Conquering Your Workout – Overcoming 6 Common Excuses For Not Hitting the Gym

How many people do you know that want to actually get fit, or simply lose weight?  Most people I know do. In fact, even the most “in shape” people I know still want to drop a few pounds. And of course, one of the most key factors in losing weight is exercise (sorry diet pills).  The inherent problem that comes with exercise is that despite all of our desires, we lack the motivation to actually do what is necessary to get our butts to the gym. If desire was enough, we’d all have supermodel thighs.  What we need to get those thighs takes a little courage, discipline and getting rid of our negativity we use to make excuses.

Everybody makes excuses; they are a dime-a-dozen and we unfortunately, are capable of coming up with an unlimited number of them! I’m going to go through a few of most popular reasons people cite in for their bad exercise habits, and show you how to get the benefits of a more active lifestyle; hopefully with a “helping” of supermodel thighs.

1. You’re Too Tired.

It’s 5 a.m., your alarm clock starts buzzing and, “just 10 more minutes…,” turns in to an hour extra in bed.

“I was up late last night.”

“It was sooo busy today: work was awful, I ran a ton of errands, the kids!”

The fact is that all of these things are a part of life, and all part of the excuse of, “I’m just too tired.” Even if you have the motivation, you convince yourself that you don’t have the stamina to get in a decent workout. So you don’t.

The good news is that you can beat your excuses! Remember that working-out don’t have to just drain you, it can energize you too! Exercise gets blood pumping to your brain, lifting the fog in your mind, making you feel more alert.  It also releases dopamine and serotonin, both hormones that make you feel great. Have you ever heard of the runner’s high? Well, dopamine and serotonin provide this. Remember, you don’t have to win an olympic medal every time you exercise, you just have to just START your workout. Who knows, you just might feel better after you exercise, and have the rewarding feeling of having accomplished something for yourself during the day.

***A good starter tip is to work out when you have your most natural energy. If you know that you get a second wind around 8pm, put that energy to good use and head out to the gym; use that DVR for all your nightly television. Also, if you know that you are wide awake at 5am. but are exhausted by 5pm, hitting the gym early might just be your thing.

2. There is not enough time.

We all seem to make the excuse of simply not having the time to exercise. The sad truth about this excuse, is we are not prioritizing our fitness. We make time for the things we value and deem the most important in our lives… is your health not important to you? If you really take a look at your time that is spent watching TV, or consuming social media, you’d probably be embarrassed at the total.  How much is it for you, 30 minutes, an hour, more? Rather than spending all your free time binging, most studies that you can find in a simple internet search, show that it only takes 20-30 minutes of physical activity each day to get the benefits of healthier lifestyle.

Most days we do, in fact, have 30 minutes to prioritize our health; we just don’t. However, if actually getting to a gym is a problem, exercising at home can be a decent substitute until we have time to go to the gym. Is your gym on the way to somewhere; work, school or the grocery store?  Keep your gym bag stocked with a change of clothes and just stop in for a quick workout on the way from one errand to another.   Remember, there is always a way to fit the important things in life in to your schedule, your health should be one of them.

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3. Working out alone stinks.

Everyone is different.  Some people love working out alone. Many people need the energy, and social commitment, of others to get their, “exercise on.”  If you fall in to the category of someone who needs others around to push your workout, you can still get past this excuse for skipping your sessions. There are many fitness apps available for you to connect to workout partners either in real life or virtually. If you aren’t already a gym member, become one and you’ll have instant access to all the classes and people who share similar goals. Finding a workout buddy, shouldn’t be difficult or hold you back to working towards your goals. Ask the gym’s receptionist or visit it’s website for classes/groups that suit your needs.

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4. Too embarrassed at the gym.

Being too embarrassed to go to gym usually happens when you are either just beginning the fitness process, or after an extended break from your usual routine.  You might feel like you don’t belong or intimidated by all the “in shape” people you see around you. Get this out of your head right now. Most people at the gym are either too focused on what they are doing, or don’t care what anyone else looks like; the few judgmental folks are simply “bad apples.” If you stick with a gym routine, you will really notice all the diverse body shapes and ages and fitness levels that a right there with you. The gym is for everybody, and everybody started somewhere!  Everyone is on their own journey to fitness they desire. However, you do all have one thing you have in common, the desire to improve your health and the personal value to do something about it!

If struggling with self-conscious feelings is a major worry, try the following:

  • Go the gym during “low-traffic” hours.
  • (8:30 – 10:00 pm on weekdays and 2:00 – 5:00 pm on weekends generally good times for this)
  • Picture everybody naked – just not the hairy guy who stretches a lot; there is always one.
  • Go for short periods of time (20 minutes or so) to just get comfortable with your surroundings.
Remember: eventually you WILL get used to having people around you and internalize that there is absolutely nothing to feel anxious about.

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Make Working Out a Game by Tracking Your Progress!

5. Working out is boring.

It is possible that working out, or your workout in particular seems boring. So maybe, you’ve already been to the gym a few times only to find that 15 minutes on the treadmill or the Stair Master, or even the thought of training on them, just isn’t enticing. It’s ok, working out can seem monotonous at times, but you can avoid that.

Although weight and cardio machines, coupled with free weights are extremely effective; you can still mix things up to get a great workout.  A good idea would be adding “intervals” in to your cardio routine (ex. running for 2 minutes and walking for 1minute for multiple sets). By adding “intervals,” it can give you something to focus on, followed by a well deserved break.  This will help the time you spend seem less boring and also increase your calorie burn.  In time too this will help build endurance and make you stronger.

If you run out of ideas in livening things up, you can always take classes offered by your gym.  There are plenty of spin, yoga and strength training classes.  For extra support, YouTube channels can offer a ton of great tips to vary your exercise; with the benefit of the visual instructions on how to do exercises.  And don’t forget, most gyms offer training services for an extra fee, if you want that personal attention of course.

6. Working out is too much work.

Admittedly, getting in shape can be hard.  However, with a little support, determination and effort doesn’t have to be a monumental task.  If you begin with too intense of an exercise program, and it seems too intense, you shouldn’t feel any guilt in backing off and trying something easier. The key here is to build up the strength and endurance to tackle tackle the hard stuff. Basically, you want to challenge yourself a bit to find your where your fitness level is; then you can build yourself up to a more difficult routine.

When restarting your exercise habits after a prolonged absence from the gym, it can be difficult and somewhat depressing. You might have to step back a few levels and get in to your rhythm again, but your body will soon start to respond they way it once did.  Keep positive and remember how far you have come, or once have come, and that you will get that back. Keep going!

Remember, excuses for not exercising are simply just excuses.  Keep a positive mindset and a great support group that will help encourage you when you feeling like quitting.  Visualize how you will feel when you achieve your goals. Getting to goal is often, quite literally, one step at a time.

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