11 Excuses We Make To Avoid Living a Healthy Life (Pt.2)

by Charles Platkin, PhD

Here is part 2 (and here is part 1,  in case you don’t find one of yours below).

Famous Last Words: I’m on vacation; we all need to take a break from life.
The Fix: When youre on vacation and you don’t eat right or exercise youre bound to have a worse time. Yes, thats right. Think about it: Eating poorly and lack of exercise create poor sleeping habits, increase gastrointestinal issues, and lead to overall malaise. Get out there and walk every morning; do some bike riding (if youre in a warm climate); basically, move more.  Also, try eating healthy meals with just a few carefully chosen indulgences.

Famous Last Words:
“I’ll do it tomorrow …”
The Fix: Start right now. Do not put this off. You don’t need to overhaul your entire life. Just put down the doughnut and go for a walk. Seriously, I’m not saying that its easy, but at the very least, you can begin immediately. Saying, Ill start my tomorrow shows that you have the wrong attitude. Your diet-and- program needs to be something you can live with forever, not something you put off because it doesn’t happen to be convenient. You need to come up with ways to make your diet and fitness convenient and automatic.

Famous Last Words:
I travel all the time.
The Fix: OK, so you need a few tips thats all. If you travel often, you need to weave healthy eating and physical activity into your lifestyle. First of all, try the following:
Find healthy restaurants. Try calling the concierge or hotel manager at a few local hotels (even if youre not staying there) to get recommendations. Find out if the menus are available online, so you can make decisions before you arrive.
Get moving. Ask if there are nearby hiking or walking trails, local fitness facilities or other interesting activities that require you to move.
Get a kitchen. Ask if your hotel has rooms with kitchens, or ask for a fridge and microwave in your room even if you have to pay a small fee.
Hire a personal trainer, or take a lesson when on the road. Once you make an appointment, there is a high likelihood that youll show up (especially if youre committed to pay). Look for trainers certified by the American College of Sports Medicine (www.acsm.org) or The American Council on Exercise (www.acefitness.org).

Famous Last Words: I’m injured.
The Fix: Certainly don’t exercise the injured part of your body. But there are always some exercises that will not affect the injury, and there are some that will actually help.  For instance, if you have a running injury, what about biking? Or swimming, if you have a pool available. The key message here is you can still do something.

Famous Last Words: I was so bored on the treadmill, I just couldn’t do it.
The Fix: Use your tablet or smartphone to watch movies or your favorite TV show. You can get a subscription to Amazon.com, Netflix.com or Hulu.com. They have some great programing. The idea is that you watch your favorite show (or movie) ONLY when youre on the treadmill. That way you will look forward to getting on the treadmill.  You can also read a magazine or newspaper or make phone calls, as long as you keep your energy level high. Another trick is to mix it up. Do 20 minutes on the treadmill, 20 minutes on the bike and then 20 minutes on the elliptical. It makes your workout far less boring. Finally, you can go with a friend and chat the entire time.

Famous Last Words: “I’m not a morning person.”
The Fix: You don’t have to be up at the crack of dawn to be physically active. All you have to do is increase your physical activity at some point during the day. Theres also lunchtime, after work or evening plenty of time to work out. Also, keep in mind that even doing an additional 10 minutes of physical activity at a time can have benefits so move whenever you can.

Famous Last Words: “It’s useless; my genetics are working against me.”
The Fix: You can still lose weight. Its very rare that a person can’t lose weight and get in reasonable shape for his or her body type. Yes, genetics can work against you; however, research shows that with the right amount of physical activity and a decent (non-starvation) diet you can lose weight even if you are predisposed to being overweight.

Famous Last Words: “Do I really want to work out? Or is going home to my family more important? I haven’t seen them all day. I really should spend more time with them.”
The Fix: You can have it all; its all about time management. We make room for the things that are most important in our life, so make activity important. Why not organize activities with the entire family? Go for a bike ride or take a walk. Sign up for tennis lessons or go on a hike.

Famous Last Words: I can’t make it to the gym because I have to work late to finish this project tonight.
The Fix: You need to get your priorities straight and pay closer attention to your work schedule. Make sure youre not slacking off just to avoid exercising. Also, try to take a break from your work to work out. You will probably end up doing a better job. Or what about working out in the morning?

Famous Last Words: Why bother? I’m never going to look like a supermodel.
The Fix: Thats probably true. There are very few supermodels. But you can still look and feel much better than you do now. Even a 10 percent loss in body weight can significantly reduce your risk of many diseases and improve your quality of life. Also, you should recognize that you can only look as good as you feel.

Famous Last Words:
I only live once, so I might as well enjoy myself just this once. Its not such a big deal.
The Fix: Really? The truth is that youre right: You do only live once, so why not make it the best life you can? And those one-time events add up. I once took the time to add up my own special occasions, and they came out to more than 60 per year. Thats a lot of one times. Looking at it in terms of calories, if those one times cost me 500 calories each, multiplied by 60, thats 30,000 calories, or about 8.5 pounds per year. Also, keep in mind, the most important reason to eat right and move more is to improve your quality of life. The more you do for your body, the more your body can do for you.

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