Most of us would never say we don’t have enough time to brush our teeth, shower or watch our favorite programs. We make time for the things we consider to be priorities. So why don’t we make time for exercise? Countless studies point to the gains in quality and length of life as well as overall health. If you use any of these common excuses to get out of going to the gym, give them up now.
I’m too busy – HIIT or high intensity interval training has made it possible to work harder and faster so that you get the benefits of a longer workout in less time. So you don’t have an hour, you can get in a really good workout in just 20 or 30 minutes.
Break it up – Exercise in two to four 10 or 15 increments. At a minimum, 10 minutes twice a day can help you begin to commit to a regular exercise routine that doesn’t interfere with your overcrowded schedule.
I don’t have anyone to watch the kids – Get an accountability buddy. Ideally someone also developing a commitment to regular exercise. Make a schedule and trade off childcare duties. Free childcare and someone to help you stay on your fitness track is a bonus. Alternatively, you can check with your local college or high school for student help. Other ideas: ask at your gym about childcare services and look for exercise you can do with the kids like running, swimming, hiking and biking.
I feel silly at the gym – Be gentle with yourself. Most of us feel awkward when we do something that is new or unfamiliar. That is normal. Let yourself be with the feelings of discomfort, knowing that they are temporary and for a good cause. Even if you have two left feet, you get all the moves wrong, the equipment baffles you and everyone seems more fit than you, you can still give yourself a big pat on the back. You are at the gym and not on the couch. You don’t have to show up perfectly, you just have to show up. Give yourself credit for that and accept where you are on your fitness journey.
I can’t afford it – talk with the manager about any available discounts, scholarships or specials. Don’t be shy. The only way to find out what is available is to ask. There are also some times of the year when joining is more affordable. Ask when that is. Maybe you can save on initiation or enrollment fees, making it financially possible to join. Also, take a look at your budget. Are there places you can cut back? An investment in your health now may mean fewer healthcare related costs later. Ask the manager for a modified family plan for your work or neighborhood group. Remember, where there is a will there is usually a way.
Excuses don’t help you manage your weight, mood, blood pressure or heart health. Exercise does. If you want to make some changes you have to make some different choices. For example, you can choose to be more active. Don’t fool yourself with excuses about why you can’t exercise. A glance at your schedule and budget will likely reveal that you make time and spend money on the things you think are really important or rewarding – at least some of the time. There is room for exercise too.