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Stop the Excuses! How to Motivate Yourself to Exercise

Updated on January 12, 2013

Are you exercising on a regular basis? If not, why not? Exercise will help you lose weight. Working out helps you feel good about yourself. Fitness prevents many diseases and keeps you young. With all of these benefits, everyone should be fitting in fitness on a regular basis. But most people do not even get the minimum 30 minutes a day that we all need. Why not? And what can you do about it?

You can stop the excuses! If you really want to do something, you can make the time. Read to following common exercise excuses to find tips on how to motivate yourself to exercise.

I don't have enough time to exercise.

  • Make time! Schedule it into your day like any other appointment.
  • Set your alarm a little earlier, just 20 minutes at first, and get up and do something physical that you enjoy, like a short walk or a little stretching. Slowly increase the length of your workouts.
  • Squeeze in a few mini-workouts. Three 10-minute walks burn the same number of calories as a full half hour walk.
  • Sneak in a few strength moves throughout your day. Set a goal, say, 100 push ups or squats and try to get them in before bedtime.

Exercise is boring, I just don't like it.

  • Try one new type of exercise a week. Pop in a belly dance DVD or try an aqua fit class at your local pool, for example.
  • Plant your exercise bike in front of the tv. Coast along while your show is on and kick it up a notch during commercials- time will fly and you will get in an interval training workout.
  • Get an exercise buddy to go walking with, if you can't find one, get a dog!
  • Music can be very motivating, so make a playlist of your favorite songs. Studies show you will work out longer and harder if you are working out to tunes you like.

I`m uncomfortable exercising in front of people.

  •  Shop around for a gym you`ll feel more comfortable in, maybe a women`s only gym or a smaller gym with basic equipment.
  • Remember that others probably feel the same way`.
  • Try working out at home instead. Buying a bit of equipment is usually cheaper than joining a gym in the long run anyway.

Even Monty perks up if you mention the work "walk"
Even Monty perks up if you mention the work "walk" | Source

I just don`t feel up to it.

  • Commit to doing ten minutes. By then, you may perk up enough to do more.
  • Read a fitness magazine to inspire you.
  • Keep an exercise journal. Keep track of how many pushups you can do, how long it takes you to walk a mile, etc. Looking back over how far you have come may help keep you going.

Exercise hurts!

  •  After your first few workouts, your muscles are likely to be stiff the next day. Try a hot bath with Epsom salts or a massage to reward yourself for all your hard work.
  • Be sure to properly warm up and cool down, and stretch after every workout to reduce your risk of injury.
  • If you are living with chronic pain, exercise can help. Endorphins produced during exercise can block the perception of pain and release muscle tension. Just be sure to consult your doctor first.

I`m too old to start now.

  •  Exercise can make you feel young again!
  • Many fitness classes are geared towards older adults.
  • Fitness can prevent many ailments that plague the elderly, including heart disease, diabetes,osteoporosis, depression and more. Again, consult your doctor before you begin an exercise program.

The weather sucks!

  •  Use your discretion, if its freezing and windy or unbearably hot, plan an alternate workout.
  • Dress properly for the weather. Think layers, keep your head and hands covered and sunscreen up  if its sunny.
  • Stick closer to home so you can quit early if you need to.
  • Tell someone where you are going and what time you`ll be back and carry a cell phone in case something happens. Good advice for all types of weather, actually.

Kids like to exercise, too.
Kids like to exercise, too. | Source

It's too hard to find daycare.

  • Work out with your kids. Get out on your bikes or go for a walk or a hike.
  • If they are smaller, get a good jogger stroller and get moving.
  • Many gyms have daycare services on site for a minimal fee.
  • Or you can trade babysitting hours with a friend. You work out for an hour, then look after her kids for an hour while she works out.

It`s too expensive.

  •  Skip the gym and pricey equipment! If you`ve got two feet and a heartbeat, you can exercise.
  • Start by walking ten minutes at first, then over time gradually increase your duration and intensity until you are getting a good 30-45 minute power walk or run.

There's always an excuse not to work out

I get enough exercise at work.

  • You may be on your feet all day, but are you in your target heart rate zone for at least twenty minutes? Are you strengthening and stretching all of your major muscle groups? Well-rounded fitness is the goal.
  • Try getting up a little earlier to exercise. As you get in better shape your job will feel easier and you will have more energy all day long.
  • Try yoga or Pilate's at night. Both will relax you, tone you up and increase flexibility.

I'm too sick.

  • Got the sniffles? If it's just a head cold, it is OK to work out, just take it a little bit easier than usual. If it's in your chest, it's better to just take a couple of days off and rest.
  • If you have a serious illness, as always consult your doctor first. Many doctors prescribe exercise for its many health benefits.

So there are my top ten exercise excuse busters. Stick with it and it will get better, I promise. There was a time when I was so pathetically out of shape that my arms would get stiff from doing a half hour aerobics program on TV, and I would get shin splints from walking more than ten minutes. Now I get grouchy if I go more than two days without exercising. Once you begin to see changes, you will want to do more. Keep trying new things and you will be fit for life!

So What's Your Excuse?

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    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 4 years ago from Canada

      I am sorry you are depressed, frosty. Exercise can help you to feel better.

    • profile image

      Frosty 4 years ago

      how about too depressed, is that a good excuse ??

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 6 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for the compliment, lady enchantee!

    • Lady Enchantee profile image

      Lady Enchantee 6 years ago from My Enchanted Garden

      Daisy Jae, as always, your hub is impeccable & addresses a common challenge! *yay* I appreciate this hub & will share it with others. Thank you for consistently contributing beautiful hubs on topics germane to modern living!

      Warm regards...Lady Enchantee

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 7 years ago from Canada

      Playing with your kids is excellent exercise,talfonso. When they are small you can chase after them and when they grow you can start biking with them or playing sports.

    • talfonso profile image

      talfonso 7 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

      I definitely love those tips! The most common misconception of those who are too hesitant to exercise is that it's just darn boring. Playing with your kids is exercise, but it does not look like it!

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 7 years ago from Canada

      I agree lauralei. Thanks for commenting.

    • lauralei profile image

      lauralei 7 years ago from st louis

      i have found that having my own equipment works so much better than going to a gym - the effort to make it to the gym when you are already strapped for time is hard to find sometimes

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks, prasetio30. Glad to help.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Nice information. I am glad to follow your tips. good work, my friend.

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 7 years ago from Canada

      cheryl- mini workouts throughout the day are great too, fit it in any way you can!

    • _cheryl_ profile image

      _cheryl_ 7 years ago from California

      Make time! That's for sure, I completely agree... you have to make the time for a hair or nail appt, time to clean up, time to eat, why not make the time to excercise! It's funny you mention it, because all I ever do are mini workouts throughout the day lol! But it makes a difference, great hub and looking forward to reading more. =)

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for your comments sweetkisses9187. I'm glad you liked it.

    • Sweetkisses9187 profile image

      Sweetkisses9187 7 years ago from Essex, Maryland

      Wow! I'm loving this one! You busted every excuse I don't think there are any more excuses left not to workout. I know how it is though, I do get that like sometimes, but then I think if I just do it and get it over with, I'll have the rest of my day! It pumps me! This is awesome though. Very good answers to all them excuses. : )