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Just Do It: Top 5 Excuses for Not Exercising

Nike makes a great point.  Those three simple words – Just Do It – really sums up a lot of things in life.  Even when we know something is good for us or that we should be getting our butt in gear, it can be extremely hard to motivate.  We, as a species, have become masters of creating excuses…whether it be ‘the dog ate my homework’ or ‘I had a hard week and therefore deserve to eat a whole bag of Chips Ahoy’, we find ways of procrastinating and getting out of so many seemingly basic ‘have tos’, ‘shoulds’ and ‘need tos’.

Unfortunately, the more often we make excuses, the easier it is to perpetuate.  Creatures of habit, we get used to things…whether they are good for us or bad for us.  A procrastinator myself, I thought it would be good to talk about excuses that are commonly used to get out of exercising.  The five excuses below are pretty common, but I’m sure there are tons more out there to poke holes through…

#5. I Don’t Feel Well: Ok, if you are in the hospital, are excessively nauseous or have a fever, you probably shouldn’t be running a marathon.  That said, a cold, allergies, a headache, menstrual pains or just ‘not feeling great’ shouldn’t stop you from breaking a sweat.  Is a matter of fact, exercise can sometimes cure some of the most common ailments, including: hangovers and colds.  Sweating, a form of detox, allows you to release toxins that are guilty of making you feel under the weather.  So next time you have a sniffle, get out there and sweat your sniffles away…

#4. I’m too Tired: This used to be my excuse.  When I got home after work, the idea of putting on my workout clothes and heading to the gym was a very painful concept.  So painful, I sometimes would rationalize that I didn’t need to exercise.  Granted, missing a day or two can be okay, but sometimes I rationalized that I didn’t need to go for several days in a row.  Not good.  The reality is, that exercise can get you over ‘being tired’.  Exercise is helpful with improving and maintaining stable energy levels throughout the day, regular sleep patterns and overall mood.  Exercise also improves regularity (yes, I do mean your digestive tract) and reduces incontinence, which can contribute to a feeling of sluggishness and being tired.

#3. It’s too Early or It’s Too Late: This isn’t too far off from #4.  And actually, if one of these is an excuse, the other shouldn’t be…unless you are a professional sleeper.  When I realized I hated coming home to exercise, and could think of a million other things I’d rather do, I decided that I needed to buck up and get up in the morning to get in the workout.  Yes, it was painful for two or three days, but now, I wouldn’t go back if you paid me.  If you are a morning person, get up and get your exercise groove on in the AM.  If you are a night owl, exercise at night (Although it is healthier to exercise in the morning, it is better to get the exercise in at night than to not get it in at all).  Be sure, however, to leave a couple of hours in between your workout and going to bed so that you give your body enough ‘downtime’ to transition to sleep time.

#2. I’m Traveling: Granted, it can be more challenging to exercise when you are traveling…especially for business…but that doesn’t mean you can’t exercise.  Some tips:

  1. If you are staying at a hotel, try to stay at one that has a fitness center or gym.
  2. If the hotel doesn’t have a gym, walk, jog or run outside.  Make sure you bring appropriate clothing for the weather.  And don’t forget your sneakers!!!  Seriously, forgetting your workout clothes should not be another excuse.
  3. Tuck some fitness DVDs into your suitcase.  Play them on your laptop and exercise in your room.

#1. I don’t Have Enough Time: This is the absolute worst excuse of them all.  Why?  Because you have to make time.  If you don’t prioritize exercise, you will never have enough time for it.  Once you get used to making time, you’ll realize that you always have the time to fit in a workout.  Whether it be squeezing in a brisk walk at lunch, scheduling ‘you time’ in your calendar or developing a daily routine that you can stick to, your time is yours.  So use it wisely.

In short, the trick is to discover the excuses you buy and which excuses don’t fly so that you can Just Do It.  What are some of the worst excuses you have used?

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