Yet when we don’t have time to work out, often there’s a lingering sense of guilt, which we assuage with excuses. In turn, a cycle manifests—if we are committed to exercise and don’t do it, the excuse allows us to feel less discomfort.
It’s a normal response and easy habit to fall into. But the secret to countering the cycle is just as simple: just get into the habit of working out.
Until that habit is created, here’s how to overcome your top four gym deterrents:
The Excuse: I’m beat.
Shake it off: It’s the foremost reason most people ditch their workouts. To ward away the excuse, remember that studies have shown that regular physical activity can improve energy. If you don’t believe it, commit to a week of exercise and see if you notice a difference. If you have most of your energy in the morning, wake up a little earlier and get a brisk walk in. Prefer the evening? Enlist the company of an exercise pal—it’s harder to skip out when someone else can hold you accountable!
The Excuse: I’m too busy.
Shake it off: It’s true—you have a million things to do, and plenty of extracurricular obligations, to boot. But the time is there. If you work 50 hours a week and sleep eight hours a night, that leaves 62 hours for other things. And the American Heart Association says 75 minutes of vigorous exercise is all you need each week to improve your health. Start figuring out where you have pockets of unused time for mini-chunks of exercise, like a 30-minute stroll on your lunch break.
The Excuse: I’ll have to take another shower and get ready all over again.
Shake it off: You can primp in no time by sweeping your sweaty spots with an antibacterial wipe, and do the same on your face, using an all-in-one cleansing pad. Next, apply a tinted moisturizer or beauty balm to your face. Touch up mascara and use a three-in-one color stick to add shimmer to eyes, cheeks, and lips. Finally, apply a little dry shampoo to the crown of your head to freshen up your hair. In all of five minutes, you’re beautified and full of those feel-good post-workout endorphins.
The Excuse: Exercise makes me eat more.
Shake it off: Actually, exercise can help suppress your appetite. If you work out at a moderate-to-vigorous level—such as taking a brisk walk—a shift in hormones may help decrease your appetite post-workout. The key is to eat a snack right after you work out—a mix of protein, carbs, and healthy fats that clocks in at 200 calories—to keep you feeling full so you don’t eat back the calories you just burned off.
How do you work up the motivation to get your daily exercise? Share your tips in the comments below!