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Beating the Five Exercise Excuses.

Excuses. I. HATE. THEM. I hate giving them and I hate hearing them. They are little lies that you tell yourself or others to get out of doing something that you really don’t want to do or, in some cases, you are too scared to try. If you can just find that one reason that sounds logical enough or good enough to believe – you’re off the hook.

I’m not going to lie – I’m NO ANGEL. I’ve doled out a few excuses in my day, but I’ve always been angry at myself for doing it – well sometimes. There are a few gems I use that I absolutely DO NOT regret:

“Honey, the garbage is too heavy to lift out of the compactor. You’re so strong. Will you take it out for me?” (Wait for it….wait for it…..bat eyelashes)”
“Sweetie, will you shovel the driveway? My back hurts from my hard workout yesterday.” (grab lower back and groan)”
“(Rubbing eyes)The pollen level is REALLY high today and if I go outside my allergies will be killing me all day long. Will you pick up the dog poop, pleeeeeease?”

Ok, I’ll admit the last one is pretty bad and I will occasionally use it in the winter when every ounce of pollen is buried under 4 feet of snow.

“But hey – I live in Wisconsin. You wouldn’t want to pick up frozen poopsicles in 20 below wind chill either.”

So, back to the excuses. Like I said, I hate them – especially when it comes to a person’s health and fitness. Yes, sometimes it is a chore to hit the gym and yes, it can be a downer to eat just 1 piece of cake, but in the long run, it is what is good for us.

Here are some of my favorite excuses and how I can bust them!

I Can’t Workout Because…

Excuse 1: I can’t afford it.

In these tough economic times we are all trying to spend a little less money, but working out doesn’t have be expensive. In fact, it can be totally FREE. NO ONE ever said that you need to be a member of a gym, have the latest and greatest fitness gear or invest a ton of money into a home gym to be fit. Do you own sneakers? Voila – personal gym made. Slip on your shoes and go outside for a walk or run. FREE EXERCISE! Got a bike – ride it. NO COST WORKOUT! Want to do some strength training? Try body weight exercises like squats, lunges, pushups, pull-ups or tricep dips on a chair. If you feel like you need a little more resistance, fill an empty milk jug with water or sand. Now you have a 5-10 pound weight with a handy dandy handle. Do bicep curls, side lateral raises, one arm rows and overhead presses with your new homemade weight. Walking, running, biking (if you already own a bike), bodyweight exercises, self made weights – ALL FREE (well…except for the milk you had to drink to get the empty jug)!

Excuse 2: Exercising is too boring.

This may come as a shock to you, but exercise can be fun. You just need to find something that you like & look forward to doing. You should be excited about working out. You don’t need to waste valuable time plugging & chugging away on a Stairmaster if you really dread doing it. Find something that motivates you to get moving. Here are a few tips:

  • Try new classes/exercises. This can be a great way to find what types of exercise you like or dislike. Try kickboxing, take a Kettlebell class or join in on a Bootcamp session. Who knows? You might just find your new workout passion just by trying a new class.
  • Think outside of the box. If dancing outside in your unitard and leg warmers to Taylor Swift gets your blood pumping – then dance away. Exercise doesn’t have to be limited to the inside of a gym – if you find something that you enjoy & gets you moving, then by all means DO IT.
    Hire a Trainer. Personal Trainers brains are overflowing with ideas for different types of exercises. Let your trainer know your likes and dislikes with exercise and they will come up with some new & fun ideas for your next workout.
  • Get Excited to Move. If you get excited about a particular workout, chances are you will stick to this routine. Find something that motivates you to want to do your workout. For me, shoes are the key. Every time I buy a new pair of running shoes, I can’t wait to use them. All I want to do is run in my new, cute shoes. (Hey – I’m one of those girls with a SEVERE love for cute shoes. I can’t help it…I’m a shoe junkie.) I also get uber excited to workout every time I download new songs on my ipod. Nothing beats fresh, new music to help energize your workout. What works for you?

Excuse 3: I don’t have the time.

I hear ya! We all live extremely fast paced & over scheduled lives, but be honest with yourself. Did you spend an hour on the internet searching for nothing in particular? Did you sit on the couch today and catch up on your favorite shows? Are you planning on going out to the bar tonight and staying until close? If you can find time to do those things, then you can find time to workout.

Excuse 4: I’m too tired after work.

Simple. Don’t workout after work – duh! Exercise before work, during your lunch hour or when it works best for your schedule. You will have the most productive workout when your energy level is at its highest, but you may have to get it done when can. If your schedule only allows you to fit in a sweat session after work, then suck it up buttercup and try pushing through it. Tell yourself that if after 10 minutes you are still tired, then you can wrap it up and go home. But if I were a betting girl (and I am), I could safely say that after that time you will feel energized and you will have a killer workout.

Tip: If working out after work is simply unavoidable- make sure you power up with some ATHENA Intense pre workout for women!

Excuse 5: I don’t know how.

With all of the crazy infomercials telling you that you need their product to lose weight, celebrities pushing their latest diet and ever changing medical information out there-  it CAN get really confusing!

If you feel you need advice and instruction on how to reach your goals, hire a trainer. A trainer can show you the right way to perform exercises and help you reach your goals in a healthy and efficient way. And if the money excuse pops up here, think of it this way: Spending extra time in the gym trying to figure out what to do, how to do it and still not reaching your goals because your workout isn’t efficient is WAY more expensive than spending a little extra money to have a trainer show you how to make the most of your time while you are there. See what I did there – I busted the time, money and “I don’t know how” excuse in under 1 sentence.

Now, with all of that being said, sometimes excuses are valid and are, well, good excuses to skip a workout. Life is short and choosing the gym over family, friends and opportunities to make memories with those you love is no way to live. Give yourself a break every now and again stop and smell the roses. Just make sure you don’t let one excuse to not workout become a habit. Schedule a time to lace up your shoes and smell the roses again, but this time while you are on a run.