Great Excuses to Not Work Out

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
2/1/2012 6:00 AM   :  112 comments   :  40,920 Views

I've heard every excuse in the book and even tried some of them myself. Exercise…who needs it? You do! Here are some of the best excuses ever to skip a workout. Let's see how great they really are!
 
I'm in horrible shape.
That may be true, so if that's the way you want to remain, don't work out today. People who are in shape get that way by exercising. Regularly. No, they were not born with six packs.
 
I don't like it.
I don't like a lot of things—flossing my teeth, waking up to an alarm, paying bills—but I still do them. Be the mature grownup that you are and do the things you know you should or have to do even if you don't like them. A lot of things worth doing aren't always fun or enjoyable. (And hey, if I can learn to love vegetables, you can learn to love/like/tolerate exercise.)
 
I can't afford it.
Your body is yours and moving it is generally free unless you want to get all fancy. Here are 25 ways to get fit for $25 or less (many of them free), plus over 50 free workout videos. Better yet, just get out the door and walk.
 
I don't want to mess up my hair.
What is really more important: How your hair looks or how your body looks, feels and performs?

I just worked out yesterday.
Good for you! That means you're able and equipped to do it again today!
 
I don't know what I'm doing.
You also didn't know how to walk, drive a car, live away from home, do your job or raise a child until you just did it. Like many things in life, you can and will figure it out. Start simple. Just do it.
 
I'm don't need to work out as long as I'm dieting.
If you don’t want to work out, plan to get about half the results from dieting alone and be twice as hungry. Here's why. Let's also not forget that there are far more reasons to exercise than weight-loss alone: stronger bones, improved health, better appearance, improved posture, less pain, and so on.
 
I'm too tired.
Chances are that you'll feel more energized after you exercise than if you skip it altogether. But that feeling of guilt you'll have for skipping your workout will last longer than the tiredness you feel when your alarm goes off in the morning.  
 
I heard exercise really isn't that good for you.
Well I heard that rubbing mud on your stomach will burn belly fat! (Just because you hear something doesn't mean it's true.)
 
It takes too long.
Exercise creates time because you have more energy to get things done and a longer, healthier lifespan in which to do more with your life. Or you can just skip it and shorten your life and decrease your mobility and independence—all in an effort to save time in the present. Does that seem like a fair trade? Everyone has 10 minutes--and that's all it takes.
 
I'm not athletic.
If you're sitting there making excuses not to work out, that's probably true. Athletes don't skip their workouts. The good news is there is an athletic person within each of us. It's just that some of us are in training and some aren't. Think like an athlete and don't make excuses to skip your training. Soon enough, you'll unleash your inner athlete, too!
 
I have to work.
Regular exercisers tend to move up the corporate ladder and earn more money than people who don't work out.  If you really can't get away from the overtime, squeeze in more activity with these workday fitness boosters.
 
I've got better things to do.
What's better than taking care of yourself so that you can be your best at everything you do?
 
I don't want everyone looking at me.
Everyone else is too busy paying attention to themselves to even notice you. And even if they do look at you, so what? People look at you, think things about you and silently judge you all day long, exercising or not. Repeat this to yourself: "If someone has a problem with me, it's their problem—not mine."
 
I don't like to sweat.
Sweat is sexy! Sweat is strong! You don't have to like it, but you do have to accept it as a given for most workouts. Or at least try these 8 workouts you'll love if you hate to sweat.
 
I don't look good in spandex.
Spandex is not a requirement for exercise. Unless you're still wearing workout clothes from 1983, in which case a little workout wardrobe update is in order. Wear whatever you do feel good in—and it doesn't have to be fitted to allow you to move.
 
I don't have the right shoes.
Try a barefoot workout like yoga or Pilates!
 
I don't want to take ANOTHER shower today.
Next time, plan your workouts around your ideal shower-and-get-ready schedule, or try these quick and easy post-workout refreshers for when showering isn't viable.
 
I'm too busy.
Then why are you sitting here reading this? Get up and move! (And consider this: Someone busier than you is working out right now.)
 
By now I think you can tell that there really are no good excuses for skipping your workout. But I'd still love to hear the best (or funniest) workout excuses you've ever used (or heard from someone else). Share yours in the comments below—and try to counter it if you can!





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Comments

  • 62
    I do love reading your blogs, Coach Nicole.. For me it is all about the time..time, time, time.. and then sprinkle in a little "if I don't do it in the morning, it ain't getting done.." So I solve it by planning it into my morning routine and getting up early enough to get it done. Used to be that if I didn't get my morning stuff done early enough and didn't have my full time slot, I just wouldn't exercise. Now I just do what I can, at least 10 minutes. Seems to have made a huge difference for me! - 2/2/2012   7:54:53 AM
  • 61
    I love it!! I, like everyone else, used some of these in the past myself. Thanks, this is a keeper! - 2/2/2012   7:40:37 AM
  • 60
    You TELL em sista! *hi5* on this article :) - 2/2/2012   6:05:08 AM
  • K8LYNNSIN
    59
    great points..made me feel better about the fact that I haven't kept up with spark points or nutrition tracker due to time..I have kept up with my daily exercise..so I am just doing it! - 2/2/2012   5:56:36 AM
  • 58
    Great blog...I think we have all used at least one of these excuses!!! - 2/2/2012   5:56:14 AM
  • 57
    I love this. I use most of these excuses!! - 2/2/2012   3:42:18 AM
  • KAIZENLADY
    56
    Well, I learned something about myself -- I haven't used all of these excuses, but I have used a number of them many times! Good article and I really liked some of the responses! Thank you for sharing. - 2/2/2012   2:46:28 AM
  • 55
    Thanks Coach, You just took away every excuse I could think of. I guess I'll just have to keep working out until I come up with a legitimate excuse. Is there one? :) - 2/1/2012   11:51:03 PM
  • MJ7DM33
    54
    Great blog! Keep up the good work! - 2/1/2012   11:16:33 PM
  • 53
    Fantastic blog! I'm going to keep it up for my hubby to read. He's the one who "visualizes" exercise (he thinks about it, but doesn't do it). - 2/1/2012   9:02:13 PM
  • 52
    Thanks for the great blog! I now find myself looking forward to my daily walk with my dog! Spark On! - 2/1/2012   6:23:27 PM
  • SAYOTYA
    51
    'It's too hot/muggy'
    We live in Cairns and it's summer right now, so we even have like 32įC 5:30am some days.
    But I noticed that I didn't actually mind that heat that much anymore after I had worked out as my body was hotter itself =) And I think warming up gets more important.
    Apart from that, I recently realized that we have a pool belonging to our unit. Are there any water aerobics suggestions on SP? =) - 2/1/2012   5:34:03 PM
  • 50
    Love this!

    I've used a couple of these excuses before. One that I've used within the last year.. actually within the last week: "I don't want to wake up my husband/son by getting up at 5:30."
    Background: During summer, I would get up at 5:30 to go running. I fell off that bandwagon. When I kicked back into exercise, it was dark as night at that point in the morning, so there was no way in heck I'm going out there by myself!
    HOWEVER, I'm doing other, non-runny exercises in the comfort of my home- AFTER my son and husband are awake and (usually) gone for work and school!

    When Daylight Savings rolls around, though.. I'll be out and running in the morning again! - 2/1/2012   4:56:55 PM
  • 49
    OMG do I really have to workout? so this magic diet pill doesn't exist?!!!

    I love this article...I've used all these excuses in the PAST but presently I am aspiring to be like many SP members who have amazing health stories. SP Rocks! - 2/1/2012   4:44:31 PM
  • 48
    My dog ate my workout..... ;^) - 2/1/2012   4:25:15 PM
  • 47
    This is a great article. I love the excuses listed. I know quite a few people who use a bunch of them all the time,

    The best was when I dragged a friend to the gym (she had a membership but never used it!) and she told me, "The Instructors need to be more OUT of shape, its not fair that they are in shape and we aren't" I simply replied "they are in shape, because they do the work!"

    It's kind of the same as never trusting a skinny cook LOL - 2/1/2012   4:13:44 PM
  • 46
    AMAZING article! Thank you Nicole - 2/1/2012   2:54:12 PM
  • DIBANANA
    45
    What a greata article! I read it to my husband and laughed a lot. You found all my excuses. I haven't tried the hair one but what a hoot! Thank you so much. I've saved it to remind myself to exercise!

    - 2/1/2012   2:09:36 PM
  • 44
    I love my workouts. I miss them when I can't do them....Of course, I still have to walk the dog even if I'm dying from ameobic dyssentary.....So I get some exercise no matter what!!!! Even if it's cold, rainy or dark. - 2/1/2012   1:43:09 PM
  • MJS007
    43
    This is my year of "No Excuses". Not at work, not in my life, not in my weight loss. So far, so good. - 2/1/2012   1:42:52 PM
  • 42
    Great blog! - 2/1/2012   1:05:57 PM
  • 41
    Awesome article!
    I thought your non-sugarcoated approach was just what we habitual excuse-makers needed. It was funny and effective. It was like you were inside my head this morning- listening to my mind making up excuses- and saying, "In the time it took you to make up a handful of excuses, your workout could have been done."
    Some of the other commenters seem like they are constant complainer types, like the people who if they won the lottery would complain about the taxes.
    Use common sense people! Yes, some people can't exercise because they are a "single mom of 4 kids whose arthritis is so bad that it warrants a knee replacement that she simply cannot afford and whose neighborhood is so unsafe that she can't go for a walk anywhere she likes" that's not an "excuse." This article was targeted at excuses.
    And as far as SP having conflicting information, I have never run into that. I have seen "members" of the site posting inaccurate information, but not "official" articles. And I have never seen them say "if you're only doing 10 minutes of exercise, you may as well do nothing." I don't know who that came from. You can work out everyday. You shouldn't run a marathon everyday, but there is no problem with a 10minute walk after dinner every night. It's a good habit actually. (Once again, common sense.)
    So, if you didn't like the article, go ahead and keep making your excuses and being negative. The rest of us will be at the gym. - 2/1/2012   1:02:06 PM
  • 40
    Really enjoyed this article. I seriously don't like exercise, I don't like sweating, I am completely out of shape and about 90 pounds over weight therefore not athletic, and I don't know what I am doing. Yep, used every single one of those. So here is what I have found in 2012 that I had not known previously. You don't have to be athletic to walk (I use the treadmill at the gym b/c I live in a dicey neighborhood), if nothing changes then nothing changes so I have to make the change I want to see, In January I found two exercises classes I like that I thought I wouldn't until I got over my phobias and tried them - weight lifting and Zumba. Most importantly for me is that I still dislike exercise and sweating but I do my best to dislike it consistently 4-5 times a week. I am not a daily exerciser, nor do I want to be because I like to rest at least two days a week, but I try not to take them back to back unless I am sick because I get LAZY very fast and inertia sets in faster than ice cream can melt. Just get out there folks and do it. You won't regret it. The aches and pains that accompany the first couple of weeks eventually go away and you become stronger, healthier and at some point you want to move your body. - 2/1/2012   1:01:51 PM
  • 39
    How about a hip fracture, surgery, and recovery? Nope, not excuses. You wouldn't believe what a workout getting 190 lbs out of a chair or off a bed is. Then, pushing a walker and hopping to the bathroom or following PT instructions. *Whew* Thank goodness there's 40 lbs less of me than when I joined SP! - 2/1/2012   1:00:44 PM
  • 38
    Great article...I think I have used all of those more than once! : ) - 2/1/2012   12:54:08 PM
  • 37
    My favorite rationales are "it is not safe to walk alone outside in winter" and "the malls are a distance to drive to" - 2/1/2012   12:40:12 PM
  • 36
    Love this blog ! No Excuses Period. - 2/1/2012   12:24:26 PM
  • 35
    I used to say, about 5 years ago, that exercise was a four-letter word! RUNN, JOGG, JUMP, SKIP, AND MOVE! Now all that stuff sounds pretty good and I do exercise a lot. I miss it when I'm not able to do it. But it's still a four-letter word: MOVE! One thing moving does is keep the joints from stiffening. The less you move the more it hurts. I've been there so I know what I'm talking about! But one thing for sure is, when you HUGG someone you LOVE, its a MOVE! - 2/1/2012   12:21:03 PM
  • 34
    I love working out - and NONE of those are my excuses. I work out 3 to 4 times a week, but I'd do it everyday if my kids and my responsibilites as a parent didn't come first. Plus they get in the way when I work out and so I go to the gym and let my husband watch them. So I can't go every night - otherwise I'd never be around my family. So yes I exercise, but not as much as I would if I was single without kids - 2/1/2012   12:11:15 PM
  • LEAUXRA
    33
    I love the voice in this article. It fits with my new mantra: "Shut up and go." Go to the class. Go for a walk. Go for a jog. Go do some crunches. Just. Go.

    Because these were the same excuses I used for not paying my bills on time, not getting to work on time, not packing my lunch for work... ridiculous. It was just my "lazy brain" inside trying to get out of doing the right thing.

    - 2/1/2012   12:10:32 PM
  • 32
    it's to cold that's alway's my excuse to lazy to get up and change into my workout clouthes - 2/1/2012   12:03:10 PM
  • 31
    "It's too cold, foggy or dark to ride my bike". I started using these excuses for a brief time. Then I started reading and hearing arguments to each. People live in all types of climate and can adapt to the weather whether by riding anyway or finding another form of exercise indoors. Lights for the bike. Duh! - 2/1/2012   10:57:09 AM
  • 30
    The best thing I ever did to get rid of excuses forever was to put a full length mirror right across from my desk chair! When I started, I HATED HATED HATED what I saw there - it made me want to go work out all day long. As I started getting in shape, I love what I see again, and it makes me want to go work out all day long. Right about that time, I found Coach Nichole's 15 minute office workout video - and I do it two or three times a day. I also do wall push ups in the elevator on the way up and down (if I'm alone in there) - I can do 12 between the 1st and 4th floors. I do triceps dips every time I get up to fill my teacup (switched from coffee since tea counts as water....) My size 4's are getting big in the waist; I can wear a size 2 skirt and jeans! The pretty body is IN YOU...find her. There are no excuses for letting her hide. I buried myself in long flowy clothes for two years (like Bea Arthur in Maude and Golden Girls.) No one knew how bad it had become inside those stylish flowy jackets and sweaters - but I could not BEAR to undress, even in front of myself! So I said - Just Do It - and I'll never stop again! - 2/1/2012   10:47:53 AM
  • 29
    Of course we have all committed at least one of these. I prefer to focus on the positive, so instead of focusing on why I can't or don't exercise I make a list of the reasons I want to or need to. See my blog on 1/28. - 2/1/2012   10:47:51 AM
  • 28
    I agree. There are no excuses if you want to get to your goals. You just have to DO IT! Even on those days that I don't feel like going, I remind myself that I will regret it if I skip. I also know that I will feel better after I get it done. Anyway...I like that second shower in a day. :) Supper hot water on a cold winter day...it can't be beat.

    BTW - I have a 14 day streak going on and each day is a 60 or 90 min workout. The only way I got to 14 days so far is my "No Excuses" rule! - 2/1/2012   10:01:20 AM
  • EMSIEBABY
    27
    I am having a rest day! - 2/1/2012   9:54:54 AM
  • 26
    I LOVE this entire article!! I have had to learn so many of these responses over the last year. My favorite line is, "there is an athletic person within each of us. It's just that some of us are in training and some aren't. Think like an athlete and don't make excuses to skip your training."

    Tough love! Thanks, Coach!! - 2/1/2012   9:32:44 AM
  • YENTRUOCM
    25
    I think this is great, as for comments 16 and 15, this is not snarky at all, its saying if you are working out 10 minutes, why not work out 15? And some people have a tougher time getting out of bed, let alone doing 30 seconds of any routine and this is saying, "hey, grab a dumbbell and do a curl while you are reading this, you are that close". Whereas, the working out daily thing is true for people doing this professionally and even they do work out every day (as you mentioned just not the same body groups) you have to plan for your work outs and alternate days. Yall both actually answered with more excuses.

    The challenge is to just be like NIKE, "Just Do It". Anyone can do or say anything to get out of becoming a better, healthier person, and feeling good. That's part of depression. Its a lack of motivation, self confidence, self worth even. This blog is saying "WAKE UP I THINK YOU ARE WORTH IT AND I WANT YOU TO SUCCEED!!!!!" - 2/1/2012   9:29:53 AM
  • 24
    Personally I think this article is great. Nipped a lot of excuses in the bud! I am getting my workouts in mornings before going to work which means I get up earlier. You find time.
    As for the aunt Flo excuse, some people really do have a legit reason to say that as I used to have extreme pain caused by endometriosis and had to have surgery because of it. But I realize that comment was for the majority.

    - 2/1/2012   9:20:30 AM
  • 23
    I had surgery, but that was a temporary excuse. - 2/1/2012   9:19:03 AM
  • THEMOTIVATOR1
    22
    "I don't feel like it" Put feelings and emotions aside. Logic and reasoning are the rules. I had worked over 12 hours, drove over 500 miles and I did not "feel" like going to the gym, just go home and sit down and turn on the tv. So, I put my feelings aside and went to the gym anyway. After about 10 minutes I felt like exercising. Not only did I sleep well I felt great the next day. - 2/1/2012   9:17:24 AM
  • 21
    Love it!! Guilty of a few of those myself. Thanks for jumping in to my head. :) - 2/1/2012   9:16:33 AM
  • JJPUFFETT
    20
    I don't know if anyone has mentioned this yet (it only applies to women), but the best excuse I've EVER heard for not exercising was..."I can't work out this week. Aunt Flo is in town!" - 2/1/2012   9:15:09 AM
  • 19
    I have so many excuses one is I just feel so old and depress no one pays me no attention just don't have no good self esteem about myself and can't seen to lose no weight either and I exercise regulary - 2/1/2012   9:14:06 AM
  • 18
    Wow, thanks for that article! I was a total couch potato and my only excuse was "I don't WANT to exercise"! But someone told me there's never a time that she's regretted exercising. She said she always feels energized, and that it's better than a nap. So one day when I was tired at work I walked around the block during my break. She was right. That was the first day of new beginnings for me. I know I will feel better after even a little bit of exercise. - 2/1/2012   9:09:33 AM
  • TAYVONSMOM
    17
    No baby-sitter. Now my (6 y/o) son and I workout together. We both enjoy it...for the most part. lol - 2/1/2012   8:56:15 AM
  • 16
    This is a lot snarkier than I expected from SP. I know a lot of people who don't exercise for a plethora of reasons -- like the single mom of 4 kids whose arthritis is so bad that it warrants a knee replacement that she simply cannot afford and whose neighborhood is so unsafe that she can't go for a walk anywhere she likes.

    Some people really don't have a choice about exercise -- they're just trying to survive.

    And I know that's not your target audience, and I honestly agree that 95% of non-exercisers have NO good excuses for being inactive. But there are those few who just CAN'T. This piece was just so sarcastic that I felt like I needed to take it down a notch. - 2/1/2012   8:53:09 AM
  • 15
    I agree with EMMANYC on one thing: I do come across a lot of contradictory information on SP and it's frustrating. For instance, you read one thing that says 10 minutes of exercise is better than nothing; then you read something else that says if you're only doing 10 minutes of exercise, you may as well do nothing. Which is it?!

    As far as the "I exercised yesterday" excuse, I always thought that we were discouraged from working the same muscle groups on consecutive days. For example, if you worked on your core yesterday, you would work arms or legs, or concentrate on cardio today.

    I'm just getting started (again!) and I am working toward doing SOMETHING at least 5 days a week. I think there is a difference between making an excuse to not exercise (which is usually baseless) and having an actual reason--like the need for rest.

    (Oh, yeah...I've used the "It's too hot to exercise" excuse myself!) - 2/1/2012   8:48:18 AM
  • 14
    I agree with TSARITSA. The idea of this article is to not constantly use these excuses. And working out each day doesn't mean the same thing. SP and other experts recommend 5 to 6 days of cardio workouts (once you get to the level to handle them) a week. As for strength training, that is recommended 2 to 3 days a week with rest between each workout. Also, exercise comes in many forms. I might workout on the treadmill 5 days a week and then take 2 days off to rest, but that doesn't mean I won't do any form of exercising those days. I'm more likely to keep up with exercising if I go for a long walk on my days off from cardio, which walking constitutes exercising. And this article does not say you HAVE to workout every single day, it's just saying that if you continue to use that as an excuse, then you're more likely to fail. Believe me, I've been there. I've thought to myself, well, I worked out yesterday so I don't NEED to do it today...and then tomorrow comes and I think, well I worked out 2 days ago, yesterday and today will be my 2 days off....then next thing I know, it's been a week since I exercised. That's when using those excuses come into play and changing your way of thinking is what needs to be done. - 2/1/2012   8:45:42 AM
  • 13
    Coach Nicole,
    I just LOVE your articles!!! You have inspired me more than you know!!!
    EmmaNYC: about inconsistency... I think Coach Nicole was just saying that everyday a person can do 10 minutes... she wasn't saying do a full body workout to the point of exhaustion everyday...
    Spark People Rocks!!!!! I will reach my goal with your all's support and the inner determination I have! :) - 2/1/2012   8:40:17 AM

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