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Overcome These 5 Excuses Stopping You Exercising

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Exercise can be time-consuming, which leads many of us to come up with excuses to miss the gym.

However, doing so regularly can prevent you from being successful and leave you ruing the inconsistency of your exercise habits.

In this article, I’m going to address some of the most common excuses that I hear about not getting to the gym and touch on how you can avoid falling victim to them.

I Have No Time For The Gym

Having no time to exercise is easily the number one excuse echoed throughout the health and fitness community. But really, it’s probably one of the most legitimate.

I get it – exercising is time-consuming and if you actually want to change your body you’ll have to consistently incorporate exercise into your weekly routine, 3 times per week at the very least.

While many people would tell you to just suck it up or make it happen, I’m sympathetic to the fact that many of us lead extremely busy lives and often times it seems that exercise simply doesn’t have a place.

Fortunately for people like me, exercise has become an integral part of my life. I feel a bit lost when I’m not able to exercise. For you, however, you’ll need to begin adjusting your schedule to make exercise not only a habit, but also an integral part of your day.

First, I suggest reevaluating your schedule and figuring out when would be the most natural and easy time of your day and week to incorporate exercise. The key here is to attempt to adjust your schedule as little as possible, since you want to incorporate it into your current routine.

Based on your current schedule, I suggest attempting to find a good stretch of free time, such as your regular work lunch period or directly after work or even before.

Just know that when doing this, you may have to adjust the time you spend with other activities. For example, with this new routine you might need to wake up a bit earlier or begin eating lunch at your desk.

It’s very likely that you’ll need to adjust your schedule a bit, but attempting to adjust as little as possible will make it more likely that you’ll stick to it.

Bottom Line: Exercise can be time-consuming. Just attempting to fit your exercise into your routine, without careful thought, is a recipe for disaster. Find ways to adjust your current schedule minimally to accommodate your new fitness lifestyle.

I’m Exhausted From Work

Being exhausted from work is obviously another perfectly legitimate reason for not wanting to go to the gym and, in this situation, you have a couple of choices that you’ll need to make in order to successfully get to the gym regularly.

First off, you need to decide how important this change is to you. Do you need to exercise for health reasons? Do you just want to be able to play with your kids? Do you want to see your abs?

All of these questions, and more, need to be answered so that you can begin to make an appropriate decision. If exercise becomes a necessity for you, scheduling around your tiredness from work will be essential.

Second, you’ll need to consider if you can exercise before you work. If you constantly find yourself being too exhausted after work, the simplest solution would be to exercise beforehand. Obviously this is easier said than done, but sometimes the best answer is not necessarily the easiest but may be the most obvious.

Third, consider adjusting your workouts. If you’re strapped for time, it’s perfectly acceptable to shorten or change your workout routine to accommodate. For example, even just doing a 10-minute workout with resistance bands, or a HIIT session,  is far more beneficial than doing no exercise at all.

While being too tired from work is a completely legitimate reason to avoid the gym, eventually you’ll need to decide if exercise is important enough to you to consider adjusting your schedule. 

Bottom Line: If you’re too tired from work to exercise, consider exercising before or during your work hours. Further, consider even shortening your workouts if need be. Some exercise is better than no exercise.

I Have To Make Dinner For The Family

I get it, you’re a mother and you need to feed the family. Obviously doing so takes priority. That’s why I suggest a few different things to overcome this obstacle.

Step one would obviously be to exercise at a time that doesn’t conflict with making dinner. This would mean attempting to exercise in the morning, afternoon, just before dinner or, though perhaps not ideal, also afterwards.

Second, you should consider meal prepping for the family. No, I’m not talking about Tupperware containers but rather, cook meals in bulk. Examples would be casseroles, lasagna, soups, and chili. While you can make these in large batches, they also keep quite well when frozen.

By having large, family-sized meals already prepped, you should free up some time availability to exercise during the rest of the week when you would normally be laboring away in the kitchen.

Third, get the family involved with dinner and/or exercise. If you find that you don’t have the time, the first suggestion is to have your family exercise with you. That way, there’s a clear definition of when you can workout and when the family should expect dinner.

Second, if your children are old enough, have them contribute to dinner. Doing so will not only get them involved in family time, but it will also free up a bit of time for you to exercise, either before or after dinnertime.

Bottom Line: If you’re tasked with making dinner for the family, I suggest prepping large meals like casseroles to make things easier. Alternatively, get the family involved in either exercise sessions or the dinner-making process to ensure that you’ll have time.

I Feel Like I Need A Rest Day

Feeling like you need a rest day is a perfectly legitimate reason for wanting to skip the gym, but it’s a temptation that can soon turn into habit. If you’re presented with this situation, I suggest treading lightly.

Saying that makes it seem like taking a rest day is forbidden, but that’s not what I’m trying to convey. I’m simply trying to express the importance of not creating bad habits.

Telling yourself that rest days are justified, when you’re actually just being a bit lazy (it’s okay, I do it too) can begin to create bad habits, where you’re justifying avoidance of the gym for arbitrary reasons.

However, I recognize that this occurs, even in my own life. When you experience this, you first need to consider your previous workouts. Did you exercise a lot recently? Are you very sore and tired?

If you answer yes to these questions, taking a rest day may be warranted. However, if you find that your recent workouts were not very intense or not very recent, it’s possible that you’re simply talking yourself out of exercising.

In these situations, if I feel there’s a possibility that I am just being lazy, then I will always go to the gym. Often times walking through the doors is motivation enough to get me hyped for a workout. Believe it or not, many of these instances turn into really fantastic workouts.

If you answered yes to those previous questions, take a rest day. Overall, one rest day will probably benefit you and won’t significantly hurt you. Just make sure that you’re resting for the right reasons.

Bottom Line: If you need a rest day, then take one. Just make sure that you’re taking that rest day for the right reasons.

Exercise Isn’t Fun

While I can’t necessarily relate to this excuse, I understand that many people just don’t find lifting weights interesting. If this describes you, then I suggest that you stop trying to do so.

Exercise is meant to be beneficial and enjoyable and if you’re not enjoying it, what’s the point? If you find yourself in this situation, I suggest attempting to find some form of physical activity that you actually enjoy. Doing so will allow you to incorporate it into your life with relative ease.

Many people I know simply don’t enjoy lifting weights that much, but do enjoy running or cycling outdoors and even indoors. Some like basketball or even Frisbee.

At the end of the day, just about any form of activity will positively benefit your life and health. While I’m an avid proponent of lifting weights, that doesn’t always fit with people’s preferences. Find a form of activity you do enjoy and stick to it.

Bottom Line: If you find that exercise just isn’t fun for you, try to find other physical activities to incorporate into your lifestyle. Weight lifting isn’t the only form of exercise.

training excuses

Overcoming Excuses

We are all human and often have excuses for just about everything, but that’s okay. However, finding ways to overcome the excuses to get the exercise activity you need to train is essential.

Overall, discovering ways to incorporate exercise into your routine with minimal adjustment will be a key to achieving success with your training. Just don’t let your excuses stand in the way!

About the author

Rudy Mawer, MSc, CISSN

Rudy has a 1st class BSc in Exercise, Nutrition & Health and a Masters in Exercise & Nutrition Science from the University of Tampa. Rudy currently works as a Human Performance Researcher, Sports Nutritionist and Physique Coach. Over 7 years he has helped over 500 people around the world achieve long last physique transformations.

He now works closely with a variety of professional athletes and teams, including the NBA, USA Athletics, World Triathlon Gold Medalists, Hollywood Celebrities and IFBB Pro Bodybuilders. If you would like to get in contact or work with Rudy please contact him on social media.

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