Small Victories logo Dept of Family & Consumer Science logo Learner objective
What you need
Lesson Content
PowerPoint Presentation
Press Release [Word]
•Evaluation [Word]
Excuses, Excuses

Lesson Plan [pdf]

Learner objective

As a result of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Describe ways to overcome at least 3 common reasons for not being physically active


What you need
  • Handout
  • Small Victories CD with "Excuses, Excuses" slide presentation (PowerPoint)
  • Laptop computer (with CD drive) and multi-media projector
  • Pencils or pens
  • 3"x5" or 4"x6" index cards
  • Presenter's coordinating explanation sheets in the "Excuses, Excuses" section of the Small Victories notebook.


Insert your information on the title slide of the presentation before teaching the lesson.


Time Content/Suggestions Learning Reinforcer
3-5 min. Start slide presentation "Excuses, Excuses."  Go through to slide #2.

Introduce the activity:  What keeps you from being more physically active?

Distribute index cards.  List one reason why are are not more physically active.  These are also known as excuses or barriers.  If you are already active, then list one reason why you continue to be active.  These can be motivators.

Tell participants to hold onto this card for a later activity.

CD"Excuses, Excuses"

Index cards

5-15 min. Go to slide #3 - The Ring of Excuses.  Ask participants to select an excuse or barrier they are interested in learning more about - perhaps what they have written on their card.

Click on the circle, and you will link to a slide with the excuse and some suggestions or points to consider.  Have participants share ways they have addressed the excuse.  You can also refer to the presenter's coordinating sheets.

After completing discussion on that topic, click on the lower right-hand corner logo "Excuses, Excuses", and you will link back to the Ring of Excuses slide.

You can cover topics in random order.  Ask participants if there are some excuses or barriers that have not been covered, and discuss those.

Slide #3:  Ring of Excuses

Slide #3 - Ring of Excuses

Presenter's sheets

5-10 min. As a conclusion of the presentation, go to slide number 16 to complete the card activity.

Give instructions for going back to the cards:

  • Retrieve the card on which you wrote a reason for not being able to be more physically active.  On the blank side, write down one or two strategies you can use to get past the barrier to excuse.  Some of you may want to share your motivators for being physically active as ideas for others.
  • Set a date by which you will try the new strategy.  Be realistic.
  • Setting and monitoring a goal is an effective way for many people to make changes in behavior.  Place this card somewhere you will see it frequently (purse, wallet, bathroom mirror, etc.).  If you spend a lot of time at a computer, make it a scrolling screen saver.
  • Share your goal with friends or family members.  Keep them posted on your progress, successes, and challenges.
Slide #16

Partially completed index cards.


Reinforce the bottom lineTo be healthy, physical activity must become a priority in our lives.  And this means overcoming the barriers, obstacles, and excuses we say we have.

Evaluation form



Fitting in Fitness:  Hundreds of Simple Ways to Put More Physical Activity into Your Life, American Heart Association, 800-AHA-USA1, Three Rivers Press, 1997.

"Moving Your Body," A New You:  Living in a Healthy Body.  Outreach and Extension of University of Missouri and Lincoln University, 2000.

Slide presentation, lesson plan, and coordinating discussion sheets developed by Mary Kay Wardlaw, MA, Project Education Specialist, Wellness IN the Rockies (WIN the Rockies).  WIN the Rockies was a community-based research, intervention, and outreach health-improvement project in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.
Adapted by Darlene Christensen for Small Victories, a mini-lesson series promoting positive food, physical activity, and body image attitudes and behaviors.  Small Victories reflects the mission and principles of WIN Wyoming, a multi-agency, multi-state network that promotes healthy lifestyles instead of a specific body size, shape, or weight.  WIN Wyoming is coordinated through Department of Family & Consumer Sciences, University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service.  0203; slightly revised 0706
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Glen Whipple, Director, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071.  Persons seeking admission, employment, or access to program of the University of Wyoming Shall be considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, political belief, veteran status, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.  Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication or program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact their local UW CES Office.  To file a complaint, write the UW Employment Practices/Affirmative Action Office, University of Wyoming, P.O. Box 3434, Laramie, Wyoming 82071-3434.  The University of Wyoming and the United States Department of Agriculture cooperate.
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Updated on 10/19/2006