have Time to Walk
This is hands down the most used excuse to not walk. If we could see where all of our time goes during a day, you would find gaping holes of time that you could have walked.
Instead of watching YouTube for 20 minutes after you are done eating at lunch, why not walk 10 of them and finish watching YouTube after? Instead of scrolling through your Facebook feed for hours, why not lace up and go for a nice 20-minute walk while you listen to some music?
Why not go for a brisk 5-minute walk before you clock in at work?
There's plenty of time to exercise, we just choose to overestimate how much time we have and how much time we need to exercise.
Wrapping It Up
Over the years I've dealt with a lot of bad ankle pain due to a bad surgery, I've been overweight most of my life, and I thrive on finding an excuse to not do something. If you don't put a priority on things in life that you know you need to do, you're going to deal with those same emotions of being overweight and unhealthy.
Find what works for you, whether that's listening to music, listening to an audiobook, finding a partner or group to walk with, or even buying a treadmill to exercise in your house. You won't magically get fit overnight, but small healthy habits will add up to a healthier life.
If you can spare 5 minutes four times throughout your day, you'll have 20 minutes of walking. The CDC recommends we get 150 minutes of physical activity per week, so this won't hit those goals, but it will set you up for that as you build those healthy habits.
It doesn't take drastic changes — if you simply make a goal to lace up and walk out of your front door, you're more likely to execute your plan instead of sitting here on the couch thinking about it.
Quit letting the stress of not exercising when you know you need to get to you and just go walk. You'll feel better, improve your heart health, improve your mood, experience energy boosts, and of course, you'll start losing weight.