How To Combat Three Common Exercise Excuses

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September 10, 2021

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If you’re lacking motivation, you can probably list a dozen reasons to avoid working out right now. It can be easy to talk yourself out of exercising, especially when you’re experiencing a fitness setback, but it’s important to remember why you wanted to do this in the first place. 

While skipping a Sweat session from time to time is sometimes unavoidable — and totally okay! — other times it's a matter of pushing past obstacles and finding a way to combat the exercise excuses that keep getting in your way.

Common exercise excuses and how to overcome them

Here are some of the most common exercise excuses, and simple strategies to help you come out on top.

Exercise excuse #1: You don’t have time

This is one of the most common exercise excuses and it’s one of the easiest to address.

Just like you schedule other important commitments in your life, such as your work or school rosters, or regular hair appointments, you need to do the same with exercise. 

Blocking out time in your calendar can help you stay on track of your health and fitness goals and hold yourself accountable for your journey. 

Below are more ways you can make time for exercise when you lead a busy lifestyle

Take part in a challenge

When you join the Sweat Challenge, you're not just committing to six weeks of exclusive workouts, you're committing to dedicating time to yourself.  No matter which Sweat Challenge program you choose, we'll let you know what you need to do to hit your goals each week, and you'll be working out alongside the incredible Sweat Community and our trainers. All you need to do is show up.

Join a workout program

Following a fast and fun workout program can be a great way to combat the “I’m too busy” exercise excuse because it means you can work out whenever and wherever suits you. 

When you join a program, you’ll have goals to meet so you know exactly how many times each week, and for how long, you’ll need to set aside time for your workouts.

Do a short workout

You don’t need to sweat it out for hours at the gym to see results. Short workouts that push your heart rate zone into the maximum effort range can help you reap the benefits of exercise when you don’t have a lot of time. 

HIIT is a great example of a short but effective training style that will get your heart pumping and give you an endorphin rush that will make you want to keep going. 

If you’re really pressed for time, set a timer for 10 minutes and squeeze in an express leg workout between work and dinner, or an express ab workout between afternoon classes.

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Exercise excuse #2: You have no motivation to exercise

Don’t feel like working out? That's totally understandable. Motivation comes in waves and won't always be there when you need it most. Here are some important reminders when it comes to motivation and exercise.

Motivation is fickle

Motivation comes and goes, it’s normal. But the same as with anything worth having, you have to work for it — if getting fit your goal, it means pushing past the desire to take a week off, or quitting altogether when life gets in your way. 

Many factors can influence your motivation, such as stress, lack of sleep, and not getting the results you want as quickly as you’d hoped, so learning to accept these hurdles can help you to strengthen your mindset and keep going when you feel like giving up. 

That might mean swapping a resistance session for a low-intensity cardio workout when your energy levels are low — find what works best for you and you’ll be less likely to let a lack of motivation take over.

Don’t wait for motivation to show up

Whether you’re a fitness beginner or you’ve hit a plateau, don’t wait for the times you have higher motivation to complete your next workout — the best time to start is right now

When you stick to your routine, working out will start to become a habit and you’ll find it easier to stay on track, even on the days you’re feeling less motivated. 

Remind yourself why you want to work out

Think about why you started exercising in the first place and remind yourself of your goals, or even set some new ones. Tap into what drives you, and what will push you to work hard.

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Exercise excuse #3: You’re not seeing results yet

It’s easy to compare yourself to others, especially when it seems like fitness comes naturally to them. 

If your exercise excuse is that you aren’t seeing results straight away, remember that it isn’t about how heavy the weight you lift are or how long you can hold a plank for — it’s about moving your body and taking care of your health so that you can become the best version of yourself. 

Everyone started somewhere 

If you’re comparing yourself to others, remind yourself that everyone starts somewhere, and they’ve more than likely persevered through their own exercise excuses to get to where they are today — and you can too! 

Instead of thinking about what you “can’t do”, consider it as something you “can’t do yet”. Don’t let your starting point be an excuse not to begin. Your progress along the way is something that will fuel your motivation on days when it’s harder to keep going.

Find your community

The Sweat Community exists to support women just like you. Whether it’s virtually or IRL, connecting with like-minded women can help you stay motivated as you make progress one day at a time — and when you find your community, they can help you combat common exercise excuses and you can help them, too. 

Find the fun in fitness

When you find a training style you enjoy, you’ll be more likely to stick to your workouts and less likely to make exercise excuses. Your rate of progress often becomes less of a focus when fitness feels fun, and you'll probably stick with it long after you've achieved your goals. Whether that’s a heart-pumping HIIT workout, or a low-impact strength session, the key is to make your workouts work for you.

Work out anywhere, anytime with Sweat

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Join the Sweat Challenge

Ready to start saying yes to you? The Sweat Challenge is the perfect place to start and is for any woman who wants to recommit to her goals, try something new or level up her training. With four brand-new programs and six of the most popular programs from previous challenges, there's something for everyone. The Sweat Challenge kicked off on Monday, July 17 but it's not too late to register! Ready? Set. Sweat.

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A more empowered you starts with Sweat, and our editorial team is here to bring you the latest fitness tips, trainer recommendations, wellbeing news, nutritional advice, nourishing recipes and free workouts.

* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.


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