“But I work late.”
“Life is too busy to exercise.”
“I’m too tired.”
“I have to take care of the kids.”
Raise your hand if you’ve heard any of the above excuses for not squeezing in your daily dose of exercise. I bet good money that most of us are guilty of saying them, too. I know I am! But take a minute to step back and think if your excuses are valid, and I bet most of the time they are just that – excuses. Lifestyle changes like eating better and working out are hard at first, but I will let you know that it gets easier, it really does. It’s all about changing your thinking and making a habit stick.
I don’t consider myself an expert at working out or motivating people, but with my life the way it is, I find that I don’t really have time for excuses. It’s either DO IT or NOT, and NOT isn’t an option when it comes to reaching a goal. Here are some ways to combat excuses and turn can’ts into cans.
Excuse 1: I don’t have enough time.
Well, first off, that’s complete crap. Yes, I said that, and I don’t care if you think the answer is rude. It’s true, and I really hate this excuse more than any other. Everyone has at least a small window of time to fit in physical activity. Think of the time you spend on social media, watching Netflix or TV, checking email, sitting on the couch, etc. Those are all prime opportunities to exercise, and with some of those activities, you can combine the exercise with them. Do some squats and crunches during commercial breaks. If you have a treadmill or other piece of exercise equipment, use it while watching your favorite movie or show (Making a Murderer marathon, anyone?). For every minute you spend checking Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, make up for it by doing that many burpees or push-ups. Also, no one said you need to exercise all at once. Break it up! Do a short walk or run in the morning and maybe another a night. There is always time.
Excuse 2: Working out is boring.
The only one making a workout boring is you! It’s all in your control. Don’t like running? No problem! Switch it up. Can’t stand burning calories on your own? Grab a friend or join a workout group. As long as your body is moving, that’s a good thing. Check out the thousands of workout videos online to find one you enjoy. See what kind of opportunities are offered at your gym or fitness center and try them out. Don’t have a gym or fitness center membership? No problem because some communities, like mine, have programs that offer free fitness opportunities. If you live in Lorain County, Ohio and haven’t checked out United We Sweat, you should. Also, local parks are free and offer a change of scenery and a chance to get up close and personal with nature.
Excuse 3: Working out is hard when you have kids.
This is one excuse that holds a little weight because it is harder to fit in a workout when you are a parent. It is not, however, impossible, and for the record, you are not neglecting your kids if you take some time for yourself to focus on being a healthier you! If you have a little one, try to sneak in a video when your sweet bundle is sleeping or playing. Consider buying a jogging stroller, so you can make the baby/toddler part of the workout. Taking your baby for a walk in a regular stroller or pulling a wagon is still exercise. For older kids, make it a family affair and include them in the fun! You’re not only getting your exercise in, but you are setting a great example for your kiddles. Plus, the kids provide a little more motivation and accountability to keep going. In my case, the kids have done workout videos with me at home or hopped in to do planks, push-ups, and wall sits, and they ride bikes and scooters and sometimes run with me at the local park. When you’re considering family activities, do ones that center on physical activity, such as roller skating, bike riding, kick ball, or sled riding. You’ll have so much fun that you’ll forget it’s actually a workout.
Excuse 4: I’m too tired.
Often, I think people are too tired from not moving their bodies enough as opposed to too much during the day. Too much sitting can make you tired and unmotivated to do anything. There’s a reason why they say sitting will kill you! Instead of giving in to the tiredness, get up and get moving! I know that after a long day of meetings or conferences, I’m beat when I get home, but as soon as I get that run in, I’m full of energy. Knowing I will feel so great when I’m done helps motivate me to get out there. Try it; it works! I also found that when I go through periods when I’m not exercising, I don’t sleep as well; thus, I’m tired. Regular exercise helps perks me up during the day and helps my body rest at night, making me feel fabulous.
Excuse 5: I have no motivation.
Then give yourself some motivation! This is completely under your control. Add some new songs to your playlist that help pump you up. Set goals for the week or month and reward yourself when you meet them. My personal favorite rewards are cupcakes, Chipotle, or beer! Set aside a jar and add a dollar for each mile you run/bike/swim and see how much you earn at the end of the year. Buy a new piece of workout gear or clothing. Join a group, either in-person or online, that can support your fitness efforts. Write down your goals and hang them as a reminder of what you want to accomplish. Have a little friendly competition with family or friends. There are so many options, but what’s important is finding what really motivates you.