As a personal trainer, I’ve heard it all when it comes to excuses not to work out. I get it. Some days we’re not going to be able to exercise, and the reasons are totally valid and there’s not much we can do about it. That’s called life.

But let’s be real—there’s a lot of excuses we use to avoid exercising which arent so valid.

If getting fit and staying healthy is important to you, then it’s important to find a way to overcome those excuses. Because you and I both know that you’ll achieve your goals if you keep doing things (or NOT doing things) that set your goals back.

To help you get past these excuses (which we have all used at once time or another!) I’ve put together a few of the most common excuses I always hear, as well as my simple solutions to help you overcome them, so we can get you moving again, towards a fitter, healthier and happier you!

Take a moment, right now, to consider what your go-to excuses are. What are your reasons why you shouldn’t exercise today? Then, I’d like you to think about all the reasons why you should.

Excuse #1: I don’t have time to work out

Not having enough time has got to be the oldest excuse in the book. And my simplest response to this is: don’t try to find the time, make the time.

And here’s how.

I want you to take a look back at your week, and consider how you normally spend your time every day. Break it down into half-hour chunks. Are there regular things you do throughout the day that you’d classify as unnecessary or a ‘time-waster’? For example, how many minutes or hours do you spend scrolling through your social feeds every day? Could you swap half an hour of social media time, with half an hour of physical activity instead?

Which leads me to another simple solution for the excuse “I don’t have time to work out’.

If you don’t think you have time, because you think you need an hour or more to get an effective workout, think again. Although a lot of people believe they need to spend hours at the gym, the reality is that you can get amazing results from quick HIIT workouts (if you do them at least 4 times a week). And your results will come even faster in LESS time, if you pair your daily HIIT with a quality, healthy eating plan.

Excuse #2: I’ve lost motivation to exercise

There’s no denying that motivation is a powerful driving force that propels you forward to take action… when it’s present. But, just like any other emotion, motivation never sticks around. So what do you do when your motivation well has run dry?

You need to find another reason to get your daily exercise routine flowing again.

For example, if you lost your motivation to exercise after you got bored with the same old workout routine, then the most obvious answer is: spice your workouts up! Human beings love variety, and it’s important to keep your body challenged, and your mind interested by finding something new. Maybe it’s a boxing class, or going for a swim down the beach. Maybe it’s dancing, or maybe you’ve always wanted to greet the sunrise with some morning yoga at home. Whatever activity piques your interest, try it!

Another way to help you get active again (even if you do not feel motivated) is to find a friend to exercise with you. This will not only keep you accountable, but the community aspect can be a huge motivating factor. And, in fact, that’s one of the things all my 28ers say about our private Facebook community, its so motivating to be able to connect with people who are all working towards the same healthy goals and supporting each other…. this works a treat, even if you’ve never met them in real life!

If you need more help to find your motivation mojo, check out my tips on how to get your motivation back, as there are definitely a couple of tricks I like to use when nothing else seems to work.

Excuse #3: I’m not a morning person

Some of us love waking up at the crack of dawn to get our workout done and dusted, but others can barely function before 10 am. We are all different, and that’s OK. I always say that the best time of day to workout is when you actually will—so if morning workouts aren’t your thing schedule a workout appointment with yourself in the PM. Find a time that works for you and make it your regular workout time—it’s that simple.

It doesn’t matter when you exercise today, it just matters that you do.

Excuse #4: I can’t exercise because I’m hungover.

I know all too well, that when you’re feeling worse for wear after a big night out (or a big night in!), exercise is the last thing you want to do. But the reality is—getting off the couch and getting your sweat on is one of the fastest ways you can shake that boozy hangover.

Personally, when I’ve drunk a bit too much the night before, a refreshing swim is always my go-to. No matter how hard it feels to get started, I always remind myself how much better I always feel afterwards. Moving your body will rid your body of the hangover toxins and it releases all those feel good endorphins that you need, and it will help you burn off that hangover brain fog in no time at all!

Excuse #5: A gym membership is too expensive

Although this can be true, especially if you are doing it tough on a low income, the good news is that exercise is free.

You don’t need a gym to get fit.

There are so many simple exercises you can do at home, that don’t require a gym membership. For example, interval running outside, or some simple resistance exercises, plus there’s so many home exercises you can do, that don’t require any equipment at all.

These are just a few healthy (and cheap!) ideas you can try to get your heart rate up and blood pumping, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. The best part is if you find a quick and simple home exercise routine that works for you, that you enjoy, AND you can do it anywhere, anytime… a lack of motivation becomes much less of an issue.

Excuse #6: I’m too sore to exercise today

So you can barely walk or lift your arms the day after a killer workout—yep, we’ve all been there. If you’re someone who throws themselves into a new exercise regime and goes really hard on day 1… but then you find yourself so sore the next day, that you’re tempted to give up, I get it.

Delayed onset muscle soreness (aka DOMS) often occurs a day or two after an intense workout. This is normal. DOMs is a side effect of the healing process your body uses in order to build muscle strength and endurance. The downside of this necessary process is that DOMS does not feel great, especially first thing in the morning!

But should a bit of discomfort be a reason to skip today’s workout? Definitely not. In fact, having really sore muscles after your workout is the BEST reason to get your body moving again.

The best way to STOP the soreness from your exercise session is… another exercise session! Seriously, nothing stops DOMs and muscle soreness as fast as getting moving again with light ‘active recovery’ activities, such as like walking, swimming and cycling. Or, you could simply customise your workout to use different muscles today (the ones that aren’t sore from yesterday!).

You’ll feel so much better, and you’ll recover quicker if you keep your body moving, no matter how sore those muscles feel at first.

Excuse #7: I’m not seeing results, why bother?

My proven training philosophy is based around ensuring you have the right amount of variety, intensity and… consistency! If you’re not seeing results, I always recommend doing an audit to ensure that you’re ticking off all three things. And if you are, then the #1 reason why you arent getting the results will be because you’re dropping the ball on your nutrition.

Remember, not seeing results is not a reason to throw in the towel, it should be your reason to keep going and work smarter and harder until you see changes and you smash your goals—trust me, you’ve got this!

So there you have it. Seven common excuses you might be using as to why you aren’t exercising, as well as several good reasons to push on past those excuses not to workout, and do it anyway. Hopefully, by now, you have started to realise that whatever the circumstance, there really is no excuse not to get active, and so many great benefits to pushing past those excuses so you can live a healthier and happier life!

If you’re new to exercise, but you want a simple and PROVEN way to get fit at home, with daily motivation and live support, every step of the way, check out my home fitness & nutrition program. I’ve helped over 400,000 people get fit and healthy at home, and all you need is a phone and 28 minutes a day!

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Posted by Sam Wood

Father and husband, on a mission to help people move more, eat better and make a positive change to their lives. Sam Wood has over 20 years experience as a personal trainer and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading experts and media commentators in the health & fitness industry. Sam is the founder and personal trainer of 28, Australia’s #1 home fitness and nutrition program, and he's also the proud owner of Australia’s largest personal training studio, The Woodshed, based in Brighton, Melbourne.