Excuses for not exercising (and how to overcome them)

This article first appeared on the Chaufit blog on December 21st, 2018 for ‘Chau’s Top Five’. 

We’ve all been there — trying to get out of exercise in one way or another. For some of us, it’s an occasional thing since sometimes we just don’t feel up to it. For others, finding ways around exercise is a way of life. They are the dedicated couch potato. Here’s the thing — almost every excuse that you can think of has a solution. Here are some of the top excuses for not working out and what you can do to motivate yourself to still do it.

5)    I’ll start in January — Making exercise your New Year’s Resolution or any other procrastination technique isn’t helping. Many people either keep pushing back their start date or they start and their drive wanes within a month or two. The only way to start, is to start. To make it easier on you, you can start small — start with some walking, some light weights, some bodyweight exercises — anything that will help you slowly transition into making exercise a regular part of your lifestyle.

4)    I just don’t like exercise — Many excuses boil down to just not wanting to exercise, but every now and then, you find someone who will straight up tell you that they don’t like it. I recently addressed this and how to make exercise fun in another article. Exercise isn’t all about that gym life or squats and pushups. It can be walking, running, riding, playing sports or even yoga (which is, truth be told, a very challenging, yet relaxing, form of exercise). Find something that you can enjoy even while you reap the health benefits of the activity.

3)    Gyms are intimidating to me — Many people are out there being afraid of gyms. They’re afraid of the grunting, the noise and, most importantly, the judgement. The reality is that there is, in fact, a small group of individuals who are so unsatisfied with themselves that they spend time ridiculing others. The good news is that they are in the minority. You’re more likely to get support from, or just ignored by, the majority of gym-goers, so being judged isn’t really that big of an issue. If, however, you find that small group is enough to keep you away, remember that the gym is not your only workout option. You can get DVDs, or hire a trainer and take your training to a park or even your own home. It’s easy to find ways around gym-fear and still work on your fitness level.

2)    I’m too tired all the time — Interestingly enough, this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Making light to moderate exercise a habit would actually increase your energy levels. It would also help you to be more focused in the rest of your life while improving the quality of your sleep to ensure that you wake up feeling more rested after. Start small (as mentioned above) and gradually increase intensity until you find the level that works best for you and then you can take note of the changes that you feel in your body and in your energy levels.

1)    I have no time — In this hectic time where people work overtime or multiple jobs while trying to maintain their family and social lives, it seems that we have no time for exercise. Exercise can actually help you to handle the other parts of your life a bit better so that you don’t always feel so overwhelmed. But how do you find the time to start? If you have 15-20 minutes a day, 3-5 days a week, you can exercise. You may not be able to train to look like a bodybuilder, but you can improve your health and your physique with small routines that allow your to incorporate exercise into your busy schedule.

It is really tough, with images of super-slim or super-muscular bodies grinding away in aerobics classes or lifting hundreds of pounds of weight to get motivated to exercise. This means that it is easy to find every reason not to. Luckily, there’s almost always a solution to each exercise problem. If you haven’t started exercising yet, why not? I hope this article helps you to find the drive to overcome your excuses and set out on the road to a healthier, fitter you.

Marc Chauharja Singh, aka ‘Chau’, is a certified Fitness Instructor who is well versed in various training techniques. He created his fitness brand, ChauFIT in 2011 and is a  Trinidad and Tobago Defense Force trained Physical Training instructor (PTI ), as well as a certified  Massage Therapist (Therapeutic and Sport), who holds a Diploma in Nutrition. He has helped many people regain a life of wellness through a holistic approach to fitness. For more of his fitness tips, or to contact him, visit his blog (https://chaufit.wordpress.com/)