What Is Your Excuse For Not Working Out?

Posted by : foongpc | Wednesday, August 6, 2008 | Published in

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What is keeping people from working out? Despite knowing full well that exercise is important to keep us healthy, and is recommended by virtually all doctors, people are still reluctant to work out. I have spoken to a number of friends and found out that people do really have a lot of excuses when it comes to working out!

Here are some of the more popular excuses.

I’m so busy I’ve no time to exercise!

Gym memberships are too expensive – I can’t afford it!

I’ve tried to exercise but did not see any progress or improvement

Exercise is boring!

I’m too tired to exercise!

Let us now look at each of these excuses one by one.

I’m so busy I’ve no time to exercise!
This is most popular excuse used to validate the reason for not exercising. In fact this is such a common excuse I am fed up with it!

Firstly, there’s no such thing as no time. It all boils down to priorities and time management. Ask yourself, is exercise a priority? Is health a priority? If it is, then you have to make time for it! If it is not, ask yourself why not. Do you want to be healthy and enjoy your life? Or do you rather be busy working your job and making lots of money but later find that you cannot enjoy your wealth simply because you are too sick?

As for time management, we are all too aware that there is only 24 hours in a day. What you need to do is to stop wasting time on unproductive things like watching too much TV, chatting too long on the phone, spending too much time cleaning and tidying your house etc. When you cut out these stuffs, you will be able to find the time to work out.

And by the way, no one is asking you to spend 2 hours working out! If you are short of time, 20 minutes may be all you need!

Exercise should comprise of cardio and weight training. You don’t have to combine both exercises at one go. Why not do cardio on one day and weight training on the next?

To save time, limit your cardio to just 20 minutes. By employing the high intensity interval training, you don’t need to exercise for 1 hour or more to lose weight. What’s more you can see better results!

As for weight training, limit it to 45 minutes. Do not do isolated exercises, concentrate only on compound movements like squat, bench press, deadlifts, chin ups and dips because these exercises train more muscles at one go and therefore, saves you time. For example, a bench press works the chest, shoulders and triceps all at the same time.

Gym memberships are too expensive – I can’t afford it!
Admittedly, the price of everything is rising. So why not save money by not going to the gym?

Cancelling your gym membership may save you some money, but really, do you honestly think it’s cheaper to be sick or to be healthy? Medical fees are not cheap nowadays. It’s better to invest in your health now than to pay for it later!

Besides, who says you need to go to the gym to exercise? There’s a lot of nice public parks where you can go jogging for free. What’s more, you get to enjoy the nice scenery while exercising instead of the four walls in the gym! Or you can go play tennis or badminton with your friend. Instead of going to the gym to lift weight, buy your own dumbbells and barbells. It’s certainly a lot cheaper in the long run.

And if you have been using a personal trainer and it is burning a hole in your pocket, stop using one! You really don’t need a personal trainer once you have learnt all the basics to weight lifting. You definitely don’t need a personal trainer for your cardio workouts – so stop wasting your hard earned money! If you really need help from your personal trainer to track your progress, cutting down your sessions with him or her to just once a month is good enough.

"I've tried to exercise but did not see any progress or improvement"
There are many reasons why you don’t see any improvement or progress. One of them is having the same fitness routine week after week, month after month. Our body is very clever to adapt. If you use the same routine ie. same movements, same reps, same intensity, the body will get used to it and you will reach a plateau. Therefore, change your routine at least every 8 sessions of the same workout. Also, each workout, try to have some progression, ie. Increase either in reps or weight. You need to keep your body guessing so it does not adapt!

Another reason is overtraining. After an intensive workout, you need a good rest. Don’t exercise excessively or you will suffer. Your immune system will weaken and you will feel tired all the time! Believe me, when you are tired, you won’t feel like working out! Not working out equals no progress.

The third reason could be your unrealistic expectations. If you expect to lose 10kg within a month, or you expect to build a body like Will Smith within 3 months, you are really deluding yourself. Whether to lose weight or build muscles, you need time to achieve it, so a false expectation will make you give up easily.

One way to track your progress is to note down every workout on a log book. When you see the small progress recorded in your log book, you will be more motivated to continue working out.

"Exercise is boring!"
To make your workout more interesting, vary your routines. Doing the same routine every day will definitely bore you to death! You can also try to have a change of environment. For example, instead of exercising in the gym, go to the public parks to have your workouts. Also, having a workout buddy will make exercise more interesting, and both of you can help to motivate each other. Just make sure your buddy is at the same or almost the same fitness level with you.

"I'm too tired to exercise!"
If you are too tired to work out, then you need to work out! Seriously! After a session of exercise, you will find yourself less tired and more energetic due to better blood circulation.

Tiredness also could be due to overtraining as mentioned above.

Or it could be due to lack of rest and sleep. Do not underestimate the power of sleep. It is during sleep that our body repairs itself. Our muscles grow when we sleep, not during the workout session in the gym! If you don’t sleep enough, you will find no improvement to your workout because your body does not have the opportunity to repair itself. If you have problem sleeping, you might want to try some of the tips provided in A True Account By An Insomniac.

After reading this, I hope you will have no more excuses for not working out!


(10) Comments

  1. cc said...

    My biggest problem before, too lazy to get to the gym. Rectify that and got a treadmill at home now. It works! No more excuses! Can watch tv while doing exercise too! LOL

    The key is to target our weakness and work on that.

    August 6, 2008 at 9:57 AM
  2. hyperX said...

    LOL... You missed out one excuse, "My body is great and I'm health, I don't need exercise" what if someone actually says that.

    August 6, 2008 at 10:16 AM
  3. Johnny Ong said...

    its not the above .... people are just to comfortable at where they are even though they knew that exercise is important.

    only one event will make them change their mindset - when they are admitted into intensive care in hospital

    August 6, 2008 at 7:04 PM
  4. Bengbeng said...

    i am enjoying gymming so much nowadays. my personal trainer is an ex mr sarawak.. he has had some injury so he is doing at the same pace n weight n intensity as me n his services r free as we r good frens. wonderful

    August 6, 2008 at 10:12 PM
  5. foongpc said...

    cc, good for you! : )

    hyperx, if someone tells me they are healthy and don't need to exercise, then they are missing the point. They may be healthy now but if they don't exercise, they may not maintain their health much longer.

    johnny ong, I agree. People only start to seriously take care of their health when they suffer a major illness.

    bengbeng, i'm really happy you found a good personal trainer, and free one too! Enjoy your workout! : )

    August 7, 2008 at 9:43 AM
  6. My Bug Life said...

    No excuse for me..hehhe. I exercise when I feel like it..I think the key is finding what suits you and works for you. I am into swimming..great cardio workout and basically works out the entire body with no sweat coz you are in the water the whole time.

    August 8, 2008 at 7:40 PM
  7. foongpc said...

    my bug life, swimming is a great workout and since you like it, yes no excuse for you not to work out! : )

    August 9, 2008 at 11:00 AM
  8. synical said...

    I'm just too cheap for gym membership.

    So my only exercise really is mall walking. My pace is not the typical slow dawdle that other people do.

    I used to swim when I was still an undergrad, but with the public pools here... I really don't dare liao :P

    August 9, 2008 at 4:05 PM
  9. Bengbeng said...

    to answer yr comment on my 'scary post' - hope u dont mind my using this post of yrs :)

    foong, i was not alone throughout this experience. there were 7 others with me but I am not the socially active type so I was alone most of the weekends.

    perhaps it was a dream but a very real dream which wreaked havoc in our lives at that time. it is a true story so are all the 'ghost stories' on the blog.

    August 9, 2008 at 10:58 PM
  10. foongpc said...

    synical, walking is good exercise too. But walking in the mall, err... not sure about that cos after some walking, you tend to go to one of those nice eateries to eat your heart out!

    bengbeng, I don't doubt your story because I've heard many true ghost stories from my friends too. But pls don't freak me out! : )

    August 10, 2008 at 2:32 AM