Are you too busy to exercise? Or perhaps you find it too boring or confusing? If so, you're not alone. Studies show that 60% of American adults don't get the recommended amount of physical activity, and over 25% of adults are not active at all. These statistics reflect the fact that many of us simply don't exercise. What's your excuse?
10. You really hate to exercise.
Enjoying exercise may seem impossible, but it can be done. Almost any exercise may feel hard at first but, with some practice and consistency, your body gets stronger and you may even start to like it. Choose something that fits your personality and lifestyle, such as:
- Group fitness - If you like social exercise, most gyms offer a variety with everything from spinning and kickboxing to circuit and strength training.
- Play Games - Games like EA Sports Active for Wii or Wii Fit Plus are great for having fun while you exercise.
- ExerciseTV - Many cable providers offer ExerciseTV, a station that offers workouts anytime you like.
- Exercise videos - You can exercise any time with videos right in your own living room. Check out your local library or video rental store or visit Total Fitness DVDs for videos you can order online.
- Exercise at Home - Try these home workouts with your own equipment or use water bottles or milk jugs as weights. Work extra hard at chores like raking leaves, shoveling snow or sweeping to burn more calories.
- Fitness Apps - If you have an iPhone or other smartphone, a variety of fitness apps can turn it into your very own personal trainer.
9. You've tried to exercise but you keep quitting.
People often quit working out for a variety of reasons:
- Doing too much too soon - Going from no exercise to 7 days at the gym is bound to leave you exhausted and burned out.
- Confusion - If you're not sure how to get started, you may choose random exercises, wondering if you're even getting a decent workout.
- Boredom - The treadmill and other machines offer great workouts, but walking or pedaling to nowhere can get old fast. You may wonder: Do I really have to do this every day for the rest of my life?
- Soreness - Soreness is normal when you're a beginner, but you should be able to function. If you can't lift your head off the pillow the next day, you may not be thrilled to workout again.
If you're tempted to quit, that's a good sign you need to make some changes to your routine. Some ideas:
- Work with a trainer - An experienced trainer can turn a lackluster workout into an effective, challenging routine.
- Mix it up - Try different types of training to keep things interesting, such as circuit training, high intensity interval training or kettlebells.
- Change Your Workouts - Regularly changing your strength and cardio workouts will keep things interesting and help you avoid plateaus.
- Avoid skipping your workouts - Ask yourself a few important questions each time you're tempted to skip your workout.
8. You can't afford a gym membership
There's no reason you have to join a gym to exercise, but there are more affordable options such as the YMCA or local community centers. More ways to save money:
- Walking or running - All you need is a good pair of shoes for a simple, accessible workout.
- Buy multi-use equipment - An exercise ball can be used for core work, weight training and even cardio workouts. Dumbbells are often inexpensive and can be used for the entire body.
- Workout at home - Use videos, make up your own routines or just put on some music and get moving.
- Find free resources - The Internet is a great source for workouts and weight loss programs and your library is an excellent resource for trying workout videos or finding books about exercise.
- Try no equipment workouts - You can get a great workout without any equipment, just by using your own body.
7. You're not seeing any changes in your body.
Not losing weight fast enough? Unfortunately, that's true for everyone. You don't put weight on overnight and it won't come off that quickly either. Once you start exercising, give your body time to react. It could take up to 12 weeks before you start seeing major changes, so make sure you've set realistic fitness goals and focus on the many benefits of exercise. It also helps to understand how weight loss really works and these resources can help:
- 10 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight
- Losing Inches But Not Losing Weight?
- Why Weight Loss is So Hard
- Getting Results From Your Workouts
- How Much Exercise Do You Really Need?
6. You don't know how to exercise.
This is a popular excuse, but it won't fly what with the wealth of information at your fingertips. Try working with a personal trainer or use one of the free fitness and weight loss programs below to get started:
- 6 Weeks to Fitness for Absolute Beginners
- 12 Weeks to Weight Loss
- 30-Day Quick Start Exercise Guide
- How to Get in Shape with Exercise
- Beginner's Corner