Biggest excuses for not exercising

Posted: December 16, 2010 in Psychology

EXERCISE EXCUSES. We’ve all heard them – and we’ve all used them. In my health and fitness career, I’ve heard anything and everything used as reasons for neglecting one’s health and fitness. It’s always easier to put off starting a new workout regime – especially when the word “work” is involved. More times than not, it’s misinformation or lack of understanding that rears its ugly head and leads people to believe they can’t or shouldn’t exercise.


Excuse 1: “I don’t have time to workout.”

First off, it’s a ridiculous statement. Every person has the same amount of time in every day. You may be busy, but not too busy to take care of yourself. We spend more time taking care of our cars, houses, and other material possessions than ourselves. Where are the priorities? This is primarily driven by the fact that people tend to think exercise programs need to be several hours long, or 7 days a week to be effective. Not true, three hours per week is manageable, maintainable, and provides amazing health benefits. Who can’t find 3 hours in a week? You can start by putting off passive leisure activities such as watching television, using the computer or even sitting in your couch procrastinating whether or not you should exercise.

Excuse 2:”I don’t have access to a gym.”

Guess what people? You don’t need to go to a gym! This is another poor excuse driven by ignorance and supported by massive marketing campaigns within the fitness industry. With ground to stand on, in your house, backyard, at a park and with some household items like your stairs, even a sledgehammer or tire, and a minimal investment in some resistance bands, you can have an incredible workout and fitness routine sans the gym. You do not need machines, or to pay a monthly fee! Ever! I will be posting a post about how you can work out in a 15 minutes at home in soon!


Excuse 3: “I’m not fat; I don’t need to.”

Being thin, or appearing to be in shape does not mean you are healthy or fit. It doesn’t mean anything. Every body needs exercise, both to maintain and improve health. Exercise can correct muscular and postural imbalances from daily living, as well as increase longevity and quality of life through numerous adaptations. Don’t be so naive to think, if you are young, if you play a sport, if you look good, if you are thin etc, that you don’t need a regular, intelligent fitness program. You do! Health and fitness for life!


Excuse 4: “I don’t like to workout.”

This one is a simple misconception and experience issue. With all of the available different forms of exercise, there is one you are bound to enjoy. You need to try different things. This excuse usually comes from a bad experience, and like getting bad food and service at a restaurant, you just don’t want to go back. First impressions in fitness are huge. And if by some chance, you hate it all, too damn bad. Suck it up. Life is full of doing things you don’t want, but have to. Wrap your head around the fact exercise is not a choice, it is a must.


Excuse 5: “I don’t want big muscles.”

hear this mostly from women, but I have on occasion heard it from men. Women have an incredibly tough time building big muscles. They just don’t have the hormonal makeup to support them. What is much more common is when women appear to have bigger muscles because they may have lost a bit of body fat, which allows the muscle they have to be seen more easily. So for all you women, no need to worry about big muscles, and guys, you should be so lucky to have a big muscle problem. Anyway, once you hit your desired fitness level or physical appearance, all you have to do maintain the exercise intensity to preserve your gains! Abeit for your lifetime. If you find this troublesome, look at excuse number 3.


Excuse 6: “I walk everyday”

Walking is NOT exercise! I’ve said this a million times. When I meet clients for the first time I always ask “are you currently exercising?” I’ve heard “yes I walk” way too many times. Unless you are so out of shape that walking brings you into your training zone, its difficulty level just does not provide enough stimulus to get a reaction from your body. Yes, it burns some calories, so does gardening, that’s not a suitable replacement for working out either. Walking in daily life is how we get from point A to B. Even if you walk an hour a day at power walking speeds, it’s still not enough to give you significant benefits to your body.


Excuse 7: “I have too many injuries/health problems.”

It is really frustrating when you can’t exercise like you used to, or without limitations. I understand that. But truthfully, no matter how serious your issues are, you can still find modes of exercise to work around your injuries, or medical conditions. And you can always improve your fitness and health. Of course if you need medical clearance, you should always consult your doctor and seek the guidance and supervision of a qualified fitness professional. Believe it or not, even serious heart issues don’t necessarily always preclude an exercise regimen. No excuses. In fact, if you do not exercise, you will just enter a vicious cycle and your condition will worsen. After all, exercise is medicine.


Excuse 8: “I’m too tired from work/school/taking care of the kids.”

Ironically, exercise releases dopamine in the brain which improves mood, reduces fatigue, and guess what?- boosts energy. You’ll have more energy to chase those kids, show the boss you’re a top producer and not feel lethargic during lessons. With a regular fitness program, your body becomes more efficient at energy production and converting nutrients into fuel. It’s hard to break the cycle and start-up, but once you get going you’ll feel a noticeable improvement immediately. Get moving!


Excuse 9: “My schedule is irregular and/or I travel a lot.”

What is “regular” anyway? As I’ve said previously, you don’t need much to exercise. Waking up 45 minutes earlier while away is easy to do. Some push ups, jump rope, resistance band presses and rows and a whole lot more can all be incorporated into a routine wherever you are. As for timing, exercise is not rigid and restrains you to exercise only at a certain timing. Consistency is what you’re after. Shooting for 3 days a week is completely do-able, even for the traveling workaholic.


Instead of looking for excuses not to exercise, look for reasons to exercise to counter these excuses. Do share below your personal favourite excuses for exercise and the reasons you are exercising. “We are what we repeatedly do. Therefore excellence is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle.


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