By now, we have all heard about the health and wellness benefits of regular exercise. Despite knowing the total positive impact, excuses and perceived shortcomings can create noise in our heads that seem insurmountable. Here are some of the most common excuses used to avoid getting in a workout and ideas to combat them.
When you’re short on time. Today’s world is a busy one – we all have what feel like endless to-do lists. When we already feel strapped for time, how do we carve out even MORE time to get in a workout? One way is to split up your workout. If you only have 10 minutes a couple times a day, TAKE IT and maximize those 10 minutes. Set an alarm every 60-90 minutes during the work day and force yourself to get up and take a walk, go up and down some stairs, or at the very least stretch. By getting creative, you may not have a traditional workout but you will get in some movement and physical activity and THAT adds up.
When you get bored easily or don’t know what you like. This is one that many can relate to, myself included. I get bored when I keep doing the same thing over and over again – and so does your body! There are plenty of ways around this. Join a gym that offers multiple classes and start attending a variety of them. Not interested in committing to one singular gym or leery about laying down money before you know you enjoy a specific workout? In many cities across the country, the answer to this is ClassPass or FitReserve. These services offer unlimited classes at many boutique gyms and studios for a monthly fee which enables passholders to participate in a completely different class every single day.
When you’re short on cash. Living life is expensive! Overcoming a budget deficit to work out can be easier than you think. If you are set on working out at a gym or studio, price shop. Many trainers and gyms offer discounts for working out at certain times or simply to try them out. If you aren’t married to the idea of working out at a gym, make the investment in a few key pieces for your home. Resistance bands, yoga mats and hand weights are fairly affordable. Plus, there are TONS of reputable free workouts that can be found in apps and online. While that initial equipment purchase may hurt a little, it’s a one time fee for items you will always have.
When you’ve never worked out before. So you’re new to working out and have no idea where to start – that is SCARY. Don’t be afraid to talk to a professional trainer for how to start. Also set small, manageable goals for each day or week that are more health focused than weight loss focused. For example, make a goal to be to get adequate (7-8 hours) of sleep each night and start taking the stairs instead of the elevators instead of lose 20 lbs in 3 months. You want to provide yourself with direction and measureable goals in order to feel successful. Also prepare yourself to face setbacks and prepare ahead for how to deal with them.
When you lack motivation. Going through a phase where you just don’t feel it is totally normal. So how do you get on track? Create rewards for yourself. If you make all the workouts you planned to in a week, buy yourself a small treat. Reached a month of great workouts? Those shoes you’ve been lusting after have been calling your name. Motivated more by making (and losing) money? Sign up for Pact – an app that literally pays you to stay on track of self-set goals. Miss your goals? Part of the Pact is authorizing the app to charge your Paypal or credit card (which goes into a pot of money from other Pact breakers to pay those to meet their goal). If rewards won’t help you, find a friend who is just a little further than you on their fitness journey and make them your accountability partner. People are far less likely to let down a friend.
When you have “gym phobia.” You earnestly want to workout out but are apprenhensive about visiting a gym. Perhaps you are overweight and the idea of being the biggest one there is a turn off. Maybe you don’t know what you’re doing and you’re afraid of looking foolish. Guess what? That’s NORMAL. Forcing yourself to go (or recruiting a friend to come with you) is one way to conquer it. In seeing that nothing bad actually happens, you may begin to feel more comfortable. If you just HATE the gym no matter what, that’s ok too. The gym isn’t for everyone. Luckily, there are plenty of workout videos, apps and routines for the park and the road that can be just as effective.
Finding a way through the noise in order to get into a fitness routine can take some creativity but it is more than possible. What is your biggest challenge when it comes to working out?