Habits of Fit People: Don't Make Exercise Excuses

By , SparkPeople Blogger
You want to be a fit person, right? That's why I'm sharing my own habits for keeping fit and staying healthy in the ongoing Habits of Fit People series.

Here's one that works for me: not making exercise excuses.

The difference between fit people and unfit ones isn't a matter of intention—it's about consistency. We all have the best intentions to work out, but fit people will find a way to exercise no matter what life throws at them. They are committed to following their fitness plan day in and day out, even when long work hours, childcare, holidays, travel, and other unforeseen circumstances throw a wrench into their plans. They don't confuse "being busy" with being active. Fit people plan their workouts, maintain a backup plan, and even commit to a shorter workout if that's all that time allows. Put simply, they don't make exercise excuses. So how can you be more like them?

The excuse people most often make for not exercising is "lack of time," but the truth is, we're all busy. You can complain about it. You can theorize that everyone else must have it easier than you do. However, let's be honest: We all have commitments and obligations; we just choose to prioritize them differently.

One of my favorite Nike ads says, "Someone busier than you is running right now." Take a moment to let that resonate. I like to think about this phrase from time to time as motivation. No matter how busy I feel like I am each day—and I am definitely busy!—I know there are people who do much more than me each day and still maintain a healthy lifestyle. That thought inspires me to stay committed to exercise, too, even on days when I swear that I don't have time to work out.

If you still feel too busy to work out, you do have some options.
  • Break up your workout into smaller chunks throughout the day, such as 10 minutes in the morning, at lunch, and after dinner.
  • Try a shorter workout. On my busiest days, sometimes I only have time to exercise for 10 or 20 minutes, but I still get out there and give it all I've got rather than letting that all-or-nothing mentality convince me that I might as well do nothing.
  • Turn off the tube. If you have time to watch TV, then you have time to exercise. That's another thing I like to remind people who struggle to stick with a routine. I am certain that one of the reasons I can juggle so many responsibilities and still work out is because I watch almost no TV. Try it yourself! You'll be surprised how much time you discover in your schedule—probably enough to hit the gym and cook a healthy meal each night!

Life is always going to be busy, stressful and difficult, but we must learn to weave workouts and other healthy habits into our current lives. We can't all leave real life behind and live on "The Biggest Loser" ranch for a few months. It might take some re-prioritizing. It might mean saying no to others or asking for help. But it can be done! All the fit people in the world can attest to that!

Do you struggle with exercise excuses or is your commitment to exercise unwavering? How do you stick with your workouts even when you're busy?