Exercise Excuses and Exercise Answers: Finding Your Motivation

Middle age woman does squats for exercise outdoors

When it comes to exercise, it can be easy to come up with a plan, buy new workout shoes, renew your gym membership and make a workout schedule. You might feel very excited and ready to get a move on with your goals.

But many times, the initial excitement of a new plan can wear off, and you may find yourself putting exercise on the back burner of your life. So, how do you stay on track with your plan?

Most Common Exercise Excuses

“I just don’t have time.”

You’ve probably heard it before… everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. How do you choose to spend yours?

  • You may find many things stacking up and have giant to-do lists all around. To fit exercise into your plan, make it a priority. The dishes can wait and you can easily push a few things to the bottom of your list.
  • Think about multitasking. Is there a way you can do two things at once? Can you combine a quick walk around the mall while you do some returns? Do you have time to sneak in a bike ride while your kids are at soccer practice?
  • Consider small bouts. You may not have time for a full walk, but you can walk for a few minutes. Several 10-minute increments over a day’s time add up quickly!

“I need some accountability.”

Keeping up your momentum can be a challenge all on its own. It can be easier if you are engaged with others or have a good tracking system in place. Without accountability, you may find it harder to track your progress and feel accomplished. Some are motivated by others, and some are motivated by goal sheets and trackers.

  • Find a friend or neighbor as a walking partner. This can make things more enjoyable and keep you on track. Make a plan to meet during the week or to check on your progress.
  • Start a log to track your progress or better yet, join an accountability group! There are many apps, trackers and online groups to help keep you going.

“I don’t really like it.”

Not everyone loves exercise, but challenge yourself to find an activity you enjoy. It’s much easier to stay engaged during a workout when you’re doing something fun. If you don’t try different options, you won’t know if you like yoga or biking.

  • Experiment with options. Many trial classes are available at gyms and fitness centers. Pick a couple to try with no obligation to commit.
  • Consider online classes. You can try these at home and if you like them, build on them.

“I am not seeing results.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if after a 1-hour exercise session, you saw immediate results? Unfortunately, seeing results takes time, and may not even happen for the first 4-6 weeks. Finding other ways to measure success may be a challenge.

  • Give yourself credit for completing the task and showing up. Completing any goal is a big accomplishment.
  • Check off the small things. Are you noticing that you have more energy throughout the day? Do you find it easier to complete your workout? Give yourself credit for all of that!

Take time this year to focus on all the reasons why you should add exercise into your plan and make it part of your lifestyle. It may or may not be easy, and you will not be perfect at it, but it will be worth it in the end. Now, get moving!

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