Top Excuses for Not Working Out - And Why They are Lame
by our Health Coach

According to the CDC, regular physical activity can lower people's risk of a heart attack, colon cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as help with weight control, relieve arthritis pain and even reduce symptoms of depression. It can also cut down medications and visits to the Health Coach or hospital.

To some people, that isn't enough motivation to get moving. Over half of the adults in the US don't have activity levels consistent with public health recommendations, and 24% aren't active at all. Here's a list of our top 4 excuses for not working out as well as the reasons why they are lame and how to get over them.

"I don't have enough time."
Trainers say this is the most common excuse people use for not working out. Research from the Saint Louis University School of Public Health shows that women, in particular, tend to say they feel too overloaded to find time for exercise.

Why it's lame:

  • You can always get more active in your life, even if it is in some small way.
  • Experts say people need to schedule exercise time into their days and make it as important as a business meeting or Health Coach appointment.

How to get over it:

  • Get up 30 minutes earlier one day a week to workout. You know you can handle just one day a week. Once it becomes a habit, add a second day, and so on.
  • Go to the gym during your lunch break.
  • Walk whenever and wherever possible. Park in the back of the lot or take one coffee break, and walk around for 10-15 minutes.
  • Make your dates more active. Try something active like bowling, hiking, miniature golf or dancing.
  • Get active with your kids. Swim while they swim, climb on the jungle gym with them or, if your kids are younger, join a stroller walking group.

"I'm too tired."
When we were young, most of us didn't think about being active. As we get older, physical activities are harder to come by, harder to fit into schedules and harder to do.

Why it's lame:

  • Consistent exercise is one of the best ways to energize your body for the long haul.
  • It is also a great way to lose weight, improve cognitive function, help control hypertension and reduce the risk of developing depression.

How to get over it:

  • Make sure you are getting enough sleep!
  • Go straight to the gym after work. Stopping (especially at home) makes it less likely that you will make it there.
  • Change before you leave the office. You'll be less likely to stop somewhere else, and the clothing can help motivate you to get to it.
  • Don't hit the gym every single day. Skip one day or do something different, that way it doesn't seem like such a chore.
  • Get someone to go with you. We are all less likely to skip it if we feel we are letting someone else down.
  • If you workout at home, start as soon as you walk in the door, before you sit down.
  • Have an afternoon snack of lean protein and complex carbs for a little boost of energy.
  • If you just can't handle working out after work, try doing it before work or during your lunch break.

"It might hurt."
Perhaps you want to start exercising, but you're worried that you might get hurt.

Why it's lame:

  • New research from Australia's Flinders University has shown that among those aged 63 to 86, physical ailments were the most common barrier to exercise. That's despite the fact that health concerns were the age group's strongest motivation for being active!

How to get over it:

  • Take it slow. Start by walking. As you feel more comfortable, add new activities to your routine.
  • Take a beginners exercise class. They are mild and meant for newbies.
  • Try a personal trainer. A certified expert can monitor your progress and help you develop a routine that's gentle on your muscles and joints.
  • Swimming or water aerobics eliminates the impact injuries associated with other types of workouts.
  • If a recent injury is a concern, talk to your Health Coach and/or physical therapist before you start a workout.

"I feel out of place at the gym."

Learning how to use all of the equipment can be overwhelming or even frightening for some people. It can also be intimidating to exercise in front of a crowd.

Why it's lame:

  • The first day at a gym can feel a lot like your first day at a new job, but the more you go, the more comfortable you feel.
  • You should appreciate and take full advantage of the variety a gym has to offer.
  • Nearly every gym offers day care if you have small children.
  • You can work out at the even when the weather is bad.

How to get over it:

  • Ask for a gym tour, and ask questions during it. If they offer a free personal training session, take them up on it. You can get tons of information on the machines, including how to use them.
  • If typical gyms intimidate you, you could think about joining the local YMCA or a specialty club, such as Nifty After Fifty or Curves (for women only).

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