Struggling to find the motivation to get your exercise in? It’s happened to the best of us.
Here are 11 of the most common workout excuses in the book, along with the solutions for overcoming them.
1. I just don’t have the time.
We’re all guilty saying this at some point or another, and understandably so. Between working long hours, taking care of your family, and maintaining a social life, it can be difficult to make time for fitness.
Solution: Perhaps the best way to combat the no-time excuse is to pencil some time into your schedule for working out. By blocking out an hour on your calendar for that spin class or peaceful jog by the river, you’ll feel more accountable to actually do it. Remember, this doesn’t have to be a daily thing. Work with what free time you can spare, even if it’s just three times a week.
2. I’ve tried, but exercise is too much of a chore and isn’t enough fun.
If the thought of being drenched in sweat while you power through a crazy workout sounds more like a nightmare to you than anything that resembles a fun time, have faith in knowing that you’re not alone.
Solution: If you’re avoiding exercising because of all the work it takes (getting dressed in fitness clothes, grudgingly doing the actual workout, having to shower and get ready afterwards…), think about the reasons why you should be working out.
Whether it’s because swimsuit season is coming up and you want to look good, or you need to keep in better health, being honest with yourself can be enough motivation to see past exercising as a chore, and rather as a necessary factor in living a healthy life. If you need to make your workout more fun, try a new fitness class, or go hiking with a buddy to switch it up. There are so many options out there that make exercising fun and exciting, and worth that extra effort!
3. I’m too tired and would rather take a nap.
When you’re struggling to keep your eyes open and all you can think about is curling up for a nice, long nap, it’s pretty obvious that the last thing you want to do is exercise.
Solution: Lucky for you, exercising regularly can majorly boost your energy levels. This is exactly what you want, right? So instead of giving in to the sweet temptation of a few moments’ rest, jump on that elliptical and start feeling those endorphins kick in. Your body will thank you afterwards.
4. I have to watch the kids.
If you’re a parent, you’re essentially busy 24/7, and it’s understandable that you might not be able to get away from home for an hour at the gym.
Solution: Age permitting, include your kids in your workout. Yes, you may not be able to go to the gym, but playing soccer in the backyard or throwing a Frisbee at the park can certainly count as excellent exercise. As more and more children are having weight problems, you’ll be happy you got a workout in for your kids as well.
5. I’m way too old to be working out.
Feeling past your prime for going out and about and hitting those trails to get some jogging in?
Solution: Age should never be a limitation for living a healthy lifestyle. Even though your body may no longer be functioning at its peak physical performance level, there are still plenty of exercises you can do that are low-impact and highly beneficial. Walking is great for people of any age, and you can always add dumbbells or wrist and ankle weights for extra intensity. Also, consider swimming, yoga, or the Adaptive Motion Trainer® for great full-body workouts.
6. I can’t go outside in this weather.
When it’s raining cats and dogs outside, or the sun is pouring down while the temperature is skyrocketing, it can be hard to persuade yourself to leave the comfort of your own home for exercise.
Solution: In times like these, you don’t even want to step outside to get to your car or to walk into the gym. A little extra motivation is required to push yourself to get your workout in, so promise yourself a reward once you accomplish your exercise for the day. If you don’t belong to a gym or are actually unable to make it there, try using items found around your house to get your heart rate up, like laundry detergent bottles as weights.
7. I’m not going to work out alone.
If you refuse to go running or to the gym alone, then you probably already know our suggestion…
Solution: Find a workout buddy. Or two. Or three. Chances are you already have some friends who are into working out, so ask them if they want to tag along. This is a great way to combine socializing with your fitness routine. If you can’t think of a friend to workout with, ask around about running groups in your community.
8. I can’t find the right gym for me.
There are a lot of things to consider when searching for a gym. And it is an important decision since, in the big picture of your fitness journey, it’s all about choosing the gym you’ll actually use.
Solution: If you simply searched Google for the closest gym and called your search done, it’s time to go about it another way. Ask your fitness friends for recommendations (they may even be able to bring you to their gym for a test run). Next, consider all of these important factors: distance from home/work, hours of operation, cost, facilities/classes, and the vibe of the gym. Eventually you should be able to narrow your list down and find a solid fit.
However, if you truly can’t find a gym that meets all of your criteria, then it’s time to explore the possibility of creating your own home gym.
9. I’m being judged every time I step on the treadmill.
No one can blame you for being a little self-conscious. It’s true that the gym can be an intimidating place for introverts and first-timers who aren’t used to the gym culture.
Solution: Sure, you could buy a treadmill or elliptical for the home, but that isn’t in the budget for everyone. Luckily, there are several ways to get over “gymtimidation.” Have a plan before going to the gym — your routine, the length of your workout, etc. Bring earphones and listen to music during your workout. Ask the front desk when the least busiest times are at your gym so you can avoid sharing your workout with exercisers next to you. No matter what, there are strategies you can use so you’ll feel more comfortable every time you go to the gym.
10. I don’t see any change — and it’s been 2 weeks.
It isn’t uncommon for someone to get discouraged after starting a workout routine and not seeing results within the first couple of weeks or months.
Solution: First, read this article from ISSA certified trainer Tony DeSantis to find out why you may not be seeing results. These reasons range from proper nutrition to overtraining (rest and recovery can be as important as working out). Moreover, remember to set goals that are ACHIEVABLE — you simply aren’t going to get that six-pack or lose those 15 pounds overnight. With better knowledge of what it takes to see change and the implementation of this knowledge, then it’s only a matter of time until you start noticing progress.
11. I’m not staying motivated.
Over time, you may start losing that drive to consistently workout. Perhaps you’ve met your goals or your workouts have become too easy.
Solution: There are several ways to get yourself motivated to workout again. To cure workouts that have become repetitive or too easy, create a new workout routine. If you’ve met your initial goals, congratulations! But then it’s time to set new goals (which could include longer-term ones). Track your progress using Preva and earn badges to keep you inspired. And hunting for a little fitness motivation is never a bad idea either. Remember, working out isn’t just for losing weight; fitness is a key contributor to living the healthy lifestyle you desire.
What workout excuses have you made in the past and overcome?