Many people have a long list of reasons why they can’t work out, and the reasons are all pretty similar. The reality is most of these obstacles to exercise can be overcome by making a few changes to your daily routine. Here are five of the most common exercise excuses and how you can work around them.
No Time To Exercise
How many times have you heard this one? The reality is most people are busy, and they still find time to work out. It just takes a little planning. If time is an obstacle, shorten the length of your workout.
Recent research shows you can get a body changing workout in as little as 20 minutes a day. The key is to increase the intensity. Instead of spending an hour walking or jogging at the same speed on the treadmill, do interval training where you exercise at a high intensity for 30 seconds and then recover for a minute or two. Do this for 20 minutes, and you’ll get benefits that are the same or superior to working out for an hour at a steady pace.
You can also combine strength training and cardio by alternating a strength training exercise with a minute of a cardio exercise like running in place or jumping jacks. This will keep your heart rate up so you’ll get cardiovascular benefits while strength training. Even if you only have limited exercise time, spend ten minutes doing bodyweight exercises like push-ups, mountain climbers and squat jumps in rapid succession. You’ll be surprised at how much benefit you can get from as little as 10 minutes a day.
Another way to bust the “no time” excuse is to work out first thing in the morning. Set your alarm clock 20 minutes earlier, and get exercise out of the way before life throws other challenges at you.
Exercise can reinvigorate when your energy levels start to wane. The hard part is getting started. Get motivated by telling yourself you can stop after 10 minutes if you feel like it. Chances are you’ll want to keep going once your heart is pumping oxygen to your weary muscles. Think how great you’ll feel afterwards.
Can’t Afford a Gym
You don’t need to join a gym to get the benefits of exercise. Invest in a few exercise DVDs and resistance bands and work out at home. Another piece of inexpensive exercise equipment is a jump rope. If you have stairs in your house, you can make them a part of your routine. Who needs an expensive step-climbing machine? When the weather’s inviting, take your workout outdoors to a park or fitness trail. No fancy gym equipment or treadmill required.
It’s Too Boring
Anything becomes boring if you do it every day. Change your workout frequently and constantly set new goals for yourself. Write down your goals in a fitness journal, and treat yourself to something special when you meet them. Fitness DVDs and fitness magazines can inspire you and give you new ways to exercise. If you don’t like working out alone, join an exercise class or find an exercise buddy. Take your workout outdoors when the weather cooperates. Don’t get stuck in a fitness rut.
Some people are embarrassed to work out at the gym because they don’t like the way they look or they’re afraid they’ll do an exercise incorrectly. For the most part, people are too wrapped up in their own workouts to scrutinize what you’re doing, but you can put this concern to rest by working out at home. Once you feel more comfortable, you can join a gym, but there’s a good chance you’ll prefer the convenience of a home workout.
The Bottom Line?
Make exercise a priority, and pencil it into your “to-do” list. Don’t let these exercise excuses get in your way of getting into tip-top shape.