As a personal trainer, I’ve heard it all when it comes to excuses not to work out. I get it, we’re only human and some days we’re not going to be able to exercise. That’s just life. But let’s be real—you will never achieve your goals if you keep setting them back. So if you continually find yourself making excuses as to why you can’t work out, I want you to think of reasons why you should instead. With this in mind, I’ve put together a few of the most common excuses I hear and my simple solutions to make sure you don’t put that workout off time after time.

Excuse #1: I don’t have time

This has got to be the oldest excuse in the book. But it really is a reality of making the time, not finding the time. I want you to take a look at your day and how you spend your time—specifically things you do throughout the day that don’t need to be there (like scrolling through Instagram). Could this time be used more efficiently? Most people that say “I don’t have time” also think that you need 60 minutes or more to complete an effective workout. But the reality is, quick, efficient workouts will still give you incredible results.

Excuse #2: I’ve lost motivation

There’s no denying that motivation is an incredible driving force when it’s present. But just like any other emotion, it’s not always going to stick around. So if you have found yourself in an exercise rut and have lost all enthusiasm to exercise then it might be time to spice things up. Mix up your usual routine and find something you truly enjoy doing—maybe it’s boxing or going for a swim, and find a friend to do it with you to keep you accountable. There are definitely a couple of tricks you can use to get your motivation mojo back however!

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, others can barely function before 10 am. I always say that the best time of day to workout is when you actually will—so if morning workouts aren’t your thing there’s no harm in exercising later in the day. Find a time that works for you and make it your regular workout time—it’s that simple.

Excuse #4: I’m hungover

When you’re feeling worse for wear after a big night out, exercise is probably the last thing you feel like doing. But the reality is—getting off the couch and getting your sweat on is one of the best ways you can shake that hangover. A swim is always my go-to – and no matter how hard, I always remind myself how much better I will feel afterwards. Simply moving your body will rid your body of the toxins and release those feel good endorphins that you need, turning that sorry Sunday on its head in no time.

Excuse #5: A gym membership is too expensive

The good news is you don’t need a gym to get incredible results. In fact, there are so many exercises you can do that don’t require a gym membership or any equipment at all. Interval running, body weight workouts and at home workouts are just a few things that you can try to get your heart rate up and blood pumping without costing you an arm and a leg. The best part is, you can do them anywhere, anytime.

Excuse #6: I’m too sore

So you can barely walk or lift your arms the day after a killer workout—we’ve all been there. But should this be a reason to skip your workout? Definitely not. In fact, being sore gives you all the more reason to move your body. Delayed onset muscle soreness (aka DOMS) can occur after an intense workout and refers to micro-tears in the muscles—and one of the best ways to relieve it is light active recovery like walking, swimming and cycling, or simply try a workout that puts your muscles that aren’t sore to work.

Excuse #7: I’m not seeing results

My training philosophy is based on variety, intensity, consistency. If you’re not seeing results, I always recommend doing an audit to ensure that these three things are happening. And if the answer is still yes, 99% of the time it comes down to dropping the ball on nutrition. Remember, not seeing results is not a reason to throw in the towel but should act as ammunition and a driving force to help you smash your goals—trust me, you’ve got this!

So there you have it. Hopefully, you have realised that whatever the circumstance, there really is no excuse to not get active!

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.