We always start out with the best intentions: I'm going to get in shape! I'm going to hit the gym 5 days a week or run a mile at lunch or walk 2 miles in the mornings before work. You know how it goes. But, if you are like most people, you end up giving up on a regular exercise plan in a few weeks, or maybe just a few days.
We can all come up with a million excuses to skip the workout and get off track. What if, instead of looking at exercise as all or nothing, we looked at it just a bit differently? You may find it much easier to stick with and might even find you start to look forward to working out. Yes - it CAN happen!
Here are five common excuses and the best ways to conquer them:
Excuse #1: I don’t have an hour a day to work out. This is most frequent excuse I hear. For some reason, we think that if our workout isn’t 45–60 minutes long, it’s not worth it. But, studies show that shorter workouts can be just as (if not more) effective. I’ve seen so many people go to the gym for an hour or more, but the actual time they spend exercising is probably 20 minutes or less.
If you have a plan and stay focused, you can get a great workout in 30 minutes or less. Can't even squeeze 30 minutes into your busy day? Try several 10 minute sessions throughout the day. Or, once in a while do a 10 minute ab workout. Something is better than nothing and keeps you moving and on track towards your goal. Just make your goal to move a little each and every day.
Also, start slow. You don't have to start with 5-7 days per week. Maybe you start with a plan to fit in three 10 minute sessions a week. Once you've got that down, gradually build up your exercise and I bet you'll be more likely to make the time eventually.
Excuse #2: I’m too tired/sore/exhausted to exercise.
Well, this CAN be valid but, rather than continuing to blow off your workouts forever because of it, it’s important to figure out why you are so tired, sore or exhausted all the time. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, then focus on that first. Sleep is crucial to a good health.
If you are too sore from a previous workout to walk (or sit down), then it’s understandable you aren’t going to be able to get through that next workout. While some muscle soreness when starting a new program is normal, extreme soreness could mean you are doing too much, too quickly. It's better to back off a bit at the beginning and ease your way into it than to do one KILLER workout that leaves you laying on the couch for days.
Be sure to progress your workouts gradually. Master the basics first. If you aren’t sure how best to do this, ask. You might consider hiring a certified personal trainer or, if you're a Beachbody customer, talking to your coach.
Finally, if you are too exhausted, exercise may be just what you need. Stress can wipe out your energy fast, but a workout is a wonderful way to release tension and anxiety and just might wake you up. Ask your body what it needs. Some like to blow off steam with a good boxing session, while others may do better with some yoga.
Excuse #3: I only have 20 minutes to exercise during my lunch break, so what’s the point?
While fitting in shorter workouts can help, it’s also important to note that just because you're not a sweaty hot mess afterwards, doesn’t mean your workout is worthless. If your lunch break is your only window of time to move, make it count! You can take a walk for 20 minutes or do a 15 minute Pilates session.
If your lunch hour really is the only time you have to exercise, consider getting your co-workers involved. I know several people who do their Beachbody workouts at lunch time with their co-workers. You never know, there may be many others in your office experiencing exactly the same challenge as you.
Excuse #4: I can’t afford a gym membership or expensive fitness classes.
Gym memberships and fitness classes can get pricey, but there are so many other ways to stay in shape that you shouldn't use this as an excuse to do nothing. Walking or jogging outdoors is free. Doing a series of exercises at home is free. Need a specific plan to follow? Check out MyFitnessPal’s free workout plans or go surfing on Pinterest for fitness. You'll find tons of options.
Wish you could have a personal trainer but it's outside your budget? Check out online subscription services, apps or exercise DVDs that are like having a personal trainer in your house. This is what I do, as a Beachbody Coach. I offer encouragement, tips, motivation and accountability to people who are working out in the comfort of their own home. While these options are still an investment, most are cheaper than a monthly gym fee or class pass. When I add up what I spend on fitness DVDs, it's way cheaper than most gym memberships and I get better results.
Excuse #5: I’m just not motivated to move.
Welcome to 90% of America! The good news is there are countless options out there when it comes to fitness, so think about what works for you. Developing a habit of working out isn’t easy, but it can be much easier if you can find something that you look forward to doing.
What do you enjoy? If you’ve always loved dancing, check out a Zumba class. Love the water? Think about stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking. Love nature? Try hiking or cycling outdoors. Not sure where to start? Through Beachbody, we have some many different exercise options that there is something for everyone. Just ask!
I hope this inspires you to let go of your excuses because you KNOW you should be moving your body. I know you want to be in better shape, fit into those jeans, look good in a bathing suit, have more energy, etc. Can you let go of the idea that if you don’t follow a serious schedule of regular weightlifting, running and yoga that you’ll never get in shape. Start small, start simple. Take it one day at a time, one move at a time. If you do the work every day, you will get the results. It's all about consistency. No, every day won't be perfect and that's ok.