Five Common Excuses for Not Exercising
“I don’t have time.” “I don’t have the energy after work.” “I don’t want to have to change my clothes.”
Do these excuses sound familiar to you? Do you promise yourself you’ll get more exercise, start, but then quickly lose your motivation and stop?
Most of us have made excuses for not exercising. But if they keep you from regular physical activity, you’re missing out on many mind and body benefits. Here are five of the most common excuses for not exercising and how to move past them.
- “I don’t have time.” Fitting exercise into a busy schedule can be challenging. But you don’t have to get all of your physical activity at once. You’ll benefit even if you exercise for 5 or 10 minutes at a time throughout the day. Take a walk on your lunch hour. Stop to stretch every hour or so. Park further away from stores, work, or other places where you go regularly.
- “I don’t have the energy after work.” Exercise gives you more energy. Add even a few extra minutes of physical activity throughout your workday, and you'll notice the extra energy you feel. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk over to a co-worker’s cubicle instead of sending email. Or add physical activity to your weekend routines with family and friends. Go for a hike, bike ride, or ice-skating instead of to the movies. The energy boost you get may carry over into the work week.
- “I don’t want to have to change my clothes.” Or “I don’t want to ruin my hair.” New studies show that all exercise counts and that you don’t have to “go for the burn” or work up a sweat for physical activity to be beneficial. In other words, exercise and physical movement doesn’t require changing into special workout clothes. So that’s not an excuse.
- “I can’t afford the extra child care.” Many types of exercise don’t require you to hire a babysitter. Plan physical activities you can enjoy in the backyard or a park with children, such as playing catch, badminton, or Frisbee. Or block out time to move when your children are enjoying their own after-school or weekend activities. You can always take a walk around the soccer field alone or with a friend while they’re practicing. This is a great way to fit in fitness!
- “Exercise is boring.” Exercise is boring because you haven’t found the type of exercise that’s right for you. When you do, chances are it won’t feel boring. Look for physical activities you enjoy. You might try taking an exercise class with a friend. Or walks with your dog. Try going swimming with your partner. Or dance to your favorite music when you’re alone. Consider finding an exercise buddy -- someone you enjoy being with -- and arrange to do active things like taking after-dinner walks or shooting hoops together. The key is to keep trying new activities until you find ones you like doing. That’s the type of exercise you’re likely to keep up.