Workouts feel like major events in my day. Not because they’re actually monumental moments that I’ll remember in a week, but because unless I’m really feelin’ it, I pretty much loathe working out. Even when I played sports years ago, I didn’t like exercising. Truth bomb: I liked competing.
I also have a little something called “the arsenal of excuses.” This pack of lies has really helped me in my quest to prevent workouts from happening “because I just can’t today.” (I’m going to go over those in just a sec… I’ll bet they will sound familiar to you, too.)
Since I’m a girl who loves logical reasoning, I recently decided to debunk my favorite excuses (probably yours, too) with the facts. A few months later, I work out six days a week and I’m in the best shape of my life.
Let me help you get there, too. Let’s take a walk down Excuses Alley and have some real talk.
You’re too tired.
I totally get it. You’re dragging, and the treadmill is pretty much impossible right now. However, there’s a body of research to tell us that the moment you get moving, you’ll see a boost in energy, increased stamina, better mental alertness–and that tired feeling will pretty much dissipate. (Cool, right?)
When this excuse is actually legit: You’re dealing with burnout. You feel emotionally exhausted and see a decrease in productivity. If so, you need to recharge in a way that works for you–which may or may not include gym time.
You’ve got other stuff to do.
“Stuff to do” is my favorite excuse, too. I mean, I could always clean out my closet, call my BFF in Texas, take a shower, finish up a story edit, or make dinner. Maybe I even should do those things. But really, within the next hour when I would be working out, will I actually do them? Um, 99 times out of 100, the answer is no. Can they be done at other times? Roughly 999 times out of 1,000, the answer is yes.
When this excuse is actually legit: Something absolutely must be done. This might include a work deadline, preparing for a party tomorrow, or meeting a friend who is only in town for the weekend.
When I’m PMSing, I’m also moody, crampy, tender, and exhausted. With that mild “just got hit by a bus” feeling, basically the last thing I want to do is exercise. But while the jury hasn’t officially delivered a verdict on how movement may help premenstrual syndrome specifically, studies have shown us that exercise gives us a mood boost, improves mental sharpness and alertness, and helps eliminate cramps. So let’s do science a favor, put two and two together and get off the couch.
When this excuse is actually legit: You’re exhausted at that cellular level where sleep is necessary, or you’re hindered enough that you had to take a timeout from normal activities (like missing work). If so, take the day off.
It’s kind of dark outside.
With the time change on November 1, it’s officially dark in the early evening hours. So if you’re an outdoor workout kind of person and have a 9-5 job, then this may present a problem, and it may seem totally legit to skip your workout. But think about it: Do you really want to forgo workouts until spring? Didn’t think so. It might be time to finally hit up that yoga studio you’ve seen on your way home from work or join the gym and figure out how to use that elliptical. At the very least, you can squeeze in a “lazy workout.” It’ll take like 15 minutes. Go!
When this excuse is actually legit: A workout will put you in danger. Don’t go for a jog in the dark or drive to the yoga studio in a storm. Refer to “lazy workout” whenever necessary.
You just showered and/or did your hair.
This one is my favorite. It’s kind of a time-saving thing. If I just showered and did my hair, I don’t want to mess it all up with a sweaty workout. Thank heavens dry shampoo is all the rage right now. My favorite brands are Batiste and Tresemme to give your hair a boost of volume and zap any oil. (Sorry to remind you dry shampoo is a thing…guess it’s time to hit the treadmill.)
When this excuse is actually legit: You’ve got a major event in a few hours. Sometimes I like to shower early and get ready for that big date or party s-l-o-w-l-y. Don’t sweat it; just use your “get out of workout for free” card here.