In spite of the well documented benefits of exercising, only 5% of adults in the U.S. exercise the prescribed 30 minutes a day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It is easy to come up with many reasons/excuses for not exercising – I’m too tired. I’m too overweight. I don’t have time.
Below are six of the most common excuses for not exercising and clever solutions to overcome those excuses.
EXCUSE #1: I’m too tired to exercise.
Exercise is a paradox – it can make your muscles physically tired, but you’ll actually feel more energized from it. Exercise increases your blood flow which means that your heart is pumping oxygen to your brain, muscles, and tissues faster. It also promotes the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and natural endorphins that will make you feel better and more energized. Even moderate exercise can improve your energy levels!
- Solution: When you feel too tired to work out, the solution is to actually exercise. Begin with low to moderate intensity exercise. Try walking, biking or yoga. Over time, move into more moderate or high-intensity exercise at a gym.
Exercise during your most energetic time of the day. It may help to work out first thing in the morning before your day gets away from you. Can you wake up 30 minutes earlier or go into work 30 minutes later?
EXCUSE #2: I don’t have time. Or I am a full-time parent.
Between kids, commuting, work and other responsibilities of life, our modern 24/7 lifestyle often leaves us feeling like there is just not enough time in the day to fit in a workout. Exercise becomes a low priority in our already crammed schedules.
- Solution: Instead of trying to find time to work out, think about how you can make time. Some activity is better than none. The trick is to find a block of time in your daily schedule that’s consistently free of commitments. That might be before or after work, during your lunch hour, or after dropping the kids off at school. The time commitment can be minimal. Start with 10 minutes in your day. The next week, go for 11 minutes and the following week, 12 minutes. Soon that found time will become part of your schedule.
EXCUSE #3: I don’t like to exercise alone.
It is sometimes hard to get motivated to exercise on your own. Having an exercise buddy can help. Exercising with a friend can make your workout time fly by and give you an extra incentive to push a little harder. It is also easier to make an excuse to not exercise when no one holds you accountable.
- Solution: Ask a friend to join the gym with you, or see if some colleagues want to join you. Exercising with a partner or a group increases motivation and consistency.
EXCUSE #4: I get bored easily. Exercise is no fun.
The key to beating boredom is to find an exercise program that both caters to your fitness level and that you actually look forward to. It is also important to switch things up every few weeks or months so that you don’t fall into a routine.
- Solution: Find fun exercises that you enjoy. Sign up for our various classes, including Zumba class at Fitness NC.
If it makes exercise more enjoyable for you, it’s OK to listen to a podcast or read while you’re on the exercise bike or treadmill, as long as your workout is still challenging.
Make a list of exercises you don’t like and then a list of activities you might be willing to try. Work your way down the list until you find one or several that you enjoy. If you enjoy what you are doing, you will be more apt to continue.
EXCUSE #5: I’m too old/fat/uncoordinated/embarrassed to exercise.
When something is foreign or uncomfortable, it’s a natural response to avoid it. Whether you feel too old, too overweight, or ridiculous in workout clothes, there is a simple solution. Start small, but start with something.
- Solution: If you’re self-conscious about your weight, you could start by walking with friends, working out in the privacy of your home, or exercising with a trainer who’s supportive. Wear clothes that feel comfortable.
Are you unfamiliar with the equipment at the gym? No one wants to look like a newbie when trying to figure out a weight training machine. BUT, remember that everyone was new at one time. We offer services to members so that they understand how to use equipment and set up a routine to get results and do it safely. Join a class that can show you how to strength train and how to use different pieces of equipment. Bring a friend that has a bit more knowledge than you! Ask the front desk attendant about days and times when there are fewer members around.
EXCUSE # 6: I’ve tried before. Or I can’t stick with a program.
If you set goals that are small and realistic, you will more likely feel like a success, not a failure.
- Solution: Keep a log and post it in a public space – your refrigerator, or even on Facebook. Your friends and family can offer words of encouragement. A log also helps you see if you’re starting to slack off.
There will always be a “good excuse”. But research has consistently shown in over 70 different studies, nearly every group studied – healthy individuals, those with chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease and even cancer patients – benefited from consistent exercise. No more excuses!!
If interested do take a look at Top 5 Full Body Toning Stability Ball Exercises