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. Believe me, we hear them all.
Listed below are the top 10 and some creative ways to overcome those excuses.
- I’m too tired
Believe it or not exercise 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!
- 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.
- Exercising with a friend can motivate you to keep your commitment to exercise even when you are tired. Once committed to a friend you will be less likely to back out since they are depending on you.
- 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? Can you extend your lunch break in the middle of the day to allow for a brisk walk? Exercising after work might sound exhausting, but it will actually calm and invigorate you.
- NOTE: Exercise cannot make up for either not enough or poor quality of sleep or poor nutrition. But that’s for another email.
- It’s too expensive
The cost of gym memberships can vary widely — from $10 to over $200 a month. In 2015 nearly 55 million Americans were members of a fitness center. However, 67% of those 55 million people never used their memberships.
- Find a place that makes the workout fun, that holds you accountable. A place where everyone knows if you show or don’t show and actually care. A place vested in helping you reach your goals. Working out can actually make you money in the long run too. Read 5 ways joining CrossFit PTC can make you money HERE.
3. I don’t have time or I am 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.
- 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. Soon that found time will become part of your schedule. Walk every time you are on the phone so that you can knock out some more steps.
- Find a gym that offers childcare (We all have families at CrossFit PTC and know the importance of our childcare.). The time to work on yourself will make you a better parent.
- If your kids are young, pop them in a stroller and take a few laps around the neighborhood. As they get older, exercise while your child is at their after-school practice. Walk briskly around the ball field or run up and down the school stairs during music class. For extra motivation, team up with another parent so you have an exercise buddy.
- Exercise with your kids. Go bike riding, swimming, or walk around the block and explore the neighborhood with your children.
- How much television do you watch? Don’t allow yourself to watch TV unless you are exercising or have already exercised that day. While watching TV, use resistance bands for strength training, walk in place or pedal away on an exercise bicycle.
- I lack motivation
If losing weight or your general health isn’t enough of reason to exercise and you need extra incentives, look for ways to find what will work to motivate you to get moving.
- Challenge yourself. Make a chart or keep a log (Google “Exercise Chart” for examples) or track your workouts using a tracking app.
- Find a buddy to hold you accountable. You can motivate each other.
- Give yourself a reward for meeting your fitness goals – a reward that you really want. If you love massages, book a massage at the end of every month you complete your target number of work outs.
- Find a gym that does all of the above. At CrossFit PTC we use Wodify to track all of your workouts. You will get a gold star when you have done bested yourself and a big WOOT! From the rest of the class. We will also be the ones with some help from your classmates to hold you accountable. Don’t show up for a few days and we will be reaching out. Wodify will also reward you at the end of the month with recognition for doing an outstanding job.
- 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.
- Ask a friend to meet you for a weekend walk or see if some colleagues want to join you for a class after work. Exercising with a partner or a group increases motivation and consistency. See EXCUSE #4, Solution #2
- Friends aren’t into exercise? We have been called the “Cheers” of the CrossFit world. You know, where everybody knows your name. Come on into one of our classes and find your new exercise buddies.
- It’s boring
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.
- Find fun exercises that you enjoy. Try inline skating, biking, or gardening. Join a mommy walking group. Sign up for Zumba or a cycling class. Join a sports league. Or go dancing. There’s an exercise for everyone!
- Exercising with a friend can be fun and great entertainment! Join a group (see EXCUSE #5, Solution #2) or round up friends to join you on a hike, take a bike ride, go dancing, or take a class at the gym. Every once in a while, try something totally new. Mix it up so you don’t get bored.
- If it makes exercise more enjoyable for you, it’s OK to watch TV, listen to a podcast or read while you’re on the exercise bike or treadmill, as long as your workout is still challenging.
- CrossFit can seem intimidating at first, but it really does hit all of these solutions and roles them into a nice 30 min to 1-hour package. There is really nothing to be intimidated about. We will meet you at your level and be thrilled to watch you progress!
- 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.
- If exercise is hard on your joints, try swimming or take a water fitness class. Exercising in water is easier on your joints and the stronger your muscles get, the more they can support your joints and the less you’ll hurt. If your physical limitations are more serious, check with your doctor, or find an athletic trainer who can help you figure out exercises that are still safe and easy to do.
- Bicycling is great exercise for people of all ages and physical types. Once you learn how to ride a bike, you never forget that skill because it becomes part of your unconscious memory. You can bike with friends or on your own.
- 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. Many gyms offer FREE 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.
- Our trainers have gone through extensive training for folks of all ages, levels, sizes and limitations. Like I said in EXCUSE #6, Solution # 4, we will meet you at your level. We offer private training and nutrition coaching as well as group classes. We can build a plan that meets all your needs.
- I never stick with it
If you set goals that are small and realistic, you will be more likely to feel like a success, not a failure.
- 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 (see EXCUSE #4, Solution #1).
- Having an exercise buddy keeps you accountable. You are more likely to show up to exercise if you know someone is expecting you to be there.
- I don’t like to sweat
Sweat is your body’s way of cooling and detoxifying itself. The amount of sweat you produce depends on several factors including your gender, age, fitness level, genetics and how hard you are working. If you are avoiding exercise because you hate to sweat or don’t have time to freshen up, here are a few ideas…
- Work out first thing in the morning, before you shower and get ready for your day.
- Try wearing sweat-wicking workout apparel.
- Break up exercise into shorter chunks during the day. Take a 15-minute walk during your lunch break and 15-minutes after work.
- If you don’t like getting sweaty, you can work out indoors where it’s air conditioned. You can swim. CrossFit PTC is a temperature controlled facility which definitely helps in the sweat category!
10. I don’t to work out around the opposite sex
Exercising around the opposite sex can often make you feel uncomfortable, or inadequate.
- Hire a private trainer. Studies have shown that a having a private trainer can speed up your results in less time! We have both sexes to choose from at CrossFit PTC.
Adapted from https://theheartfoundation.org/2018/06/01/the-top-10-excuses-for-not-exercising-and-solutions/