You’ve heard them. Maybe you’ve even used them. Excuses to avoid the one thing you know you should do - exercise. While it is so easy to make or find an excuse to not work out, it can sometimes be not so easy to find reasons to workout. If you’re a busy parent, this challenge can be even harder.

 

busy, busy woman, work

Our day-to-day responsibilities can leave drained and uninspired - I get it.

 

The U.S. News article10 Excuses for Not Exercising, and Why They Won't Fly identified the ten most common excuses people use for not working out. I’m going to walk you through these ten excuses, which I have heard plenty of times as a trainer myself, and help you find your reason(s) to work out anyway.

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1. I’m Too Busy

We can all guess the first excuse, and we have all probably used it at one time or another: “I'm too busy.”

 

"With all the classes offered at local gyms and community centers, you don’t have to go it alone. Grab a neighbor or friend and work out together."

This excuse is, by far, the most common. We are a busy society. We work, raise families, socialize, commute, volunteer, and use social media. But, in the end, we all have the same amount of time - 24 hours. What we choose to do, or not do, in those 24 hours makes the difference. You can choose to get a workout in or you can choose to not get a workout in.

 

Get rid of your excuse and find your reason to work out.

2. I’m Too Old

No one is too old to exercise. Walking is exercise. Yoga is exercise. There are so many forms of exercise to choose from, ranging from low impact to high impact to mobility to balance to strength training. There are even classes specifically designed for seniors. Silver Sneakers promotes physical activity, while offering a social support system within the class. Additionally, there are classes out there specifically designed to facilitate people with physical challenges.

 

Get rid of your excuse and find your reason to work out.

 

3. I Hate Working Out Alone

With all the classes offered at local gyms and community centers, you don’t have to go it alone. Grab a neighbor or friend and work out together. Start a local exercise group.

 

Get rid of your excuse and find your reason to work out.

yoga, yoga community

Many communities offer a variety of group activities such as yoga.

 

4. I Get Bored Easily and I Hate to Run

Although popular, running is not the only form of exercise. With so many different activities to try, there is no possible way to wind up bored. If you don’t like to run, don’t do it. Try biking, swimming, or rowing. Find an activity that interests you and sign up for some classes. Try something new to keep workouts interesting.

 

Get rid of your excuse and find your reason to work out.

5. I Have Kids

I agree that this one is tough. Kids are unpredictable - they get sick, they don’t sleep, they have activities, they have tantrums, and they need us. Work around your kids' schedule as best you can. While getting up earlier in the morning does not sound great, it is one of the best ways to ensure your workout gets done. The later you exercise in the day, the more things can distract you.

 

Just can’t do it? Then work out with your kids. As a young mom, I would pack two of the kids in the double stroller, my oldest would ride his bike, and I would clip our dog’s lead to the double stroller handle bar. To add even more challenge (and stress), I packed the under carriage of the double stroller with heavy rocks to get the most out of my short run or walk. Off we went!

 

Get rid of your excuse and find your reason to work out.

kids, fitness, family fitness

Kids give us an excuse to get out and play again.

 

6. I Have a Bad Back

Unless the doctor tells you to just lay in bed, activity is the best way to keep your back limber, to strengthen it, and to prevent additional pain. Dr. Ullrich, a board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon and medical director of Spine-health states that bed rest for more than a day or two can actually undermine healing.

 

Instead, Dr. Ullrich advocates active forms of back exercises to rehabilitate the spine and help alleviate pain. He further explains that active back exercises, when done in a controlled and progressive manner, distribute nutrients into the disc space and soft tissues in the back to keep the discs, muscles, ligaments, and joints healthy.

 

"Breaking Muscle (the site you’re reading right now) is one of the best free fitness resources for exercise plans and workouts."

Dr. Ullrich agrees that a regular routine of lower back exercises helps patients avoid stiffness and weakness, minimizes recurrences of lower back pain, and reduces the severity and duration of future pain. If you suffer from back pain, see a doctor or physical therapist for a correct diagnosis, as well as for specific exercises and stretches to help alleviate pain.

 

Get rid of your excuse and find your reason to work out.

7. I Am Too Fat

There are many classes, support groups, and facilities designed for weight loss. As well, certified trainers will accommodate and tailor a specific fitness program to help with weight loss and to increase activity in a gradual, safe, and effective way.

 

Get rid of your excuse and find your reason to work out.

8. I’m Skinny, So I Don’t Need to Exercise

Everyone needs to exercise. While lean mass is usually associated with better health, it is not an indicator of your organ health, cholesterol levels, or insulin levels. Exercise doesn’t just keep our weight down. It benefits our entire body.

 

Get rid of your excuse and find your reason to work out.

9. I Don’t Have the Time or Money to Join a Gym

Breaking Muscle (the site you’re reading right now) is one of the best free fitness resources for exercise plans and workouts. This site includes free workout tips, free workouts, and free workout videos to help you on your fitness journey.

 

lifting, weights, dumbbells

A great workout only requires basic equipment - even just your bodyweight.

 

Get rid of the excuse and find your reason to workout.

10. I Have Arthritis

Just as people with back pain are encouraged to participate in activities, so are people with arthritis. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise is crucial for people with arthritis. It increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue. Stretching and aerobic exercises can build up muscles and remove strain from the joints, while helping to keep off excess weight that can increase painful arthritic symptoms.

 

Get rid of your excuse and find your reason to work out.

The Excuses End Now

When people find out I am a certified trainer, they often comment, “I would love to work out, but [fill in the blank].” I challenge you to get rid of your excuse and find your reason to work out.

 

Check out these related articles:

 

References:

1. Katherine Hobson, “10 Excuses for Not Exercising, and Why They Won't Fly,” USNews.com,  June 3, 2009. Accessed May 31, 2015.

2. “Exercise Helps Ease Arthritis Pain and Stiffness,” Mayo Clinic Staff, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Accessed June 1, 2015.

3. “Silver Sneakers Fitness FAQ,” Healthways Silver Sneakers Newsletter, 2014. Accessed June 1, 2015.

4. Peter F. Ullrich, Jr., MD., “Exercise and Back Pain,” Spine-health.com, June 15, 2009. Accessed June 1, 2015.

 

Photos 1 and 2 courtesy of Shutterstock.

Photo 3 courtesy of Breaking Muscle.

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