We’ve all heard the advice to exercise regularly and the promise that that will help to reduce stress and improve mood, in addition to all the good stuff it does for the waistline. So why isn‘t everyone active?

For some nurses, there’s psychological resistance to exercise that erects a hurdle to health. Typical complaints include:

I hate to exercise, it’s so boring.

I exert myself at work so I’m plenty fit already.

I’ve avoided exercise my whole life; it’s too late now.

I don’t have to exercise because I inherited healthy, hardy genes.

I’m the sensitive, brainy type; it’s OK if my body is soft.

Women who exercise get muscle-bound, and that’s not feminine.

Who has time to exercise? My responsibilities keep me on the run.

I don’t have the money for a gym/a ski pass/golf course fees.

In this hot/smoggy/crime-ridden/no-sidewalk neighborhood? No way!

I’ll look terrible and don‘t want anyone to see me be klutzy.

It will tire me out. Make me sore. Give me a backache.

I’m not competitive. I always got picked last for team sports.

What a hassle. You have to change clothes, then shower, and change.

Probably the best way to get over any of these hurdles is to be clear on what you hope to accomplish. Examples: Go down a couple of sizes, keep up with your active little ones, go upstairs without getting winded… Make sure it’s what you really want, and not just what’s expected of you by family or society. (There’s no juice in have-to’s.) Then get there by choosing the activities you most enjoy, and proceeding slow and easy. Exercise should reduce your stress, not add to it!

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So, what’s your exercise roadblock? And what would be motivating enough to get you up and over it? We’d love to know.

Jebra Turner is a health reporter and former H.R. director for an ergonomics-focused firm, where she oversaw workplace health and safety training programs for staff and clients. She lives in Portland, Oregon, but you can visit her at www.jebra.com.

Jebra Turner
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