We’ve all heard it. I mean let’s be really honest, we’ve all said it. But why?
Here are the top excuses that are stopping people from exercising, most I’ve used and the rest I have definitely heard.
I don’t have time. Who has time these days? You don’t even have time to read this blog post, not really, yet here you are. Time is one of those great tools that can be used for both good and evil. Tea time, time for a brew, bed time, bath time… wine time. All good times. Gym time? Time for a run? This is where time becomes so limited, is there enough time really?
The most common misconception is that if time is limited then really it isn’t worth it. Fibs, blatant fibs! The 20 minutes you spend doing a body weight workout at home is time well spent. 20 minutes eating chocolate hobnobs watching TOWIE is also time well spent. Just know what you’re getting when you opt for one over.
Trainers, yogis and other professionals have made it even easier for you to squeeze in a workout, producing videos that can see you doing 12 minutes of yoga, 15 minutes of HIIT, 10 minutes Ab workout. You name it, they’ve done it.
2. I hate the gym
Me too, sometimes. I mean you have to get there, put your stuff in a locker, get on a cardio machine for 10 minutes surveying the room to see what everyone else is doing and silently cursing the sweaty people who are already leaving because they got their shit together quicker than you did and now they can go home and eat hobnobs.
There’s all the dancing about round the resistance machines and people looking professional or like they may cause themselves an injury in the weights room, or on Instagram. What are you going to train? Full body workout… well that sounds like hard work, and time consuming (see point 1).
How about… training at home, train in the garden or in the park. Go for a long walk in the sunshine, do some yoga before bed. Use your body as your weights, do some stretching and get your heart rate up a bit. There are loads of ways you can get into exercise without needing the gym. Outdoor fitness classes, watch fitness videos on YouTube, or get in touch with a personal trainer who will organise sessions for you in your local park.
The clocks have gone back, winter is rolling in and now we automatically see that 4pm is the start of us winding down into bedtime. When it’s dark outside we seem to go into a form of hibernation, we were already short of time and now we have to be home and in PJ’s by 6pm because it’s dark and that means it’s almost bed time.
We have to accept we’re grown-ups now and reduced daylight hours doesn’t impact on gym opening hours, PT training sessions or the ability for you to turn a light on at home and exercise. Adulting is hard I know.
I have a new client who on the day I first met her said to me something I had said to myself a million times over in the past.
She said she uses humour to deflect away from her lack of confidence to do things. In exercise terms that meant if she was ever at a class or a group exercise she was the one at the back over emphasising how bad she was at doing it, messing up and laughing at herself and making everyone else laugh in the process.
Sound familiar?...I know right!
Sadly for a lot of us from a very young age exercise was associated with being bad at things, wearing a very uncomfortable and somewhat revealing or ill-fitting PE kit being pitched against competitive fellow pupils. If you didn’t find your ‘thing’ in PE that you were good at you were just another horribly uncomfortable kid trying not to get made fun of or flash their underwear. Just thinking back to it reminds me of how much I hated the changing rooms, how many excuses I tried to make and how often I stood at the back wanting to be anywhere else.
Nobody wants to feel like that uncomfortable 13 year old at school again when they walk into a gym.
It is hard to shift that negative association, to suddenly accept that nobody is looking at them, that everyone has to start somewhere and that there are people out there who do actually want you to succeed. All I can tell you is that, the first workout is the hardest. Social media can be both supportive and oppressive (but that is a whole other debate) – find the supportive Tweeters and stick with them. Get some guidance, ask friends, speak to a PT, have a taster session and get the gym staff to show you what you should be doing.
The most exciting journeys are the scariest to start.
5. I don’t know what I’m doing?
Here’s the funny thing, we don’t automatically know how to do most things. We learn. Exercise is no different and the internet is full of amazing workouts for people at all abilities, information, guidance.
My advice would be get yourself on YouTube, keep it simple and if you really need guidance – speak to a professional. It’s what we’re here for.
6. I need to lose weight first…
I hear this all the time. All the time. Why is it that we feel the need to lose weight before we start with a PT or join a gym? It’s madness! I mean I get it, but seriously, that’s what we’re here for! It is literally my job to help you get in shape and lose weight. Also, the weight limit to join a gym is in your head, everybody starts somewhere.
You do not need to lose weight to start exercising – starting exercise however, will help you lose weight.
So there you have it, the most tried and tested excuses as to why you’re not exercising.
Hopefully next time you try one, you’ll think back to this post and maybe even change your mind.