5 Bad Excuses for Skipping a Workout (and 3 Times When it's OK!)

05.05.2020 12:33

Whether it was a New Yearís resolution, a promise to your doctor or a promise to yourself, you had a plan to start exercising more. Maybe you bought some new workout clothes, finally got that gym membership and even wrote it into your schedule. Before you know it, months have passed, and you havenít even broken a sweat. What happened? You likely fell victim to one (or more) of the most common excuses for not exercising.


Know When to Push

Excuse: Iím too busy.

tim gouw via StockSnap.io exercise can reduce stress

Excuse Buster:†If you make regular exercise a priority, then there is no ďtoo busy!Ē Take a look at how youíre spending each and every moment of your day. Instead of that extra hour of TV before bed, go to sleep early so you can wake up in time to hit the gym before work. Simplify your evening routine to carve out some extra time. You may have to make sacrifices, but if it matters to you, youíll find a way. There are†plenty of exercises†you can do with even ten extra minutes†at home!

Excuse: Itís boring.

Excuse Buster:†So make it interesting. If running on a treadmill doesnít give you much of a thrill, then take a workout class or learn a new skill like†kickboxing†or†martial arts. Workouts come in all shapes and sizes, so keep trying until you find one that excites you.

Another great way to kick boredomís butt? Grab a workout buddy to train with!†Research has shown†that whether you work out with your BFF Cindi or a in a group fitness setting will help keep you motivated†and†make your workout seem more like a chore.

Workout buddies women health

Excuse: Iím too out-of-shape.

Excuse Buster:†Start slow. Nobody walks into a gym after years of exercise avoidance and walks out three hours later with a fit new body. It takes time for your muscles to build up strength again, and your heart may struggle to keep up at first. If your current fitness level is zero, then start by taking daily walks or doing some light cardio. As you build up stamina, itíll get easier. †

Another tip: when you first get back into exercising, measure your success in terms of workouts completed. Instead of having the goal to lose 20 pounds or drop a dress size in two months, say, ďI will work out three days a week, every week, for two months.Ē Setting goals you can readily meet is a fantastic confidence-booster, and when you do move on to larger ones, youíll already have set a precedent of meeting your goals!


Excuse: Iím afraid of being judged by others.

Excuse Buster:†You know all those feelings of insecurity you have when you walk into a gym? Every other person in that gym is fighting that same battle. Push negative thoughts aside by praising yourself for small victories and focusing on whatís next. You chose a class to attend? Thatís awesome! You actually drove to the gym? Youíre doing great! Take it one step at a time.

If youíre really struggling with this, again, a friend can help. Take someone with you and let them distract you from your anxious thoughts so you can stay focused on the workout.


Excuse: Iím tired.

Working out can help reenergize you.

Excuse Buster:†You might be feeling tired because youíre not exercising enough! It seems like a Catch-22, but itís really not that complicated. Exercise doesnít take energy away; it ignites it. If youíre able to push yourself off the couch and get moving, youíll start feeling better in minutes. If you think youíre too tired to exercise, remind yourself that the fatigue after a workout is more exhilarating than exhausting.

If youíre still yawning, try this trick before you skip your workout: put on your workout clothes.†Then†decide again if youíre still too tired. If the answer is yes, go outside and do a couple jumping jacks. Still too tired? Drive to the gym. Go inside. If youíre†still†too tired at this point, you can skip.


Three†Legit†Reasons for Skipping a Workout:

As good as physical activity is for your body, there are legitimate reasons for not exercising. No one is indestructible, no matter how strong you are. Thereís a big difference between an excuse and a valid reason. †

Reason: Youíre sick.

Why itís legit:†Are you fighting a fever or coughing up a lung? Stay in bed. A common cold can become a respiratory infection overnight if you donít give yourself proper time to recuperate. Not to mention, a contagious illness can quickly make its way through a gym or group fitness class if you start spreading germs. Showing up for your workout snotty and sniffling is not only bad for you, itís plain†rude.

Reason: You have a serious injury.

Knee injury

Why itís legit:†When a doctor tells you to take it easy, listen. A broken rib or a concussion is not something to take lightly, and you can do permanent damage to your body if you push yourself too hard. Likewise, if your doctor tells you some light exercise is okay, then definitely do it. Just make sure you monitor your condition, so you know when to dial it back.

If you have an injury that hasnít required you to visit the doctor (say, a pulled hamstring), use common sense. In the case of the damaged hamstring, you should reconsider your planned workout of heavy squats, deep stretches and sprinting. Just be attuned to your body, and know when the pain your feeling is ďgoodĒ (from rigorous, healthy exercise) and when itís ďbadĒ (from injury). If you have an injury you canít seem to shakeÖitís probably time to see a doctor.


Reason: Your body is still recovering from your last workout.
Oh my gosh don't literally kill yourself at the gym

Why itís legit:†If you just ran a marathon, pat yourself on the back because thatís fantastic! However, before you get in your car and head back to the gym, make sure youíve recovered fully from that intense bout of exertion. As good as exercise is for you, itís possible to overdo it.

Be Smart

Itís important to listen to your body and know the warning signs of excess strain. At the same time, donít let common excuses for not exercising stop you from doing what you know is good for you!


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