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Make Time for Exercise Today, or Make Time for Sickness Tomorrow

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If you're like most of us, you've promised yourself to exercise on a daily basis. In my case, that usually involves walking, yoga, tennis or resistance training.

Despite my resolve, however, I've sometimes find myself manufacturing excuses for skipping my exercise routine. Because the justifications I use to let myself off the hook aren't original, they may sound familiar to you. I tell myself that "I'm too busy." Or "I'm too tired." "It's too cold" or "It's too hot." "Now now-I'll exercise later."

To keep my promise to myself, what I need is not a list of excuses (I have plenty of those), but a list of reasons reminding me why I need to keep moving. Since I've shared my excuses, I'll also share my list of reasons to exercise. That way, like me, when you're tempted to skip your exercise routine, you can jumpstart your willpower with these remarkable benefits.

Regular exercise will:

  • Reduce my risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
  • Raise the good artery-clearing HDL cholesterol
  • Help control my blood pressure
  • Decrease my risk of osteoporosis and diabetes
  • Help me manage your weight
  • Help protect against cancer
  • Reduce my stress and anxiety
  • Improve my mood and chase away depression
  • Help me feel younger
  • Improve my balance, reflex time and posture
  • Make me smarter (Exercise is the number one recommendation for improving mental functioning.)

Post this list on the bathroom mirror or on the refrigerator-anywhere you'll be sure to see it. Review the list regularly, especially when your commitment lags.

When I debate with myself whether to exercise, I remember the saying about how we can either make time for exercise today or make time for sickness tomorrow. The choice is mine. The decision then becomes a lot easier. Caring for my body quickly becomes the first priority of the day.

Carole Carson, author of From Fat to Fit: Turn Yourself into a Weapon of Mass Reduction, serves as the coach for the AARP Fat to Fit online community. Find new posts from her here every Friday morning. 

Photo credit: sanchom via Flickr

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