So, I thought I would put together my top 5 excuses for not exercising and give you some tips on how to stop making excuses for not doing exercise and actually get exercising.
#5 "I don't know what to do!"
Not knowing what type of exercise you want to do, whether its with an aim to improve a certain aspect of your fitness, to target a problem area, getting into exercise for the first time, or for weight loss, figuring out where to start can be a stumbling point for anyone, especially if you haven't exercised in a while.
The best thing I can suggest is to think about the things you enjoy presently. For example, if you enjoy going out at the weekend to clubs, why not try a dance class like tap dancing or salsa, or a dance based fitness class like Zumba or some kind of aerobics or cheerleading or if you fancy something totally different, what about break-dancing?! There are so many around these days that you will be spoiled for choice. Check out local community centres, churches, colleges/universities, leisure centres and gyms, they are all getting in on the act these days.
Fancy yourself as a bit of a Bruce Lee? Then why not try out a martial arts class. There are martial art specific gyms popping up all over the place, from Kickboxing, Krav Maga, Karate, Ju-Jitsu, there are so many to choose from and they usually offer classes to suit a vast range of fitness levels and experience. If you are unsure just pick one and try it, if you don't enjoy that, then try another.
Another starting point would be to get down to your local gym and talk to one of the staff about your past experience, your goals, likes and dislikes. I am not a great fan of the gym, I just don't enjoy the format of doing 10 minutes on one thing then another. I find it a bit boring, but there are plenty of people out there who do enjoy it and the staff at the gym can help you put together a programme for you to work toward your goals.
Employing a Personal Trainer could also be a good starting point. They can help you identify goals, get you on a fitness programme/regime and also help you with your diet. They won't do the hard work for you, that's up to you, but they are great for tailoring a programme to suit your own needs.
Boot Camps have become very popular. They usually centre around an intensive fitness programme over a short fixed period of time with the aim of getting you fit and achieving fitness goals.
If none of that tickles your fancy, why not go with a friend who is already going to a class just to try it out. If going somewhere sounds daunting, then buy yourself a range of fitness DVDs and get started.
We all need to start somewhere, the important thing is wanting to and getting started. Getting started is the hardest part, once you get going there will be no stopping you.
#4 "Exercise is boring!"
I know I am going to sound like a broken record, but exercise should be fun!
If your excuse to not exercise is because you think it is a boring pursuit, you just haven't found something that suits you yet. If it bores you that much then stop doing it and try something else. Continually subjecting yourself to experiences that you don't enjoy will build a negative thought pattern towards you trying any other types of exercise. How you choose to exercise is a choice, not a way of torturing you (unless you are into the whole torture thing!), so choose to do something you enjoy. In doing something you enjoy, you will be much more motivated and less likely to skip on your exercise sessions.
#3 "I can't be bothered, think I'll give it a miss"
This excuse only flies when you are injured, tired, unwell or you genuinely need a rest day. Being plain old lazy is a pathetic excuse. SO, before you decide to skip on your next session you should be asking yourself why you feel that way:
Is it because your routine is starting to bore you? Maybe you should think about shaking things up a little and trying something new or pushing yourself to do more reps or lift a heavier weight. Is your workout still challenging you? Maybe you need a goal to work towards.
If you do skip it, are you going to regret it? And how are you going to make up for it?
If all else fails, resort to bribery! (It usually works for me) Promise yourself a reward for when you get done with your exercise session. Maybe you have seen something nice you fancied buying yourself but couldn't really justify it, well there's your reason right there! Or maybe you could promise yourself some pampering.
If you do give in to need to take a break, take a night off, put your feet up and take it easy that's ok, just don’t let it turn into a permanent break. If you take too many breaks it will be harder to get back into your regime and delay your progress in achieving your goals.
#2 "What's the point? It's not working!"
If lack of results is frustrating you and putting you in a negative mind set and you feel like giving up then you need to figure out where you are going wrong. It's more than likely down to one of three reasons; your diet, your exercise progamme or you have set yourself an unrealistic goal.
There's no point in giving it your all exercising if you have a poor diet. One thing I have learned after years of giving up, is that you need to have both working together to get results. Eating any old thing when you've busted your chops at the gym is just going to stall your progress. You aren't going to move forward. So review your eating habits, you don't need to make massive changes, start small and see how you get on.
If you have been making an effort with both your diet and your exercise but you aren't getting anywhere, then start keeping a diary of your diet and exercise. It might give you some indication of areas that you could make a change in.
#1 "I don't have the time!"
This was my number one excuse for getting out of exercising. I would always have something else on the cards to get me out of doing exercise. It was never a priority.
I used to convince myself that to get my gym gear together, get to the gym, get some exercise done, then come home, have a shower, and so on.... would eat into my evening and I just didn't have the time for all that fuss. That or something was happening on Emmerdale or Coronation Street that was far more important than me exercising. With things like Sky+ and on demand services that's never an issue these days.
Well, this excuse does not fly either. Everyone has time at some point in their schedule to fit in a bit of exercise. It doesn't need to be hours at a time, 10 minutes here and there will suffice. Sometimes a short blast of exercise is more effective than a long training session. If you are sitting there thinking, 'I really don't have the time', then you are kidding yourself on.
If exercise is not a priority, then you will never make the time for it.
If time is an issue for you sit down with your diary/schedule for the next couple of weeks and start identifying time slots that you can fit in a bit of a workout. There are lots of resources on the web, books and DVDs that specialise in short workouts. More and more gyms are now offering classes that run for 30 minutes for people who are busy and need something quick either in the morning and at lunchtimes. And it doesnt need to be at a gym or a class, skipping for 10 minutes is the equivalent of running a mile, I love my skipping rope for getting a quick blast. Gardening, walking the dog, taking the stairs in work, all of these activities count.
You need to make time, your schedule is never going to magically free up some time for you to exercise. Make it a priority, if it's something that is important to you then you will find the time.