Busting the excuses for not exercising and being out of shape part 1

image taken from http://www.flickr.com/photos/mimarsinan/3235566485/ and used under the Creative Commons Attribution licence
image taken from http://www.flickr.com/photos/mimarsinan/3235566485/ and used under the Creative Commons Attribution licence

I'm going to risk offending a few people out there, to bust a lot of the excuses I keep hearing from people who tell me they'd like to get into shape, but just can't.

Usually I like to use a kind and supportive approach and really encourage people to get active and feel good about themselves. But if someone's stuck in a rut, knows they really should bust out of it by getting active and healthy, but just can't seem to get past the excuses and get started – well it's time for a little tough love and a bit of a reality check, and this is it!

We all have the same excuses really, it's just a question of choosing to give up before you even start, or to say “I'm going to do it anyway”.

So here we go with the top excuses that I have heard over the years!


I can't afford to eat right and pay for a gym membership.

This may be true in some cases, but for most people I really doubt it. A lot of the people who use this excuse seem to have money to spend on cigarettes, booze, toys and other unhealthy activities. Also, eating unhealthy take-away isn't all that cheap anyway, is it? There's lots of healthy stuff you can get on a budget, although you might actually have to prepare it yourself.

Gym memberships and personal training can be expensive, but if you can't squeeze it into your budget there's still no reason why you can't get out for a walk, climb some stairs and do some body weight resistance exercises. There really is a lot you can do without having to spend a cent on equipment.

I do not have time.

You have 24 hours a day, the same as everyone else! Most people spend a few hours a night (or more) on the tv or computer... sacrifice some of that to do something for your health.

It's really just a question of managing your time and working out a schedule that allows you use whatever opportunities you do have to exercise. Get up a half hour early if that is what it takes. There may still be days when you don't have time, but that's OK. You don't need to train with the consistency of a world class athlete, you just need to get into the habit of being active whenever you can.

Even if you still can't train as often as you would like, it is still better than doing nothing at all. Also look for opportunities in your daily routine. Take a set of stairs instead of the lift. Get off the bus a stop or two early and walk the rest of the way. Walk or cycle short trips instead of taking the car. Carry your groceries home and do shoulder shrugs with the bags! All of these little things add up to significant results!

I do shift work and it's too hard to eat healthy and exercise.

This ties in with the above excuse a bit. I have done a lot of shift work in my time and I assure you all, I do fully understand how hard it can be. Especially if you are working a 12 hour nightshift and finishing at 7 or 8 in the morning like I used to. I used to find that if I went straight to the gym at the end of my 12 hour day shifts I would feel fantastic by the time I got home. It gave me something to look forward to through out the day as well, rather than just going home to crash out on the sofa. I would find that I had a lot more energy if I trained after work.

On night shift it does get harder, so don't beat yourself up about missing a day's training here and there if you really need to take a nap instead. Just be sure to do what you can, when you can. Again, anything is better than nothing.

The nutrition part is not really as hard as a lot of people make out, either. Prepare your own healthy meals and snacks and bring those into the office. Resist the temptation to call for pizza in the middle of the night!

See the links below for part 2 of this article!

1 comment

DearBandit profile image

DearBandit 4 years ago

This is motivational.

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