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Top 5 Excuses Not to Exercise and How to Get Over Them

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Every week it seems like the same old story. “I’ll start my exercise plan tomorrow morning, next week or next month”. Yet, every day it’s easy to come up with the perfect excuse that can get into your head to prevent you from starting an exercise regimen. If you are like most people starting a habit and sticking to it can be very difficult. Let’s examine a few excuses already running through your mind to keep you motivated and on track with your health and wellness.

Excuse #1:
I’m too tired tonight to do anything.

Let’s discuss exercise and endorphins. Did you know that the most productive people in the world have a set exercise plan? The endorphins released during exercise provide more energy for the day into the night, and even help you to sleep tight. It doesn’t help to think if this as pushing through a workout and hating every minute. Try out different times of the day to find the best time of the day for you to work out is the trick. You could start building your habit and try taking a week to target your energy levels at different times during the day. What happens if you work out first thing in the morning? Do you feel refreshed? Perhaps the afternoon is the trick for you. A midday workout can keep you jazzed up for the remainder of the day into the evening. You might even find you feel more functional at night. If you’re not sleeping well, starting a program might even benefit that as well. Maybe it’s as simple as starting this week with trying to find your body’s best time to work out.

Excuse #2
I don’t have time to work out for hours…

According to the Department of Health and Human Service, the guideline for most American is getting at least 30-minutes of some sort of physical activity each day. First off, you can split this up throughout the day if you are really pressed for time. It will boost your energy and overall you will hit this goal, and maybe some days exceed it. These days many fitness centers are offering classes that are High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or Tabata focused (resulting in lower class formatted times) but overall time well spent on a quick workout. Other options would be to track you steps throughout the day, park your vehicle at the furthest parking spot, take the stairs, or take a walk with a co-worker for a meeting instead of sitting on your butt.

Excuse #3
I don’t feel comfortable at a gym or taking a class somewhere.

This is more common than you think. A few suggestions for this would be to set up a workout station at home. You can do this pretty easily, purchasing a yoga mat, a few sets of dumbbells, TRX Suspension cables and a jump rope are very functional. The other option is thinking of all the exercises you can do without equipment. These may include: Jumping jacks, pushups, timed planks, sit-ups, any yoga moves, burpees…the list goes on and on. Set a timer for 20 or 30 minutes and see how many cycles of bodyweight exercises you can do. You could also workout without a timer in a pyramid style workout – Start with 10 reps of 4 exercises, next round do 9, then 8, and so one.

You can also go for a walk outdoors, or start a running program, like Couch to 5K. One more option would be to try and go to the gym or take a class at a non-peak time. This will build your confidence up once your find your own way to navigate and use machines at the gym, or even just get you in the habit of not worrying about what others are thinking. Everyone had to start somewhere.

One more thing you could do, go get yourself some comfortable workout clothes. You’d be surprised how this can help with your confidence. Being a woman myself, some places can actually fit you with the correct style of sports bra for comfort.

Excuse #4
The gym is now really busy, it takes forever to complete my workout because I’m always waiting on others, trying to find parking, or something else that leads to wasting my time and pure irritating.

New Years is right around corning, weather impacted your outdoor walk or run, or maybe it’s 5p and the gym is always packed at that time making it horrendous to navigate and complete anything in a timely manner. Getting to the gym is one thing, if you have to navigate around people, wait for machines, etc it can get frustrating.

Maybe during the busier months of the Gym or classes, you focus on designing your workout geared to this. Class Pass is a great way to add some different workouts into your cycle. Perhaps you try a month of yoga classes in January, then in February and March look at HIIT programs, complemented by one or two yoga classes a week. Then in April, get back to your weight lifting at the gym. Building out a workout regimen should be planned, if you’re switching up your program every 4-6 weeks it keeps the body guessing and performing.

Excuse #5
My whole-body hurts after a workout! I’m so sore it knocks me out from sticking with my workout plan during the week.

We have all experienced muscle soreness, whether from a workout or from a normal lifestyle event like carrying to many groceries all at once. In the beginning there will probably be some soreness, but as your body adjusts you will find the soreness will progress less and less. The theory, if you are not experiencing muscle soreness you didn’t do enough weight or enough workout, is a myth. Start your workout plan slow, you can combine weight lifting with cardio and core and slowly increase the reps and sets as you go. Another way to help muscle soreness would be to soak in an Epsom salt bath after a workout for 20 minutes, and make sure your workout plan includes a cool down phase of stretching out those muscles.

Overall, building a new habit is a mind game and is not an easy feat. Pertaining to health and wellness if it was easy, everyone would be walking around super healthy; and we wouldn’t have as much diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease in the world. Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up, eventually this will lead to burnout. If you focus on the small steps for your health and wellness, they will lead to big leaps in the long run.