I’ve heard so many excuses for not exercising I could probably write a book on this topic alone.
What it always comes down to though is not so much the excuses themselves (some of which are genuine and understandable, some not so much).
But how people let these excuses become gospel for why they can’t get active, fit some exercise in, and generally move a bit more.
I do want you to know that I get it though. I’m a working Mum of two small children (in fact I worked around them, even before Bella was at school, with very little child free time) with a husband who things housework means moving his feet so I can hoover under them, bless him.
But I’ve learned that by putting time aside for me actually makes me so much more energetic and productive, I actually gain time by working out! Crazy I know, but trust me on this one.
I also have Cyclothymia, a form of Bipolar Disorder, which means my moods and emotional state can be all over the place. But again I learned through experience than rather than using this as a reason to shut off from the world, exercise is a vital part of my mental health maintenance strategy and I’ve managed to stay off medication for a few years now.
I’m not trying to be a martyr here, I just want you to know that I get it.
So let’s take a look at the most common excuses for not exercising and find some solutions for you.
I’m too unfit/weak.
This one baffles me – isn’t some of the reasons to exercise to become fitter and stronger? Everyone has to start somewhere, and I’ve never seen a class that says you’re not allowed to take part unless you’re already an expert at it. If you were already super fit and strong, you probably aren’t even reading this blog.
I don’t have the money
Gym memberships are not necessary. Personal trainers are not necessary. Heck even owning a DVD player or TV aren’t necessary! You know how to walk, run, do something that resembles a sit up or press up? All of those and more are simple to do (if not so easy if you’re new to exercise).
I even have my own library of workout demo videos on YouTube here
I don’t have time
Remember what I said earlier about working out gaining you more time? I can work twice as fast with all the blood pumping to my brain after a workout, and is one of the reasons I like to do it in the morning, to have a productive start to the day. You have to come first if you want this to work. Do the washing up later.
Watch this video after reading too: How to find time to exercise
I’m not a morning person
Do you have to be? Is there another time you could slot in 20 minutes such as while kids are napping, or as soon as you get home from work before starting to cook dinner (which you could even start prepping the day before to cut time)? Maybe you could be a morning person if you cut back on caffeine and alcohol in the evenings and went to bed earlier. After all, and hour before midnight is worth two afterwards.
My kids keep interrupting me.
This will depend on the age of your kids and you might have to choose a time when they’re asleep or occupied (again first thing in the morning while cartoons are on the telly could work), but it doesn’t hurt your kids to learn patience and that actually ‘Mummy is a better mummy’ after a workout. I’ve been working out at home for so long my kids don’t even question it now, which is a great place to reach.
My diary is literally jam packed
That’s why you need to schedule your workouts in too. You wouldn’t miss a dentist appointment would you? So make exercise a part of your routine and turn up like you do for everything else that’s in your diary.
The shops/school are too far to walk to
Walking everywhere is great but it’s just one type of exercise. Nobody would blame you for not wanting to walk 20 miles with the kids everyday before 8:30am, I certainly wouldn’t. Just get steps in elsewhere – work standing up, take phone calls while pacing up and down, use the stairs and put more physical effort into doing things like household chores.
I have x injury or y illness
Nobody said you had to be as good as the next person to be more active. It’s all about doing what you can do, within whatever limitations you have but still making progress. If you can’t walk 200 yards without feeling weak and faint, start with 100 and work up. Reaching 200 is double where you began from, which I’d say is incredible progress!
At the end of the day the excuses you keep making probably aren’t really justified, which leads to the question, what’s really holding you back?
I’d wager it’s more about motivation, personal beliefs and confidence that you can achieve something.
Too many women I speak to are trying to be perfect and afraid of failing or looking stupid.
So I’ll leave you with this: The only failure is not trying.