Analyze Your Excuse for Lack of Physical Activity
Why haven't you become more active? It is difficult for many of us to defend ourselves when we know we should be exercising more. Print out this little "self-evaluation" to help you pinpoint, and hopefully correct, your reasons for not applying more activity into your lifestyle. This is meant to help -- not criticize!
And do be totally, and brutally honest with yourself; it's the only way you'll get the most out of this little "exercise" to pick your brains! And besides, no one else has to or will know unless you choose to share the information.
Following is the number system to use:
- 3 means very likely
- 2 means somewhat likely
- 1 means somewhat unlikely
- 0 means very unlikely
How likely are you to say your exercise excuse is...
- I cannot find time to add physical activity to my already busy schedule.
- I do not exercise much, because my family and friends do not enjoy active things.
- After work, I am too tired to get any exercise.
- I have considered getting more exercise, but cannot seem to start.
- As I age, exercising seems riskier.
- I would exercise more, if I ever could master a sport.
- I don't have easy access to jogging trails, swimming pools, bike paths, etc.
- Physical activity takes too much time from other commitments - work, family, etc.
- I am embarrassed about how I would look exercising with others.
- I am too short on sleep to get up early or stay up later to exercise.
- It is easier to find excuses not to exercise than to actually do it.
- I know people who have hurt themselves overdoing exercise.
- I cannot imagine learning a new sport at my age.
- Taking a class, joining a club or buying the right equipment is too expensive.
- I do not have enough free time during the day to include exercise.
- Social activities with friends or family do not usually include physical activity.
- I am too tired during the week and need weekends to catch up on my rest.
- I would like to get more exercise, but cannot seem to follow through and stick to it.
- I am afraid I will injure myself or have a heart attack.
- I am not good enough at any physical activity to enjoy it.
- If we had exercise facilities and showers at work, I might exercise.
To score yourself:
Place the number you selected in the corresponding numbered space provided (the number for statement one on line one, etc.). Add the three scores across each line. Any score of five or greater identifies an important barrier to face and overcome. Example: In line one we have 1 plus 9 plus 15 equals: Lack of time. Take the number you choose for question one, plus the number you choose for question 9 and 15, add the three numbers together. If they equal five or greater, your excuse is lack of time.
1 plus 9 plus 15 equals: Lack of time
2 plus 9 plus 16 equals: Social influence
3 plus 10 plus 17 equals: Lack of energy
4 plus 11 plus 18 equals: Lack of willpower
5 plus 12 plus 19 equals: Fear of injury
6 plus 13 plus 20 equals: Lack of skill
7 plus 15 plus 21 equals: Lack of resources
Sources: Adapted from Promoting Physical Activity: A guide for community action, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Department of Health and Human Services