How to Handle the 5 Most Common Excuses for Skipping a Workout

How to Handle the 5 Most Common Excuses for Skipping a Workout

How to handle the most common excuses for putting exercise on the back burner.

By: Maressa Brown

Whether you’re feeling unmotivated for a day or months on end, we’re all guilty of making excuses to avoid exercise. And we tend to fall back on using the same excuses time and again. Here, five of the most common cop-outs and how to beat them.

1. "I’m too tired." After all of your daily to-dos, who has the energy for a workout? Weight loss and fitness expert Gabi Rose, a formerly obese mom of four, says she knows this one all too well. "When I started working out at 300 pounds, I remember how tired I was and how difficult it was to find that motivation to go to the gym," she shares. She managed to do it, though, thanks to a quick power nap. "I would set my alarm clock to wake me up 60 minutes before my class started, which helped me feel refreshed and ready to go," she explains. Another tip from Rose: "Sometimes a short, brisk walk outside before going to the gym helps wake you up enough or stimulate your senses to get moving."

2. "I can’t go outside because the weather is miserable!" Whether it’s too hot and humid or snow is on the way, it’s easy to blame the weather to avoid going for a walk outside -- let alone make the trek to the gym! The fix: getting your fitness on inside. Make a game of finding moves you can do with your stairs, chairs, living room floors, or doorways, advises the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Simply using body-weight-only exercises can help keep you on track when the weather isn’t cooperating.

3. "I have to watch the kids." Feeling as though you have to keep a trained eye on your little ones -- or being concerned that they’ll distract you from your downward dog in the middle of the living room -- can often be the fallback reason for skipping a workout. When this happens, try involving them, advises Michael Mantell, MD, chief behavior science consultant for the ACE. He suggests including the children in non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), defined as daily activities like walking from a parking space to the grocery store, doing housework, and taking the stairs. You can also try running games (like Red Light, Green Light), anything that involves jumping (like Jumping Jacks), rollerblading, bike riding, or playing a sport as a family.


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4. "I don’t have enough time." With so much on our plates, it can be impossible to even fathom where a workout is going to fit in. But as Rose notes, it can simply be a matter of prioritization and fitting it into your schedule. "Wake up an hour early before your day gets too hectic," she recommends. "Or work out during your lunch hour, which will also help keep your body from crashing in the afternoons." You can also incorporate movement more into daily chores. For example, take a more brisk walk than usual with your pet or stand up often at work. When you sit at your desk, use a Pilates ball instead of a chair. "This will improve your posture and engage your core," notes Rose.

5. "What’s the point?" Whether you’re frustrated because you haven’t gotten the results you wanted in the past or you’re not seeing them now, it’s understandable that you may blow your workout because you feel like it won’t pay off. But there are so many benefits of working out, so you’re better off dealing with your frustration head-on by enthusiastically setting goals that are smart, realistic, attainable, and revisable, suggests Dr. Mantell. The positive reinforcement you’re looking for can also come in the form of pats on the back from friends on social media or an exercise buddy.

What’s your most common exercise excuse -- and how have you beat it?

Maressa Brown is a senior staff writer for The Stir. She loves writing about and reading up on health/fitness, relationships, and pop culture -- preferably on a beach somewhere.

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