Regardless of who you are or what you do, there are times when you do not want to work out, for whatever the reason. For many, they simply drive through out of habit and get the workout done. For others however, being persistent and keeping at it can be a problem. Thus, we come up with all kinds of excuses to skip our workouts. Regardless of the excuses, this article presents solutions for some of the more common lack of exercise excuses.
You may be asking yourself, what are the most common excuses? The top four include:
• “I don’t have enough energy.” (“I’m too tired.”)
• “I don’t have time.”
• “I hate exercise or it’s boring.”
• “I’m not motivated.”

I. Solutions for the “I don’t have time” excuse.

1. You must make the time to exercise.
Face it, we’re all busy and if you think your day can be 26 hours instead of 24 it’s not happening! You will not find extra time – you must make time in your already hectic schedule. The problem with the “I don’t have time” excuse is that’s it’s all too real. This is the number one reason many people just don’t seem to be able to get in a good workout routine. Thus, you need to make time to exercise by either giving something up, delegating a required task, or spending your time more efficiently. The key is to choose a good time to workout that you can do persistently. Then, make that time your workout time. A fault of many is they try morning and it works, but then one day decide to skip it because they are too busy and promise the workout will get done in the afternoon. But, as the days wears on, they forgot something they needed to do, got too busy with other tasks, or time just ran out. In reality it is not the time itself one does not have but failing to plan.

• How can you rearrange your schedule or perhaps give something up?
• Can you delegate a priority to someone else or, do it later?
• How and where can you spend your time more efficiently?

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Finally, take this tip: Believe not in the many reasons something won’t work, but in the ONE REASON it will! So, plan your time; manage it wisely.

2. Focus on 10 minutes of exercise at a time instead of an hour or more.
I am assuming that your goal is not to be a Mr. or Ms. Universe contestant. You won’t be initially planning an hour in the gym so, put your time into small enough chunks such as 10 to 20 minutes that you can get in and out of your exercise time quickly. You’ll find this will help build persistence and as you increase your variety of exercises, you’ll also increase your intensity and thus, your time without getting frustrated. Work the biggest muscles such as the legs, back, and chest as fast as you can.

If you do not want to do strength training, 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, multiple times during the day, has been shown to be as effective in producing fitness and weight loss results when compared to longer periods of exercise. This assumes that both the short and long-term has the same total time duration. An example would be two 15-minute workouts compared to one 30-minute workout.

3. Exercise first thing in the morning?
As mentioned above choosing a time is one of the best ways to make sure you perform your workouts. And, a study by Dr. Tindall found that out of 500 people polled, about 70% found that morning workouts was the best for them. The main reason is they could get into the gym and out, by planning ahead and more importantly, before their day got too busy with work, social media, and additional obligations.

4. Multitask
Combine physical activity with other tasks. Make and A, B, C priority, with as many in each category as you would hope to do for the day, i.e., A1..A3, B1..B4, C1…C5. The first priority is A, which must be done today, second is B, which can be done today or tomorrow, and C is last priority that can be done today, tomorrow, or after that. You’ll find that by setting priorities you can more easily multi-task and get things off your plate, often while working out. But don’t bother your workout friends in the gym with the constant noise of phone conversations; it is extremely annoying. Some good examples to multitask include:

• If you’re a TV fan, watch one of your favorite shows while exercising on the treadmill or walking around the lake on your smart phone.
• Making phone calls or listening to a conference call while walking or jogging; the latter requires you be in pretty good shape.
• Read an article for work or study while on your aerobic equipment such as a stationary bike, elliptical machine, or similar.
• Walk to the store, bike or walk to do errands.
Think about many other ways to multitask and exercise. It’s all about being creative and about what kinds of exercise you enjoy.

II. Solutions for the “I’m too Tired” excuse.

1. Exercise when you have the most energy.
Have you ever noticed how your body has more energy at sometimes than others? Thus, consider when you generally have the most energy during the day and plan your exercise program around that specific time.

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2. Exercise for one minute and see if you’re still too tired.
How fit are you? Let’s find out. Get out of bed or up from what you’re doing, whether at home or work and start walking, jogging, or climbing the stairs for only one minute. You’re not going to the gym so, no need to change your attire. After one minute is past, how tired are you? Are you too tired to exercise or has it been a long-term excuse? If you’re winded then, guess what? You really do need to get to working out.

I tell all my clients and students, exercise is easy, simply get started and slowly increase your intensity. However, getting started on the path is the most difficult part. If I could create desire in you, I would, but will simply tell you to convince yourself that beginning and sticking with an exercise program is something you’ll never regret. And, once you start, it’s so much easier to continue. So, no more excuses, get going – do sit ups or stretch while watching your favorite show or listening to your favorite music.

3. Exercise at the same time each day – what time of day did you choose?
Swapping exercise time rarely helps one stay persistent. So, choose a time and stick with the same time every day. This will help create a habit. Factually, it has been proven that if one can do something every day for 3 weeks it will generally become a habit. Exercise is one of those good habits you’d like to have. And, you can make it so. What are habits anyway? They are something that you begin do without thinking about them. You’ll find yourself just going to the gym without question and your body will become accustomed to it as well.

4. Use exercise to gain energy.
If you have ever been a runner or workout intensely, there is a ‘high’ you get from the endorphins produced that others rarely feel. This ‘high’ comes from excess energy created during the workout. Thus, in certain respects, you can use exercise to gain more energy and feel so much better about yourself. Not only will you be physically energized, you’ll feel better and be sharper mentally as well.

5. Stay hydrated – drink fluids constantly.
Drink enough water throughout the day. The recommended amount is 8 glasses (8 ounces each) per day. This is ½ gallon. However, if it’s hot, you’re at high altitude, and or workout out constantly or doing exercises such as skiing, biking, backpacking, etc., you will likely need up to a gallon of water and even more per day. Learn your body and listen to it. Drink the coldest water you can; you’ll find its more thirst quenching that tepid water. EXCUSE: “I’m not motivated.”

III. Solutions for the “I’m not motivated” excuse.

1. Find/recruit a workout partner.
Often, it is difficult to get motivated and so, it helps to have a partner in crime. You can each help motivate the other. If you work out with a friend, it’s lots of fun to chat and discuss life’s issues during the workout. You can also push each other to greater intensity in the workout. So, make plans to exercise with somebody else and as before, set a specific time each day, as well as a location. More importantly, vary the workout frequently. For example, Sue and Joanne workout on weight today, tomorrow the plan is to jog around the lake, the next day, running the stairs at Red Rocks and so on. Generally, you’re more likely to stick with a workout when someone else is relying on your commitment to show up.

2. Reward yourself for exercise – you know you want that brownie.
All too often, people workout hard all week and deprive themselves of a treat. You’re not working at being Mr/Ms Universe so if you’ve done all that hard work this week, take the time to have a small treat, regardless of what it is – a favorite food, small ice cream, slice of pizza, etc. Rewarding yourself will give you and incentive to continue and remember, calorie intake is about balance – it evens out over time.

3. Set small, realistic goals.
As my dad used to tell me, “Jimmy, don’t let your bull-dog mouth overload your puppy-dog ass! That’s still good advice today as many of us often bite off more than we can chew. Thus, set small but realistic exercise goals. Start small time-wise and intensity wise. Get started with only 10-minutes per day and build from there; slowly increase your time and your intensity. It’ll make it more fun and make you more likely to stick with it

IV. Solutions for the “I hate exercise or it’s boring” excuse.

1. Try more enjoyment during exercise.
• Try listening to music on headphones while you’re working out, listen to an audio book, or a favorite podcast.
• Download a favorite TV show or movie to watch while exercising on a stationary piece of equipment such as a treadmill.

2. Vary your physical activity
Once you begin working out, you’ll discover that your body is smart. It becomes to new exercise routines within about two weeks so, vary to keep it guessing and to keep you more interested. You may discover lots of exercises you do not like instead of the ones you don’t. And, try other activities besides just the weights or cardio. These can include a great many such as the following:

• Dancing
• Exercise machines (treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical)
• Exercise videos
• Group exercise classes
• Martial arts (there are many different styles and systems)
• Outdoor activities (camping, backpacking, white-water rafting, etc.)
• Recreational activities (softball, volleyball, Frisbee, and more)
• Sports leagues (bowling, soccer, basketball, flag football, etc.)
• Water activities (swimming, canoeing, boogie boarding)

Regardless of what type of exercise or variety you choose, it is important that you enjoy it. If you enjoy an activity, you’ll want to do it over and over; if not, interest will dwindle, and your program will begin to falter.

3. Change up.
As mentioned above, you need to change your program every few weeks to keep interest and progress. And, if you think your exercise program is boring try working out with a new or different partner or group, change the time you exercise, change the types of exercises and maybe even the location. Remember, you don’t need to be in a gym to get fit. There are lots of outdoor group activities in local parks such as jogging, Yoga, martial arts, and so much more. Keep your interest up. Read about others and what works for them and give it a try; it may work for you too.

4. Give interval training a try.
I f you’ve never done it, interval training kicks up exercise intensity greatly and it’s fun. If you’re just beginning, try this: jump on a treadmill and walk at your normal pace for 60 seconds then, double the pace for the next 60 seconds and slow back to your original pace – back and forth until you’re done. Speed sprints are a type of this as well done in a simple manner. An example would be to warm up and run at about half of your full speed for 2-3 40-yard runs. Once you’re warmed up well, you’re ready to go. Run 40 yards at full speed then, walk back to the starting point, run it again, and again, until you are done. Your rest is the walk back to the start. These are high intensity. For athletes, the rest period is about 15 seconds between repetitions. However, they jog-run-jog (an example in yards is 20-80-20). Try running an 80-yard sprint and then repeat it 15 seconds later. It will give you an idea of how good shape many athletes are in.

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