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Four Common I-Hate-Exercise Excuses: Debunked

Four Common I-Hate-Exercise Excuses: Debunked

By Sheryl Kraft

Created: 06/04/2009
Last Updated: 11/24/2009

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Even if you are an exercise nut that doesn't guarantee that you'll be gung-ho about working out all the time. After all, it's easy to get pretty creative with excuses when you get injured or feel bored.

Exercise may take a back seat when life becomes hectic, you're too tired, you have a stomachache, a toothache...you get the idea.

And although you know - both for mental and physical health - it's not always easy to lace up your sneakers and get moving. Personal experience has taught me some surefire tips for fighting back...

Excuse #1: I'm too busy

Deadlines, errands, appointments, work...these can all get in the way, relegating exercise to the very bottom of your to-do list.

Try these:

  • Work out for 10 minutes: A few 10-minute spurts of exercise can add up - 3 short spurts equals 30 minutes...a decent workout time.


  • Get up 30 minutes earlier: Two days a week, set your alarm 30 minutes earlier. You may feel so good from all the flowing endorphins that you'll be tempted to add a third day - or even a fourth.

Excuse #2: I'm too tired

Maybe you partied too hard last night...or you tossed and turned all night, feeling like you never slept at all.

Try these:

  • "Disguise" exercise by ramping up some every-day activities: Take the stairs instead of the elevator park the car at the back of the parking lot. Something else that works: When you pack up for work, pack your sneakers and take an You might not be sweating in your workout gear, but you can still get some great benefits.


  • Rethink your bedtime: Going to sleep a half-hour earlier may be all you need to help you wake up refreshed and ready to go.

Exercise #3: Exercise is way too boring

Sure, walking on the treadmill can sometimes feel like you're getting nowhere fast. Or the same old routine can begin to really wear on you...and suddenly a root canal looks like a fun alternative.

Try these:

  • Vary your routine: Instead of 30 minutes on the treadmill (which can feel like 30 hours) divide your workout between 3 different machines for 10 minutes each. Ride the bike, then hit the rowing machine and finally the elliptical - the time might pass so fast, you won't realize you've just put in 30 minutes.


  • Get out of the gym: Instead, outdoor activities: tennis, gardening, biking, hiking...they're exercise, too.

Excuse #4: I've tried to exercise in the past - and have failed miserably or have never been able to follow through

Try these:

  • Start small: Sometimes by doing too much, you burn out faster. Pace yourself. Each session, up your time and/or intensity. Your body will adjust better and you'll avoid injuries (a common cause of throwing in the towel) if you build up slowly.


  • Set realistic goals: Don't set yourself up for failure by expecting yourself to work out five days a week when three days might be more realistic. And if you're frustrated that after one month that your body doesn't resemble Madonna's (not even a little), give yourself a reality check: it may never look like that, but you can be sure it looks tighter and more fit than when you first started.

They're all worth a try, don't you think?

Check in with me and let me know what worked - and what didn't!

For more on exercise, read:


I, too, find that combining exercise with either music, watching tv, walking my dog or reading (depending on the type of exercise) is a huge help in keeping me motivated and energized.

Good reminders that I need to keep up with my exercise routine. My dog helps me remember--if we don't go on our walk he goes bonkers for the rest of the day.

I love to exercise and do something else at the same time -- I find a walk is a great time to catch up on phone calls or listen to the news on the radio. Then I feel like I'm doing something productive--exercising--and using my time well to do something off my to-do list. It would probably be better just to focus on the exercise but your readers might want to try this!

I had been exercising for years without listening to music and was very bored. I bought an ipod, my daughter put great songs on it, and wow, I am exercising all the time and now I am running on my treadmill. I never did that before and my pace is much faster because of my music. Why I didnt do this years ago is a mystery to me but now I look forward to getting on my treadmill!


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