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Chapter 9. Exercise > Getting Yourself Motivated

Getting Yourself Motivated

You may already be involved in a regular exercise program. If so, we urge you to continue and make sure there is an aerobic component to your regimen. But if you are one of the many who sincerely want to start an exercise program, yet always find reasons to delay getting started, pay careful attention to this next section. Recognize that the reasons you give yourself for avoiding exercise are powerful and must be faced and challenged if you are to graduate from being a couch potato.

The most common excuse people cite for not exercising is lack of time. If this reason is familiar to you, take a moment to figure out how many hours weekly you spend sitting in front of the TV. The average American adult watches thirty hours of TV a week! Of those hours you spend in front of the boob tube, how many are truly essential to your well-being? Many times we fool ourselves and justify TV watching by assuming that we are “relaxing.” But, as mentioned in Chapter 5, do not confuse inactivity with relaxation. It is quite possible to be sprawled in front of the TV and maintain high levels of tension. Exercise can release this tension. This is not to say that it is impossible to relax by watching TV, but television viewing is not a particularly effective stress reducer. There is a difference between active and passive relaxation. So if you are opting out of exercise in favor of the TV, it may be time to really look at your priorities. Without exercise, you will become increasingly tense and out of shape and your energy level will diminish. Can you really afford to continue on this path? Could you sacrifice a few of your TV hours to devote to exercise?


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