By Lynn Bode
told yourself dozens of times that tomorrow
you are going to start exercising. Yet, tomorrow
has come and gone, and you still haven't starting
moving. What's holding you back? What excuse
seems fitting today? And what changes can you
time to face your excuses head-on so that you
can overcome them and begin living a healthier
lifestyle. Following are some of the most common
excuses for skipping exercise, along with practical
tips for combating them.
Don't Have Time
This is by far the most common excuse for not
exercising. People that use this excuse are
actually saying that exercise is not enough
of a priority to make it on their weekly to-do
list. If you fall into this category, it's time
to review your daily priority list.
there is something less important you are doing
for 20 minutes every day that can be replaced
with exercise. After all, exercise is one of
the most important things you can do for yourself
and your family to ensure that you live a long,
full, disease-free life.
Tried and Failed in the Past
It's true that it can be difficult to get motivated
to try something after you have failed in the
past, but isn't your health worth another try?
If you've been unsuccessful at exercising in
the past, then re-evaluate what went wrong.
Did you try to do too much, too quickly? It's
common for new exercises to be overzealous when
starting their workouts and end up either burning
out or getting injured early on.
you set unrealistic goals for yourself? Try
to stick with small goals that are truly achievable.
For example, set a goal that you will work out
three times a week for the next month.
Can't Afford a Gym Membership
You don't have to spend a single minute in a
gym in order to lose weight or improve fitness.
Just walking outside is a great place to start.
Also, home fitness equipment has become very
affordable and accessible. For as little as
$30 you can buy some great home equipment that
will really challenge your body. A resistance
band and an exercise ball allow you to work
every muscle group and even get a cardiovascular
Too Fat (or out-of-shape)
Unless your physician has forbidden exercise,
then it's unlikely this excuse has any validity.
If you are extremely out-of-shape, then you
simply need to start with baby steps. Walking
is always a great place to start. You may need
to start with just five minutes. That's okay.
You can gradually add more time each week.
walking is not an option, try some pool exercises.
At the very least, you can start by getting
active while sitting. There are many beneficial
strength training exercises you can do while
Don't Have Any Exercise Equipment
Nice try, but it doesn't require special equipment
to get your heart pumping. Don't underestimate
what you can do with things that are already
in your house. For example, if you have a flight
of stairs in your house then you've got an awesome
way to get your heart rate up with through walking
or running up the stairs. Grab soup cans or
milk jugs filled with sand to immolate dumbbells
for strength training exercises (though you
can buy plastic weights at Walmart and other
stores for a few dollars). Try push-ups and
tricep dips and you'll quickly realize how hard
your body has to work when just using it's own
Don't Know What Exercises To Do
There are literally dozens of ways to learn
what exercises will help you. A great way to
ensure effective workouts is to hire a personal
trainer. You can even hire one online. They
can guide you every step of the way so that
you don't waste any time doing exercises the
wrong way. Also, there are books, online websites,
television shows and videos that offer loads
of advice and tips.
Too Old to Get Started
It may sound cliché, but you are never
too old to get started. Everyone can benefit
from exercising. Even if you are a senior citizen
you can reap many rewards from starting an exercise
program. Okay, so maybe you won't be a marathon
runner or a bodybuilder, but you'll be able
to walk the stairs easier, play with your grandchildren,
improve your balance, improve your strength,
Just Can't Get Motivated
Don't view exercise as a lifetime evil. Set
small, short-term goals to help you get started.
Start with a promise to just take the stairs
instead of the elevator, for example. Then you
might move to scheduling 10 minutes of activity
a couple of times per week. Also, make a list
of all the positive benefits of exercise. Your
list might include giving you more energy, reducing
your health ailments, and so forth. You should
be able to come up with a long list of reasons
why exercise will improve your life. Post it
where you will see it regularly - it will motivate
you to make exercise a priority.
You probably think you hate it because you've
doing activities you don't enjoy. Many people
still have the old "no pain, no gain"
mentality and think that in order for exercise
to be worthwhile you have to be miserable doing
it. This simply isn't true. Consider things
that you really like to do. Do you prefer competitive
situations? Then consider joining a recreational
sports team. Do you enjoy spending time alone?
Perhaps yoga, or an exercise video, or evening
walks will work for you.
I'm Too Tired
This excuse creates a self-defeating cycle because
the more sedentary you are then the more tired
you become. Of course, the more tired you are
then the less appealing exercise sounds. So,
try to nip this excuse in the bud. Exercise
can actually make you feel more revived than
taking a nap. Regular physical activity increases
your energy level. Plus, exercisers tend to
fall asleep faster and sleep better, resulting
in waking up feeling truly rested and energized
for the day.
you find yourself making an excuse not to exercise,
read through these tips again. And remind yourself
of the many benefits of working out: lower body
fat, decreased risk of many diseases, reduced
instances of depression, improved bone density,
reduced risk of injuries, and many more.
Bode is a certified personal trainer
specializing in Internet-based fitness programs.
She founded Workouts For You, which provides
affordable online exercise programs that are
custom designed for each individual. Visit:
for a free sample workout and to sign-up for
their monthly fitness newsletter. Fitness professionals,