We know you’re creative, and you can convince yourself that the excuse you are telling yourself is a good reason to skip your workout – but we are here to solve those excuses. Often, people will skip a workout because they fear they may trigger or exacerbate certain ailments and end up in worse shape after a good sweat session. However, there are certain conditions such as migraines and the common cold that can be helped with exercise. In fact, working out can have an effect on not just your physical well-being but your emotional health and even your professional life.
Excuse #1: ‘I can’t exercise today because I have a head cold’
Wouldn’t you rather use your sick days to play hooky rather than being stuck in bed? Exercise can boost your immune system and cut your sick days by 66% this year. When you do have a cold, you would probably choose to stay at home in bed or on the couch instead of working out. That might not be the best remedy. If you’re worried about how well you can perform with a head cold, you’ll be happy to know that researchers have found that lung function is not impaired or significantly reduced with a head cold. And, research has shown that getting your blood pumping even with a head cold is a great way to help your immune system fight off your sniffles. Just be sure you have a head cold and nothing more serious. Then, get moving!
Note: This advice is for head colds. If your cold is in your chest, it may be a good time to rest.
Excuse #2: ‘I can’t exercise today because I have a migraine’
Oh, the pain of a migraine. Those who suffer from the intense headaches would do well to take up exercise as a way to decrease both the frequency and severity of the condition. Just 40 minutes of cycling (or other aerobic activity) a day, three days a week can lessen the frequency of migraines in three to six months. In some studies, patients suffering from migraines who stuck to a regular regimen of 40 minutes of cycling three times per week yielded similar results to patients who took prescription medication to lessen symptoms. Bottom line: you may still need medication to help with migraines, but if you’re a migraine sufferer you can help yourself and boost your health level with regular exercise and it won’t worsen or trigger your symptoms.
Excuse #3: ‘I can’t exercise today because I have a big work presentation’
You may be tempted the morning of your big presentation for work to hit the snooze button to catch some extra sleep, leaving you well refreshed for the day’s task. Not so fast… You would be better off getting up and doing at least a mini workout (if you fit a full workout in and make it to work on time). Cardio is the best bet to wake your brain. 15-20 minutes of cardio, which may be a jog around the block or a dancing session with your Wii, can help your brain retain information and process it faster as well. If you decide to do a full workout in the morning, be sure not to tire yourself out. Limit your activity to 45 minutes, making sure you work at a pace that allows you to maintain a conversation.
Excuse #4: ‘I can’t exercise today because I have a hangover’
The last thing you want to do after a long night filled with drinking is to get up the next morning and work out. You will be relieved to know that while you shouldn’t run a marathon the next day, doing something to stir the blood will actually help you recover more quickly. Keeping it to a low-pace walk or a moderate jog will do the trick to help begin the process of recovery after too many margaritas. The most important thing to remember is to drink plenty of water to replenish your level of hydration.
Excuse #5: ‘I can’t exercise today because I have an aching back’
Any time your back aches, your first instinct is probably to retreat to the couch and wait for reprieve. That may not be the best thing to do. In fact, remaining still will encourage your muscles to tighten, and increase the pain you are feeling. Instead, get up and move to get the blood circulating is and lubricate the joints. Moderate to low-intensity exercise is best in this case. It will loosen the muscles of the back without overdoing it.
Excuse #6: ‘I can’t exercise today because I ate too much’
If you hit your calorie max at 11am because the boss brought in donuts and bagels, you might be tempted to blow off your workout later out of guilt. But, not so fast. Before you say “what the heck” and turn one unhealthy eating choice into an all day splurge, remember that exercise will help break up that fat from the foods you eat. By remaining faithful to your workout routine, you will stop fat from depositing into your body to be worked off at a later date. Even an abridged workout can burn up to 500 calories and give you up to 16 additional hours of increased fat burning capacity. So, if you enjoy that donut remember to enjoy your workout too.
Exercise really is nature’s best medicine. Make sure you get a daily dose to keep your body feeling young, healthy and fit!