Remember that New Year’s resolution you made to get fit and healthy but never acted on? Is it nothing but a distant memory? As it turns out, it’s easy to develop excuses and reasons for not working out as much as you’d like. And you’re not alone. Research shows that millions of people vow to commit to physical fitness, but many of those promises go unfulfilled.
Sometimes your excuses are totally valid, but most times, they’re just obstacles to your fitness and health goals. Remember, you can have excuses or results, not both. With that said, let’s explore the most common workout excuses you’re probably most familiar with and discuss how to overcome them.
“I Just Don’t Have Enough Time.”
This has to be the most common workout excuse of them all. It’s understandable; from working long hours to taking care of your family and having a social life, it can be challenging squeezing in some time for a workout.
But here’s a fact that’ll blow your mind; You don’t have to spend hours in the gym to achieve your goals. Doing shorter workouts more often has similar benefits to doing longer workouts less often. Who knew!
All you need is to HIIT it! What’s HIIT? It stands for High-Intensity Interval Training and is a short-duration workout with high effectiveness. It’s ideal for people with busy schedules – all you need is ten minutes.
“I’m Way Too Tired.”
Exercise is probably the last thing you think about when you’re feeling tired. But if you want to boost your energy, exercise is your best bet. It boosts your blood circulation and gets your heart pumping oxygen to your muscles, brain, and tissues at a faster rate.
Even a few minutes of moderate exercise will decrease feelings of fatigue and leave you feeling refreshed and revived. You can also try working out at your natural energy peaks. Maybe you have more energy in the morning than you do at the end of your workday. If you’re strategic about the time of day you workout, you probably (make that definitely) won’t feel too tired.
If you find that you’re always tired, check your sleep habits. Poor quality or inadequate sleep can leave you feeling tired all day.
"It’s Too Difficult.”
Theodore Roosevelt once pointed out that nothing in the world is worth doing or having unless it means difficulty and effort. Remember that working out is supposed to be a challenge.
You’ll only find the results you’re after when you push yourself and work hard. Go at your own pace without letting your ego get in the way. Persistence is a key element to overcoming the “it’s too difficult” excuse. The more you do it, the easier it will become.
Once you get through the mental barrier that exercise is laborious, you’ll realize that it’s not difficult at all. “It’s too difficult” will soon become “It’s so easy!”
“The Gym is Too Expensive or Far.”
You don’t need to be a gym member or spend money to work out and stay in shape. Any indoor space or even outdoor space can be your makeshift gym. You can also do a range of full-body workouts without using a single piece of equipment.
If you’ve ever seen the movie Rocky, the main training scene is a perfect example. He runs up steps, chases chickens, chops up wood, and even punches meat (okay, we’re not expecting you to go that far!). You can even create your own gym equipment with chairs, concrete, barrels, and even canned foods. The internet has loads of free workout programs you could try out, using nothing but your body weight too.
Of course, investing in your own weights, cardio machines and accessories is a great way to carry out a highly effective workout at home. You don’t even need to travel to the gym when everything you need is at home!
“I Don’t Know How To Train.”
The fact that you’re reading this means you can figure it out pretty quickly. Spend a few minutes on the internet, and you will find training routines and tips you can tap into on the spot. YouTube is awash with “how-to” videos on absolutely every exercises imaginable. Everyone begins somewhere, and the most important thing is simply getting started.
Like many things in life, you’ll learn best on the job. If you’re at the gym, ask a more experienced person or a trainer how to properly use equipment or the proper technique, then practice through action. You will soon learn that everyone loves giving out tips, and you could even get a training partner out of it.
“I Feel Intimidated and Embarrassed.”
Don’t get discouraged if you’re feeling a bit self-conscious. You won’t find anyone who didn’t feel this way the first time they went to the gym. It can be intimidating as a first-timer, especially if you’re an introvert, but this is normal.
Everyone feels as if they are out of place when they are a beginner. The more you go and get used to actually being in the gym, the more comfortable you’ll get. That’s exposure therapy in action for you! And don’t get hung up on other people who may be in better shape. They were all new at some point, and no one ever starts off with a full 6-pack of abs. Simply show up and do the work. If you’re too embarrassed to head to the gym, start working out at home until you are a bit more confident.
“I Don’t Have Any Motivation.”
Motivation can leave you suddenly and without reason when it comes to health and fitness. Many people lose the drive to work out consistently, and often it’s because they’ve met their goals, their goals don’t seem reachable, or their workouts have become too easy.
You can overcome this problem by being a realist. You won’t shed 10 pounds or get a 6-pack overnight. Consistency over time is the only way. In the meantime, create small achievable goals that will keep you inspired as you reach. Create simple milestones like aiming to level up from a 3-pound weight to a 5-pound weight over three weeks.
Remind yourself why you started, and don’t forget to celebrate the small victories along the way.
“I’m Too Old To Work Out.”
You’ll never be too old to exercise, and age shouldn’t be a limitation to living a healthy lifestyle. Although your body may not function at peak levels, there are still plenty of exercises you can engage in that are highly beneficial.
Regular physical activity is a proven public health strategy to reduce disease and disability while improving your quality of life. Engaging in at least 10 minutes of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities will significantly improve your health and fitness levels.
These activities can be as simple as mowing the lawn, dancing, yoga, brisk walking, cycling, and jogging! Remember, it's important to consult your physician if you have any diagnosed health conditions to devise an appropriate activity plan before working out. If you’re feeling too old to exercise, the trick is to start slowly and build your efforts over time. For example, five minutes of activity today could lead to 30 minutes of effortless activity in just a few weeks.
If you’re prone to using the above workout excuses, now is the time to take action. Put your best foot forward! No matter what exercise or workout routine you engage in, consistency is key. Stop making excuses and get started today!