1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Top 10 Reasons You Don't Exercise

Get past your obstacles


Updated May 20, 2014

5. You want to exercise but you have to take care of the kids and family.
You don't have to neglect your family to fit in exercise. Carving out workout time will not only give you the energy you need for a busy schedule, it shows your kids what it means to be healthy. Some ideas:

  • Join a health club that has a daycare center.
  • Do exercise videos while the kids nap or while you're waiting for dinner to cook.
  • If they're old enough, have the kids participate in your routine by lifting very small weights, counting your repetitions, or take them with you on your daily walk.
  • Find activities the kids will enjoy.

More about getting healthy, family style.

4. You can't seem to stay motivated to continue working out.
If you're tired or stressed, it's hard to keep going with your workouts. However, waiting to feel motivated to exercise can actually backfire. Motivation is something you have to work at every day:

  • Learn about why you aren't motivated to exercise ways you can increase your motivation.
  • Remember your goals - Set reasonable weight loss goals and remind yourself of them every day.
  • Reward yourself - Each time you reach a goal, whether it's completing your workouts for the week, losing weight or having more energy, reward yourself with something you truly enjoy. A massage, a new exercise playlist, new running shoes or a quiet night reading your favorite book.
  • Learn how others stay motivated.
  • Make it a lifestyle change - Focusing on treating your body well with exercise and nutritious foods may keep you motivated, even if the weight loss is slow.

3. Exercise HURTS!
You don't have to hurt yourself to reap the benefits of exercise. Some tips for making it more comfortable:

  • Ease into it - Start with a few days of moderate cardio (like walking) and a basic strength workout to build endurance and strength.
  • Stay in your target heart rate zone - You should be able to carry on a conversation if you're working at a moderate intensity.
  • Start light with your weights - When it comes to weight training, there should be effort involved since lean body tissue only grows when you challenge yourself. When you're just starting out, any weight you lift is a challenge, so focus more on good form and increase your weight once you've mastered the exercises.
  • Take extra rest days - If you're extra sore or exhausted, schedule extra rest days to allow your body the time it needs to repair and recover.

Learn more about overcoming your exercise fears.

2. You can't make the commitment to stick to an exercise routine.
When you look at exercise in the long term (i.e., that you have to exercise on a daily basis forever), it can be overwhelming. However, you don't have to change your life overnight. Some tips for staying committed to your workouts:

  • Start with small goals - It's easier to stick with exercise when your goal is to walk an extra 10 minutes each day or get up early for a short yoga workout.
  • Plan ahead - Plan your workouts and prepare for them ahead of time so you're not tempted to skip them.
  • Make exercise a priority - Is exercise really important to you or do you just want it to be? Figuring out what you really want can help you set your priorities.
  • Forget weight loss - It may be easier to commit to exercise if you're not worried about getting results.

1. You don't have time!
Physically inactive people have just as much free time as exercisers, so you can chuck this excuse. Here's how to get past a busy schedule:

  • Schedule your exercise time.
  • If you can't find a full 30 minutes during your day, break it up into 10 or 15 minute segments. Split workouts are just as effective as continuous workouts.
  • Use every trick in the book to squeeze in exercise. Get up a few minutes early and take a brisk walk, use 15 minutes of your lunch hour to walk the stairs and walk the dog or lift weights after work.
  • Keep a calendar of your workouts to you can track your progress and stay motivated.
  • Remember that exercise generates energy. The more energy you have, the more you'll get done each day.

More about fitting in exercise.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.