Great Excuses to Not Work Out


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  115 comments   :  57,888 Views

I've heard every excuse in the book and even tried some of them myself. Exercise…who needs it? You do! Here are some of the best excuses ever to skip a workout. Let's see how great they really are!
I'm in horrible shape.
That may be true, so if that's the way you want to remain, don't work out today. People who are in shape get that way by exercising. Regularly. No, they were not born with six packs.
I don't like it.
I don't like a lot of things—flossing my teeth, waking up to an alarm, paying bills—but I still do them. Be the mature grownup that you are and do the things you know you should or have to do even if you don't like them. A lot of things worth doing aren't always fun or enjoyable. (And hey, if I can learn to love vegetables, you can learn to love/like/tolerate exercise.)
I can't afford it.
Your body is yours and moving it is generally free unless you want to get all fancy. Here are 25 ways to get fit for $25 or less (many of them free), plus over 50 free workout videos. Better yet, just get out the door and walk.
I don't want to mess up my hair.
What is really more important: How your hair looks or how your body looks, feels and performs?

I just worked out yesterday.
Good for you! That means you're able and equipped to do it again today!
I don't know what I'm doing.
You also didn't know how to walk, drive a car, live away from home, do your job or raise a child until you just did it. Like many things in life, you can and will figure it out. Start simple. Just do it.
I'm don't need to work out as long as I'm dieting.
If you don’t want to work out, plan to get about half the results from dieting alone and be twice as hungry. Here's why. Let's also not forget that there are far more reasons to exercise than weight-loss alone: stronger bones, improved health, better appearance, improved posture, less pain, and so on.
I'm too tired.
Chances are that you'll feel more energized after you exercise than if you skip it altogether. But that feeling of guilt you'll have for skipping your workout will last longer than the tiredness you feel when your alarm goes off in the morning.  
I heard exercise really isn't that good for you.
Well I heard that rubbing mud on your stomach will burn belly fat! (Just because you hear something doesn't mean it's true.)
It takes too long.
Exercise creates time because you have more energy to get things done and a longer, healthier lifespan in which to do more with your life. Or you can just skip it and shorten your life and decrease your mobility and independence—all in an effort to save time in the present. Does that seem like a fair trade? Everyone has 10 minutes--and that's all it takes.
I'm not athletic.
If you're sitting there making excuses not to work out, that's probably true. Athletes don't skip their workouts. The good news is there is an athletic person within each of us. It's just that some of us are in training and some aren't. Think like an athlete and don't make excuses to skip your training. Soon enough, you'll unleash your inner athlete, too!
I have to work.
Regular exercisers tend to move up the corporate ladder and earn more money than people who don't work out.  If you really can't get away from the overtime, squeeze in more activity with these workday fitness boosters.
I've got better things to do.
What's better than taking care of yourself so that you can be your best at everything you do?
I don't want everyone looking at me.
Everyone else is too busy paying attention to themselves to even notice you. And even if they do look at you, so what? People look at you, think things about you and silently judge you all day long, exercising or not. Repeat this to yourself: "If someone has a problem with me, it's their problem—not mine."
I don't like to sweat.
Sweat is sexy! Sweat is strong! You don't have to like it, but you do have to accept it as a given for most workouts. Or at least try these 8 workouts you'll love if you hate to sweat.
I don't look good in spandex.
Spandex is not a requirement for exercise. Unless you're still wearing workout clothes from 1983, in which case a little workout wardrobe update is in order. Wear whatever you do feel good in—and it doesn't have to be fitted to allow you to move.
I don't have the right shoes.
Try a barefoot workout like yoga or Pilates!
I don't want to take ANOTHER shower today.
Next time, plan your workouts around your ideal shower-and-get-ready schedule, or try these quick and easy post-workout refreshers for when showering isn't viable.
I'm too busy.
Then why are you sitting here reading this? Get up and move! (And consider this: Someone busier than you is working out right now.)
By now I think you can tell that there really are no good excuses for skipping your workout. But I'd still love to hear the best (or funniest) workout excuses you've ever used (or heard from someone else). Share yours in the comments below—and try to counter it if you can!

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  • 115
    Another great, real-life "talkin' to" from Coach Nicole! - 6/7/2016   11:11:10 AM
  • 114
    My younger sister was always coming up with excuses for not wanting to do water aerobics with my mom and myself. Finally we told her all she has to do is swim while we take the class. About halfway through she joined us and has been hoked ever since. - 7/28/2015   6:55:36 PM
  • 113
    Exercising is a big priority for me. I seldom miss my 30 minutes or more a day. My favorite is Leslie Sansone Walk aerobics. If I'm not doing that, I'm on my stationary bike.
    I do have to get back into better eating habits; it is going to be a priority too! - 1/2/2015   7:03:40 PM
  • 112
    Excuse: It's too cold to exercise outside in the Wintertime. Remedy: I check the weather forecast and if it is above 40 degrees outside, I plan to walk for 30 minutes with layers of sweatshirts, fleece pants, gloves and earmuffs. If below 40 degrees, I bring out my favorite exercise DVD's and break a sweat for 45 minutes then walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes while listening to my favorite music. - 2/8/2014   10:56:28 PM
  • 111
    I used to hate exercise, but now I'm loving it! And I actually did wake up feeling tired this morning, but I worked out anyway and feel much better. However, it will be interesting to see if I still love it and actually do it every day when I no longer have a fitness room and pool right downstairs. I'm hoping by then, it will be such a habit that I will HAVE to find ways to continue! - 5/24/2013   11:55:04 AM
  • 110
    I was up and down a ladder for 4 hours yesterday and my legs are killing me when I walk today... is that a good reason to skip my cardio? - 4/18/2013   2:43:20 PM
  • 109
    I' m delighted to say that in my case this excellent article is now preaching to the converted! I used to hate exercise, now I'm enjoying it (most of the time!). It does normally give me extra energy. It's a challenge to get down to doing a video first thing, when I've just lit the stove but the house is still freezing.
    Obstacles in the light of which I don't walk outside are: snow and ice. (Has not yet hit us this winter). Large loose dogs (not normally around at the moment). Thick mud (not at the moment). Darkness in village, when guard dogs may be unleashed.
    When I choose not to exercise outside, I have a plentiful supply of exercise videos, AND wood that needs chopping! - 1/21/2013   7:53:59 AM
    Hmmm, lemme think:
    #1. But I can't walk - This is true. I've got Plantar Fat Pad Atrophy, and every step I take hurts. A lot. This bugs me, because walking used to be one of my favourite ways to work out.
    #2. But I can't afford to go to a fitness class - Not true. I could afford to go to ju-jitsu class when I could still walk, and my financial position hasn't changed all that much since.
    #3. But I don't like the people who attend those fitness classes. - True. They are too different from me. They may be nice enough, but they're all women, and they wear loads of make-up and flashy clothes that hurt my eyes. I may be a woman, but I'm the tomboy kind. So that fitness class is just not going to work for me. (Even so, that's still no reason not to exercise.)
    #4. But I don't know how to exercise now that I can't walk or fight anymore. - True, but that just leaves me with the responsibility to find out how to exercise despite my physical limitations.
    And guess what? I created my own private gym in my bedroom, and found my way to SP. Now I'm finally moving my butt again, and enjoying every minute of it.
    No more excuses! - 11/21/2012   12:16:07 PM
  • 107
    i have used many of these excuses myself- thanks for the great motivational article - 10/8/2012   11:12:07 AM
  • 106
    My excuse: I am in too much pain (back, hip, knees ankles and feet!) to exercise!
    The reality: After I started walking (and losing those pounds that I had built up while trying not to hurt) I atarted feeling better. I have gone from constant pain, to almost no pain. Why? Because (as your doctor will tell you) using a joint eases arthritis. Building core muscles takes the strain off your lower back. And exercise releases endorphins and those feel good! - 10/4/2012   5:46:19 PM
  • 105
    Great article. I just wanted to say to those who have so much going on whether it is work or an injury. Do what you can. If you can't do anything because of your knees then do something with your upper body. If all you have is five minutes here and there then use the five minutes here and there. They add up. Walk while you are on the phone, park farther right away. - 10/4/2012   3:04:03 PM
  • 104
    Almost every day my mind tells my body: "You're too tired to exercise." And surprise surprise--I don't listen and about five minutes into the workout I feel energized and happy! - 10/4/2012   2:31:09 PM
  • 103
    Yup, that just about covers it! I keep reminding myself that the rewards outweigh the momentary discomfort. - 9/27/2012   3:18:54 PM
  • 102
    That was just what I needed! Thanks! My favorite excuse has been "it's too hot outside". Then one day I tried to do one of those ten minute videos where you get to sit in a chair! I was shocked that I only got half way and was "exhausted"!!! What a wimp! Time to clean up my act. You ROCK! - 9/19/2012   3:12:46 AM
  • 101
    My Ex's favorite excuse was that kids would laugh at him. His second favorite was that he was waiting for me to get home from work from an long over night shift to go walk at a strip mall.

    Mines use to be didn't want to miss my favorite shows, so found a gym with treadmills with TV on the console and they even have cable hooked up lol, and yeah there are days when dog tired, but I always figure can go lighter on those days rather than not go at all.
    - 9/17/2012   9:55:18 PM
  • 100
    Do you think anyone really tried rubbing mudon their belly? That made me smile. - 9/5/2012   6:02:49 AM
    Where I live I have 2 choices, exercise or stay home. - 7/2/2012   4:15:45 PM
    Ok, Nicole I *think* I got one for ya: "The resistance band gets tangled in my hair"! Yes, I learned early when we started doing ab works with the resistance band tied to the back of the chair that I had to put my hair UP! Sadly, some of my friends aren't quite so savvy!! lol - 2/28/2012   10:31:43 PM
  • 97
    My one and only excuse- I'm too tired. Which is very true. My get up and go has got up and went! I blame it on my physical condition. - 2/28/2012   10:44:38 AM
  • 96
    I read this because I like refuting all my excuses. Thank you so much for posting this! It helps me get up and get moving! - 2/27/2012   10:31:35 AM
  • 95
    This is AWESOME! Love it! - 2/27/2012   7:10:25 AM
  • 94
    Once upon a time I'd fret about sweating too much because it ruined my hair. Quickly learned to just sucked it up and work through that. Then one day I got bold enough to just cut off all of my hair and go natural. Now I LOVE that fact that even vanity doesn't impede my workouts! :-) - 2/6/2012   7:24:14 AM
  • 93
    My excuse used to be that I was too tired. But after the first few minutes I perk right up - I've realized now that I get energy from my workouts.

    It also helps my mood - if I was feeling too down in the dumps to exercise but started to do it anyway, it seems to really make me feel more confident and strong. - 2/5/2012   9:25:44 PM
  • 92
    I don't seem to have excuses much anymore because I tell myself that I deserve to be healthier and if I'm not exercising I'm cutting off my nose to spite my face! - 2/5/2012   9:10:58 PM
  • 91
    Fantastic! Hey, if I have time to comment on this today, I have time to workout! - 2/5/2012   8:49:40 AM
  • 90
    If you eat, you work out, period. - 2/5/2012   6:56:29 AM
  • 123ELAINE456
    Awesome Artitcle. No more hiding behind all of the excuses anymore. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. - 2/4/2012   9:49:36 PM
  • 88
    Sometimes my excuse will be "I'll just eat less today"...does that ever really happen? NO! Then I think well, I'll only be hurting myself by slowing down my metabolism if I do that so let's just do it tomorrow. So sick of my excuses!!!! - 2/4/2012   11:51:09 AM
  • 87
    Great list!! My favorite is "I am too tired!" But, now that I have been going to the gym regularly, I am surprised at how much energy and motivation I have. I am "old", overweight and not the "princess" I once was, but if others don't like how I look, they can just look the other way!! I am not there for them - I am there for ME!! Thanks for the great chuckle this morning.
    barb - 2/4/2012   10:46:38 AM
  • 86
    This is so all true and wow what a wake up call! - 2/4/2012   3:01:15 AM
  • 85
    The one I heard yesterday: I got a tattoo on my foot so shoes hurt... I should point out to her the response to the "I don't have the right shoes" excuse above... yoga and pilates don't require shoes! Great one! Thanks. - 2/3/2012   4:53:23 PM
    MY favorite one is "I'm too tired." It's hard to motivate myself to move more when I'm exhausted, but even some exercise focuses the mind and energizes a tired body. Thanks, Nicole. - 2/3/2012   9:59:58 AM
  • 83
    Fantastic article! Had to save so that I can share with the daughter... - 2/3/2012   8:31:52 AM
  • 82
    I work 12 hours a day at a menial job with no chance for advancement inside the company. And I drive another 3 hours on top of it. I leave the house at 6 and get home at 10. I try to do short videos at work that I can do in one spot. But I can't leave my work to take a walk like I'd love. But the type of job I have I often have to quit halfway thru a video to work and come back to finish in 5minutes. - 2/2/2012   10:59:17 PM
  • 81
    The hardest part about exercise is STARTING. - 2/2/2012   10:26:33 PM
    I love exercise, so I rarely have used these excuses, but one I hear from a friend is that her husband won't exercise. I keep urging her to do it anyway - maybe he'll join her, maybe he won't. The saddest part is that he's very obese, but she desperately needs the exercise because she had arthritis. - 2/2/2012   10:10:42 PM
  • 79
    I have a fresh knee replacement, and other than rehab, for that, I can't do much. there are never any exercises for people who have compromised joints, or physical problems. It is annoying. I can ride the recumbent bike and do that, and other P.T. - 2/2/2012   8:57:08 PM
  • 78
    Sweat is sexy! Sweat is strong!

    Absolutely! You got that right! - 2/2/2012   5:41:10 PM
  • 77
    I am pretty sure I have used most if not all of these excuses. It used to be that I was "too tired" but got into the habit of working out early in the morning before work. Now I am SOOO much more energized and feel good about myself all day. - 2/2/2012   5:19:43 PM
  • 76
    My favorite is I don't need to exercise - living is enough exercise. That may have been true in my youth before automatic washing machines, leaf blowers, power mowers, TV and the computer but today with multi car families and all the other 'time savers' I found I have to actually exercise. It's not too bad. - 2/2/2012   4:53:41 PM
  • 75
    DARN IT! Now what will I use as an excuse to not excersize!?!?!?!?!? ;) - 2/2/2012   3:46:22 PM
    very helpful - 2/2/2012   3:33:51 PM
  • 73
    fantastic article: it's gone into my favorites to be re-read and consulted repeatedly. Thanks for all the links that will be helpful too! - 2/2/2012   1:46:24 PM
  • 72
    i LOVED this article and i laughed a lot--probably cuz i used some of these myself in the past. - 2/2/2012   1:19:45 PM
  • 71
    I've used a few of those myself! I've heard my husband just say I don't want to and that's that! The other one I hear often is PMS or that time.... I've found it helps me have less cramping. We certainly can generate the excuses! Thanks for putting most away! - 2/2/2012   11:27:47 AM
  • 70
    Thanks for this blog. It made me laugh because I've honestly used every single one of these excuses... but no more! No, I can't afford a gym, and no, I don't like to go outside and walk. So instead, I choose to do Turbo Jam in the privacy of my own living room! Can't use the no babysitter excuse, my daughter can stay home with me! No excuses! - 2/2/2012   11:26:52 AM
  • 69
    Great Blog! I think I've used every one of those and then some...but my motto this year is New Year...New Me and now I'm a month into it and love getting up 30 mins before the rest of the family and getting my treadmill time in. Also discovering new veggies/fruits is my goal on every trip to the grocery store. If no new ones, then atleast a new way to fix them. - 2/2/2012   11:18:00 AM
  • 68
    Love it! So true and great article! - 2/2/2012   10:28:52 AM
  • 67
    SUPER article! Thanks Nicole! - 2/2/2012   9:27:56 AM
  • 66
    A really very good article! Simple but true - 2/2/2012   8:51:40 AM

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