The top five exercise excuses

We have all done it. When you are juggling three different to-do lists and two crises (and house is crying out to be tidied), exercising is something to avoid. After all, it’s not urgent, is it?

So, here are the top ten excuses and how to bust through them. Which ones do you use the most?

I am too busy

Unless you are a stressed, international CEO or a single mum juggling three jobs, you probably can find the time. Quick wins include:

  • Getting up 10 minutes earlier to do a quick HIT workout in your pyjamas, before breakfast
  • Making use of the school run for a brisk walk.
  • Do you commute by public transport? Plan ahead and walk an extra stop in the morning. Another easy way is to take the stairs instead of the lift.
  • Are you taking the kids to the park? You can run laps around the playground, or even do this workout whilst they are playing
  • Is it 9pm before you even sit down in the evenings? Take 10 minutes to do some pilates or yoga before slumping on the sofa. It may feel like yet another task, but your body and mind will thank you for it.
  • I personally enjoy hula-hooping in front of my favourite TV programme.  

I am too tired

OK, if you are reading this within 12 weeks of giving birth and the baby has been up all flipping night because they are cluster feeding…go back to bed. As for the rest of us, it’s usually mental tiredness, rather physically tiredness and the thought of yet another “chore” to do. At these times, I pick toddler-wrestling on the sofa, dancing around the room to I Am Amazing, or postponing it until I need to do the housework.   

I feel self-conscious

Me too. It does not help that the majority of fitness instructors look so sleek and toned, whilst we are there with wobbly thighs and a stomach flap over our C-section scar. But you can still pick up a fitness app or download a programme from Sky, Amazon, Youtube or Netflix. You can join the local Parkrun or find out from your council gym when the next Couch to 5k is starting. The worst moment is getting started. After that, you will be focusing on your fitness goals.

My kids won’t leave me alone

This is a tricky one, especially if they are young. For babies and young toddlers, try the local Buggfit groups. They operate in most areas of the UK and the council-run ones are very relaxed and affordable. If your kids are a bit older, get them involved! Fitness does not need to be serious work – try Dodgeball or gamify it with them.   

I get bored quickly

There’s two ways around this. The first is to make it into a social event, with some fitness friends. Traditionally, you would do this via fitness classes, but it’s possible to arrange a Skype workout with an overseas friend or pick an online partner via the Xbox or PLaystation

The second option is to focus on the challenge, not the workout. Make a specific commitment with penalties for failure if you don’t complete the challenge. Stickk and Beeminder are both good for this, or you can join an accountability group on Facebook. If you have a child aged over 4, you can even make them your partner. Print off a workout tracker and stick it on the fridge. For every day you miss, you “pay” your child the agreed forfeit. They will be very vigilant with you on this!

Good luck and let me know in the comments below how you fight your fitness excuses!

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