The Top 7 Excuses To Avoid Exercise and How You Can Overcome Them

excuses to avoid exercise

Excuse #6: I Did It For Two Weeks, And It Isn’t Working.

With your health goals, there are no hacks, quick fixes or instant diets. It is creating micro wins over time consistently that produces results. If you want to train for a marathon, one session of a 20-minute brisk walk is a micro win. Do this three times per week for a few months, and you are on your way.

However, there is a barrier to creating micro wins with exercise. 

We are a culture of instant gratification junkies, and everything we want is a click away.

You want to instantly download your new body without going through any discomfort and effort. This matters because when you begin your exercise practice, there is an initial gap between doing the work and seeing tangible results. Often, it can take four to six weeks before you see a real physical difference.

In this initial period, you need to persevere despite not seeing an improvement. I call it trusting the process.

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You need to turn down the volume of the negative self-talk of the inner critic who plays the game of comparing your current reality against the ‘should be’ version of reality. It goes like this: “You should be further by now; you should see a difference”,… and it wreaks havoc on your confidence.

Trust in creating your daily micro win, and eventually, you will see the benefits — your body getting stronger, your energy levels increasing, and a boost in your confidence. Instant gratification is the enemy of progress. There is no quick way through, only one micro win at a time.

Manage the periphery activities

What can you do to support your fitness goal apart from exercise?

If you do an excellent 60-minute walk and then spend the rest of the day eating junk food and living on caffeine and energy drinks, you will not see the return for your efforts. The periphery activities that happen the other 23 hours enable you to convert the effort from your exercise.

The point is, one good hour doesn’t excuse bad choices throughout the day that are not in alignment with your overall goal. It’s not only about nutrition and movement but consider sleep. If you are burning the candle for work and waking up early to fit it all in, you will never have the energy to make progress on your health goals.

It doesn’t matter how many motivational videos you watch or how many cups of coffee you consume; your energy tank will be empty if it’s not already in reserve. Consider the periphery activities throughout the day and start making better choices to support your overall efforts.

Start with one minor change, such as replacing cool drinks with herbal tea or water. Build up your micro wins in several areas of your life, and your self-trust and self-esteem will be boosted along with it.

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Excuse #7 — I’ve Tried It, And It Isn’t For Me.

Choose something you want to do, not what you think you should be doing.

I had a client who was forcing herself through a high impact cardio class because a friend recommended it. After the second week of convincing me why she doesn’t have time for it, I asked her if she enjoys the classes.

She said truthfully; she hates them. All she wants to do is take her dog for a walk on her own and listen to a good audiobook. When I explained this was an option, there was great relief and surprise. It never occurred to my client that exercise could be enjoyable and not a punishment.

Please don’t do something because a friend recommended it or because they have seen significant results. Ask yourself these questions:

· Do you prefer working out solo or being part of a group?
· Do you enjoy being outdoors or indoors?
· How much time are you willing to commit to?
· What do you enjoy doing?

For example, if group accountability drives you, then find something that will tick those boxes and design a routine that fits into your world.

Final Thoughts.

Covid has taught us all the value of our health. It is something we don’t appreciate until we compromise it. Don’t wait for external events to get your attention, to take your self-care seriously. Start with something, anything and make it as small as possible to achieve your micro win. Each micro win not only gets results but also teaches you something far more critical: to trust yourself.

Action is evidence that you can change your old ways and accomplish your goals. Be honest about your excuses and if they are truly serving you. I can tell you this:

  • You have time
  • You don’t need to feel like it
  • You can master the snooze button
  • You are not lazy
  • It can happen when you decide to make it happen
  • Trust the process; it works
  • Choose to be the architect of your world, not the victim.

Here’s to taking ownership of your health.

Please share this article with anyone who you may think will find it valuable and helpful.


Written by: Lori Milner
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Originally appeared on: Beyond The Dress
Republished with permission
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The Top 7 Excuses To Avoid Exercise and How You Can Overcome Them
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Lori Milner

LORI MILNER is the engaging speaker, author, coach and trainer. She is passionate about empowering women and equipping diverse teams with the tools and skills to fulfil their potential in their careers and personal lives. Her full-service consultancy, Beyond the Dress (BTD), helps individuals to build harmony into their personal and professional lives. Lori’s expertise is self-leadership; her focus areas include smart time and goal management, stress management, inter-personal skills, personal branding, mental mastery and leadership – and the result is happier and more productive people. Lori is married and lives in Johannesburg, South Africa with her 2 children. Lori delivered a talk for TEDxLytteltonWomen in December 2018 on the topic of ‘How to Create Micro Wins’.View Author posts