Too often we use not being able to exercise as an excuse to avoid making other healthy choices that benefit our health and weight loss goals. But the truth is, exercise is not required in order to lose weight or to be healthy. Read on for more…

Do you get frustrated or feel inadequate when you don’t exercise?

Do you use your inability to exercise as an excuse to make other choices that don’t allow you to reach your lifestyle goals?

If so, you are not alone. This is why I want you to know that you do not need to exercise to lose weight….or to be healthy.

“Exercise isn’t necessary for weight loss”

— Lloyd Stegemann, MD, FACS, FASMBS

There are many reasons we struggle with making exercise a part of our daily routine. Whether it’s a lack of available resources, lack of time, lack of energy, limited physical capabilities such as injuries, disabilities and autoimmune disorders, or even just a lack of motivation— MANY people find it hard to start and stick to a fitness routine.

If you read last week’s blog post, then you should remember what I shared with you about calories in vs. calories out. I talked about how our bodies use/store the foods we eat for energy and how to manage the food (fuel) we consume to lose weight, AKA: stored body fat.

So where does exercise fit into all of this?

Well, first let’s cover a potentially shocking statement: You do not need to exercise to lose weight. In fact, you don’t even need to exercise in order to be healthy at all!

Say what? Yes, I know. It sounds crazy but it’s true.

The body’s five requirements for survival are: Oxygen, hydration, fuel, rest, and shelter. That’s it. Nowhere on that list is exercise.  Sure exercise is good for us for many reasons, but it is not required in order to live. If that was the case, people couldn’t survive comas.

As for the weight loss part…again, crazy I know, exercise is not required. Why? Because in order to lose weight (burn stored body fat), all you have to do is create a calorie deficit, which can be done solely with food.

Now I’m not saying this to discourage you from exercising; quite the opposite in fact. Exercising has many benefits, especially for those of us who have sedentary jobs that keep us sitting in a chair behind a desk all day. Sitting at a desk all day is NOT healthy. Being up and moving and active, is.

A body in motion stays in motion“A body in motion stays in motion.”

I love the saying, “A body in motion stays in motion.” It’s a good one right?  A body that moves, and moves well is so much more capable of doing more things. The muscles stay strong, the joints stay lubricated, the heart and lungs are more efficient, the brain gets more oxygen, and the bones become more dense.

This motion doesn’t have to come from exercise though. It just has to come from movement. But remember, this is still not necessary for weight loss.

Again, I’m not saying this to discourage you from exercising. I do want you to exercise whenever possible…because it feels good!

What I don’t want you to do is use the excuse of not being able to exercise as an excuse to not make other choices that will benefit your health and result in weight loss, if that’s your goal. And I want you to feel confident that you can still reach your goals even if you aren’t able to exercise.

Not being able to exercise is not a reason to assume failure.

Too often we find reasons to procrastinate when it comes to making healthy lifestyle changes, most commonly using the inability to exercise as an excuse.

“I don’t have time to exercise right now so I’ll start my ‘diet’ when my son’s soccer season is over.”

“I hurt my knee and can’t exercise right now, but I plan to get back on the wagon when it’s feeling better.”

“I’m too tired to exercise these days. I’ll start my new diet and exercise program as soon as I find a new job”

“I have arthritis and can’t exercise, so what’s the point?”

“I can’t find the motivation to exercise. I just want to eat cookies. What’s wrong with me?”

Regardless of your reason for not exercising, it’s important to know and BELIEVE (because it’s true) that you DO NOT need to exercise in order to lose weight.

exercise is not required to get a body you loveSo if you’re feeling defeated before you even get started, if you’re feeling guilty because you didn’t have time to get to the gym today, or if you’re too tired and didn’t have the energy to move, DO NOT let these reasons keep you from making other choices that will allow you to feel your best– physically, mentally and emotionally; choices that will still allow you to reach your goals without ever stepping foot in a gym.

Remember those five things your body needs– Oxygen, Hydration, Fuel, Rest, Shelter.

Meet your body’s 5 requirements first and foremost so your body can do it’s job of keeping you alive.

Then when you’re ready, able and willing, get your butt moving and take advantage of all of the benefits of exercise to feel your best.

Until then, no guilt, remorse, or shame. No procrastination. No feelings of defeat. Take pride in knowing that you are doing your best. And remember that your best is going to change from day to day, moment to moment.

Love yourself for who you are, where you and get excited about who you are becoming. 

Andrea Matthes,

CPT-CFL1, Lifestyle Coach

Letting go of perfection to live a happy, healthy lifestyle.

Get Started