most frequently cited perceived exercise barrier in 3 groups of non-athletes was “lack of time”. Considering that time is one of the few things that everyone receives in the same allocation,
unlike genetics, financial support, ecosystem/environment, social/family structure etc., I tend to agree with the authors when they say that it’s “…a simple, straightforward and socially acceptable answer, it is likely that many nonathletes have no sound rationalization for their inactivity.” In less scientific terms: it’s a lame-ass excuse.
I think back to a discussion with an executive team where I floated an idea about an employee wellness initiative. One of the team members told me that not everyone may be as motivated to participate as I was, because “exercise is easy for you.” Really? It was easy for me to make the time to exercise consistently while I was running the company, actively participating in at least 2 other local or regional Board of Directors, coaching Little League or Soccer 3-5 nights a week, traveling 30-60 days per year both domestic and international, volunteering as a Youth Leader, while being available as a husband and father? Yeah, that’s easy, you chowderhead. More likely I did what every other person that has accomplished anything (exercise, school, work, family) or met a goal has done – I decided that it was important and then I did something about it. I invested my time and energy into it. And that’s something that anyone and everyone can do, starting from where they are.
So don’t give me this “lack of time” BS. Get off the couch, turn off American Idol, and take a walk, do some pushups, ride your bike, punch something, kick something, play some jiu-jitsu. MOVE! You can do it IF you decide that you want to and it’s important to
you. But it’s not because you don’t have time.
(An interesting sub-note in their study - the authors mention that the data clearly showed “that the largest difference between athletes and nonathletes emerged enquiring the attitude and activity of the parents.” Another study shows “subjects who perceived low social support from their families and personal environment were more than twice as likely to be physically inactive compared with those reporting a high degree of support.” So if you have kids, make sure you’re setting a good example – encouraging them to be active while being active yourself!)