Great Excuses to Not Work Out


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  132 comments   :  68,552 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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  • 82
    I work 12 hours a day at a menial job with no chance for advancement inside the company. And I drive another 3 hours on top of it. I leave the house at 6 and get home at 10. I try to do short videos at work that I can do in one spot. But I can't leave my work to take a walk like I'd love. But the type of job I have I often have to quit halfway thru a video to work and come back to finish in 5minutes. - 2/2/2012   10:59:17 PM
  • 81
    The hardest part about exercise is STARTING. - 2/2/2012   10:26:33 PM
    I love exercise, so I rarely have used these excuses, but one I hear from a friend is that her husband won't exercise. I keep urging her to do it anyway - maybe he'll join her, maybe he won't. The saddest part is that he's very obese, but she desperately needs the exercise because she had arthritis. - 2/2/2012   10:10:42 PM
  • 79
    I have a fresh knee replacement, and other than rehab, for that, I can't do much. there are never any exercises for people who have compromised joints, or physical problems. It is annoying. I can ride the recumbent bike and do that, and other P.T. - 2/2/2012   8:57:08 PM
  • 78
    Sweat is sexy! Sweat is strong!

    Absolutely! You got that right! - 2/2/2012   5:41:10 PM
  • 77
    I am pretty sure I have used most if not all of these excuses. It used to be that I was "too tired" but got into the habit of working out early in the morning before work. Now I am SOOO much more energized and feel good about myself all day. - 2/2/2012   5:19:43 PM
  • 76
    My favorite is I don't need to exercise - living is enough exercise. That may have been true in my youth before automatic washing machines, leaf blowers, power mowers, TV and the computer but today with multi car families and all the other 'time savers' I found I have to actually exercise. It's not too bad. - 2/2/2012   4:53:41 PM
  • 75
    DARN IT! Now what will I use as an excuse to not excersize!?!?!?!?!? ;) - 2/2/2012   3:46:22 PM
    very helpful - 2/2/2012   3:33:51 PM
  • 73
    fantastic article: it's gone into my favorites to be re-read and consulted repeatedly. Thanks for all the links that will be helpful too! - 2/2/2012   1:46:24 PM
  • 72
    i LOVED this article and i laughed a lot--probably cuz i used some of these myself in the past. - 2/2/2012   1:19:45 PM
  • 71
    I've used a few of those myself! I've heard my husband just say I don't want to and that's that! The other one I hear often is PMS or that time.... I've found it helps me have less cramping. We certainly can generate the excuses! Thanks for putting most away! - 2/2/2012   11:27:47 AM
  • 70
    Thanks for this blog. It made me laugh because I've honestly used every single one of these excuses... but no more! No, I can't afford a gym, and no, I don't like to go outside and walk. So instead, I choose to do Turbo Jam in the privacy of my own living room! Can't use the no babysitter excuse, my daughter can stay home with me! No excuses! - 2/2/2012   11:26:52 AM
  • 69
    Great Blog! I think I've used every one of those and then some...but my motto this year is New Year...New Me and now I'm a month into it and love getting up 30 mins before the rest of the family and getting my treadmill time in. Also discovering new veggies/fruits is my goal on every trip to the grocery store. If no new ones, then atleast a new way to fix them. - 2/2/2012   11:18:00 AM
  • 68
    Love it! So true and great article! - 2/2/2012   10:28:52 AM
  • 67
    SUPER article! Thanks Nicole! - 2/2/2012   9:27:56 AM
  • 66
    A really very good article! Simple but true - 2/2/2012   8:51:40 AM
  • 65
    "No excuses", is why I pulled out my exercise videos (talking vhs). I have a vcr in every room so "No Excuses" - 2/2/2012   8:47:56 AM
  • 64
    This is my all-time favorite:
    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. - 2/2/2012   8:29:47 AM
  • 63
    I love these! I am packing workout clothes along with my other workday stuff. I'm headed into the gym for the third time in a week after work. All the excuses are dropping off. I keep talc in that bag, but my plan is to head home from the workout gloriously sweaty!!! Woo Hoo! - 2/2/2012   8:17:31 AM
  • 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
    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 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
    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
    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
    'It's too hot/muggy'
    We live in Cairns and it's summer right now, so we even have like 32°C 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
  • 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
    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
    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

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