There will always be a good reason to skip your workout and sit on the couch a few minutes longer. We are all overscheduled and too busy, but don’t let these excuses interfere with your health. Schedule your exercise into your routines and don’t skip them. Surround yourself with healthy friends and family members who support your goals, and keep your body fueled with real food. You will always have an excuse, the key is not giving in and letting them win.
Here are a few of the most common excuses I hear and what you should be telling yourself to combat them.
- Look at what you are actually spending your time on and eliminate unnecessary or unimportant things from your schedule.Reassess your priorities – your health should be high among them.
- Look for opportunities to combine exercise with other activities, like spending time with the kids and walking or exercising while watching TV.
- Plan your day and schedule your workout time.
- Simply get up earlier or stay up later.
- Remember, exercising for even 15 minutes a day is better than nothing.
- For food, meal planning is the key to healthy eating for the time challenged.
Too many other priorities.
- Change your priorities and let everyone around you know what they are.
- Remind yourself how important your exercise goal is to your health and happiness.
- Keep a photo of yourself or how you want to look close at hand to reminding you of your priorities.
- Simplify your life, maybe you’re trying to do too much.
I can’t do it alone.
- Join a gym.
- Contact a local personal trainer.
- Make an appointment with a dietitian.
- Visit your local weight loss specialist.
- Educate yourself by reading articles on exercise and healthy diets.
- Don’t confuse help with doing all the work for you – at the end of the day what you do will determine whether you succeed or not.
I don’t get enough support at home.
- Support is great, but you can succeed without it if you have to.
- People will become more supportive if they know you’re serious and see first hand the effort you’re putting in.
- Get started anyway and you’ll find the support comes as you prove how committed you are and begin to get the results you crave.
- Almost everybody over 30 has some form of injury or ailment to deal with; the key is to find ways of working around them.
- Find something you can do, if you can’t run, walk, if you can’t walk, swim, if you can’t swim, cycle, or dance, or rollerblade, or play tennis.
- Get advice or help from your local GP, physiotherapist, chiropractor, or personal trainer.
- Injuries aren’t an excuse to eat poorly so don’t try to manage your injury frustrations with unhealthy food. If you’re injured be that much better on your eating plan.
I’m too out of shape.
- This is the reason you should exercise, not the reason you shouldn’t.
- Start with simple exercise at a relatively low intensity (such as slow walking) and build up to something more strenuous.
- Remember to talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program.
- Just keep moving.
I’m too upset.
- Exercise and healthier eating are great ways to help you cope with the many stresses of life. Try taking your frustrations out on a punching bag and I promise you’ll feel better and burn valuable calories.
- I’m too busy taking care of the family or kids.
- Incorporate them in your exercise routine and make healthier meals for all of you.
- If you have very small children, push them around your local park, with older children walk next to them while they ride their bikes, go swimming together or take them to the zoo and just walk around.
I do enough exercise at work.
- Even very active jobs aren’t necessarily well balanced so plan your exercise programs accordingly.
- You need to strategically stress your muscles on a regular basis, this is something that your work can’t do – unless your work involves 4 hours of push ups a day.
I’m too tired.
- Exercise and healthier eating will help you get better quality sleep.
- Your energy levels will be increased, so you’ll be able to cope better with all of life’s challenges.
- If you lead a busy lifestyle and add exercise on top you will feel a little more tired for the first few weeks, but after that your body will adjust and you’ll have more energy than ever.
I don’t want to miss out.
- Social event you might miss? Shorten your workout, but don’t skip it. Show up 30 minutes late if you can, leave early, or plan to wake up in the morning if you know you have a social event that night.
- Special dessert or food you want to try? Find someone to split it with. Take a bite (or two), but don’t eat the whole thing.
It’s too hot, too cold, or it’s raining outside.
- If you know it’s going to be hot, exercise in the early morning or late evening when it’s cooler, or exercise in an air-conditioned space.
- If it’s too cold, wear a few layers of clothes to start with and shed these layers as you body warms up from the exercise.
- If it’s raining outside, exercise inside.
- Plan ahead – this is no excuse!
Exercise is boring.
- Find an exercise that you like or dislike the least – there are plenty of choices.
- Remember your priorities – exercise isn’t for entertainment, it’s to help make you happier and healthier.
- Varying your routine can help you overcome exercise boredom.
- The fitter and stronger you become, the more you’ll enjoy exercise.
I’m too heavy.
- If you are very heavy, speak to your doctor before exercising to find the safest exercise program for you.
- Start out slow and easy.
- Being heavy doesn’t stop you from eating less and more nutritionally.
I can’t afford a personal trainer.
- Personal trainers are great if you can afford them but if you can’t do some reading on what and how to exercise correctly and safely, and be prepared to motivate yourself.
- Most personal trainers offer group training sessions at a reduced cost.
- Hire a personal trainer just for a few weeks to get you started and then for a session or two later to check your progress.
I can’t afford fitness equipment.
- Again, good quality exercise equipment can be very beneficial to anyone trying to lose weight, but there are a multitude of simple exercises that you can do without fancy equipment.
- Not all fitness equipment is expensive; a good jump rope can be purchased for between $10 and $20 and a quality fitness ball for between $50 and $100.
I can’t afford to eat healthy.
- Natural healthy food like fresh fruit and vegetables is the cheapest food around!
- Don’t necessarily equate additives in foods (such as added fibre for example) with being healthy.
Exercise is really hard.
- It doesn’t need to be hard to be effective.
- Easy exercise is better than no exercise at all.
- Heart rate monitors are very useful in helping ensure your aerobic exercise is done at the right intensity.
- Exercise becomes easier the more of it you do.
I don’t know where to start.
- Start by seeing your doctor for a health check.
- Read books, articles, join a gym, hire a personal trainer or book an appointment to see a dietitian.
I don’t know anything about nutrition.
- Good nutrition doesn’t need to be complicated.
- Start simply by reducing the amount of food you eat (portion control), compare nutritional information for similar packaged foods you eat and improve your knowledge of nutrition over time by reading.
- Focus on a low sodium and low sugar diet
- Eat Real Foods, nothing packaged or processed.
I’m too old.
- You’re never too old to benefit from healthier living, just be sure to see your doctor first before starting an exercise program and take it easy to begin with.
- Don’t believe the myth that as we get older we naturally become larger, becoming larger for most of us is a matter of lifestyle, not age.
- Protect your bones by building them stronger. When you are old it is most important to keep up with a strength program to your abilities.
I might fail.
- You haven’t failed until you give up.
- Think positively and stay committed.
I’ll start tomorrow.
- Stop starting “tomorrow” – Just do it today!
I hate exercise.
- Exercise can be fun – try dancing, sightseeing, walking the dog or playing catch with your children for example.
- I don’t care if you hate it, you have to do it for a stronger heart.
I can’t get motivated.
- Setting clear goals and having a progressive plan combined with the right intensity of desire are the keys to motivating yourself.
- If you need help, get it. When I can’t find the motivation, I borrow someone elses and meet them for a workout class.
- Being around others with the same goals as you can be very motivating, so consider exercising with a friend or joining a healthy eating club.
If you can’t find your excuse on the list, and can’t find a way to combat it, email me directly and I will help. Don’t let your excuses win!