Top 5 Excuses for Not Exercising

January 13, 2011

To follow along with my previous post about a list of do's and don'ts for gyms to kick off the new year, I've invited a trusted friend to provide a nice follow-up now that we're about half way through January where the enthusiasm of the renewed commitment to exercise can begin to wane.   

Top 5 Excuses Why People Don't Exercise

Guest Post by Alexandra Williams, MA

1. I can't afford it - You're right. Good health should only be for well-off people. Oh, wait, I think I just described the U.S. healthcare system. Why does exercise need to cost something? Yes, it would be nice to join a gym, but you don't have to. Unless 2011 tax codes have changed, walking, bike riding, running, mall-circuits and the like are all free. In my experience (and baby, I've been around), it's far cheaper to buy some weights and hire a trainer (cute and smart ones like Jonathan exist in all 50 states!) than it is to buy higher health premiums, medications, bigger clothing and doctor visits.

2. I tried it and it didn't work - What, you mean like test-driving a blind date? It can take up to 3 months to see significant changes, so going for 3 hours then collapsing with a sprinkle donut in exasperation doesn't count as trying. It counts as an exercise hors d'oeuvre. Not to be blunt (which means I do mean to be blunt), but exercise works; you just didn't. How long were you out of shape or overweight? So if it takes 3-12 months to get back into shape, isn't that still a lot shorter than the time it took to squishify?

3. I don't have time. I'm too busy - Busy what? If I call you and say, "Please come over for an hour. I want to give you some money and two extra years of life," wouldn't you suddenly become a NASCAR racer just to get to my house? Well, being fit saves you money (see #1) and really can add quality years to your life. Get off Facebook and Twitter (okay, we now know my time-waster of choice) and use that time to move. And if you are concerned about your family time, there is a wonderful new invention - no, not the Wii - called the park. Or playground. Or beach. Or backyard.

4. It's not fun - Only at the start. Then it's reallykind ofa wee bit totally fun! The truth is, exercise releases chemicals that really do make it fun and blah blah blah. I lost you at "chemicals" didn't I? The truth is it can become fun once you discover the types and formats that you really prefer. But even if you never come to say exercise is fun, you will at least make it a habit. And habits are something you just don't think about - not fun, not boring - just there. Like calling home every so often. But fitter. And funner. (When you exercise, you get to make up words.)

5. It hurts - Only at the start. And only because your muscles and excess body fat have been living rent-free on you for a long time. Time they pulled their weight (heh heh heh). Yes, there can be soreness at the start (muscle soreness - good; joint soreness - bad), but that's a short-term deal. It's like dating a lot of people because you want to be in a meaningful relationship - mostly dating sucks and it's awkward, right? But then you meet the right person and sha-bam, the pain is forgotten. Happy bliss. That's how it is with exercise. Sort of. Unless you're alone and bitter. If that's the case, think of exercise as an immunization shot. Hmmm, let's move on, shall we?


Well, now you know the top 5 excuses. These are not reasons; they are excuses. Some days I don't want to exercise either, so I know how it is. If the cops pull you over for speeding to your workout, that's a reason. If you went 80 mph on purpose while using an eye-curler and texting just to get pulled over, that's an excuse. 

What's the best excuse you've ever heard? Or given?

Alexandra Williams, MA 
(Who is she?)

Alexandra Find out here:


Well, now you know the top 5 excuses (or should it be the bottom 5?) for not exercising. Thanks Alexandra for sharing your wit, insights, and perspective with my readers!  Drop her a line and check out her details and info with the links above.  And now that you have no excuses left, go get the book Abs Revealed, and get started the right way with a smart, progressive, and challenging fitness program!

Jonathan Ross 
Discovery Health Fitness Expert
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Jonathan Ross — fitness expert for Discovery Fit & Health and creator of Aion Fitness — was voted Exercise TV's "Top Trainer" and named in Men's Journal magazine's list of Top 100 Trainers in America. His personal experiences with obesity — "800 pounds of parents" — directly inspired his fitness career. His ability to bring fitness to those who need it the most has made him a two-time Personal Trainer of the Year Award-Winner (ACE and IDEA). His book, Abs Revealed, is filled with cutting-edge exercises in a modern, intelligent approach to abdominal training. His leadership and fresh perspectives on fitness earn him praise as a frequent go-to source of credible fitness information.


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