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Exercise Excuses: March 2, 2011

I don't have time. I can't exercise because of my condition. I simply don't feel like it. Three popular reasons why people say they don't exercise. "I think you can use many excuses for why you don't exercise," says Dr. Salvatore Lacagnina, Lee Memorial Health System's Vice President of Health and Wellness.

The most popular excuse of all: I don't have time. "I heard something on the news recently that the average American watches 6 1/2 hours of television per day. PER DAY. That just blew me away. I mean, if you are sitting in front of the TV for 6 1/2 hours, and that's an average number, you're not burning any calories."

Another excuse: I have a certain condition or diagnosis and exercise may not help me. "The Wellness Center in Cape Coral and the one in Fort Myers really are medically based fitness programs," says Dr. Lacagnina. "You can come to one of our facilities and see a nutritionist, you meet with an exercise specialist, and learn how to develop a plan that is right for you."

There's also the 'I've never really exercised' excuse. "You have to start it slowly. You can't jump in to doing an hour a day when you've done nothing for years and years. So, you may want to start with just 15 minutes of brisk walking a day and see how you feel then progress." Dr. Lacagnina adds that you're overall health and well being should override any excuse. "There's so many benefits from doing regular exercise. The list just goes on and on. There is less incidents of Alzheimer's disease, of cardiovascular disease, of diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic back problems."

The American Heart Association recommends 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day.