Be Strong. Be Fit.


Top 14 Excuses Not To Exercise and How To Overcome Them

March 18th, 2009 · 13 Comments ·


I have heard different reasons from people who are giving up to exercise. Some are valid reasons. But, these people keep using the same reasons, again and again. They are just looking for excuse not to exercise. Here is the list of excuses (which people give for not doing what they should):


1) I am busy. I don’t have time
Unless you are a prime minister or president of a country, you simply should make time to exercise. Even Barrack Obama takes time to exercise! So, you should get up earlier too and exercise or even just for a brisk walk. You don’t have to exercise for an hour non-stop. Split it into two 30-minute session and do them at different times in a day.

The other way is to plan your exercise around your family members, like go hiking with your kids, swimming, or jogging. So, while exercising, you are spending time with them.

In fact, if you have a great vision, exercise will eventually save you time. How? As you get fitter, you will be able do many ordinary tasks. You can run up stairs, walk faster and carry more shopping bags.  So, being busy is not a good excuse.

2) I travel often and I need to sleep.
I know a friend who travel a lot, but he has great time management skill. He plans things in advanced. He always make sure there are gyms at hotels where he will be staying.  If he has a 10 AM flight to catch, he rather sleep early and wake up early just to run on treadmill.


3) Gym membership is expensive. I can’t afford.
Gym is a better place to work out. Wait for the promotion period to get a good bargain. Normally, sales are slow in December. So, get a package during this period. Also, ask your friends to join together to get group discount.

Still don’t have the cash? Save the money you normally spend on beer, cigarettes or coffee to buy a membership.

Even if you are not joining any gym, you still can jog in the park, swim in the public pool, play badminton with your friends and do other exercises without causing any big hole in your wallet.

4) I am bored with my workout routine.
Change it then. So, you have tried overhand grip. How about reverse grip? So, you work out your chest as the only muscle in one day, how about add another muscle, say biceps? You normally count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, how about doing it backwards – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1? Make use of your hidden creativity.

You can also play tennis with your loved one, take your family for a jog together, organized a futsal (indoor soccer) game with colleagues. You don’t have to exercise alone. Do it with your loved one or people around you.


5) My gym is lousy.
Easy. Move on to another one.

6) I don’t see result. So, I better stop.
Have you measured your body fat, your waist, and even circumference of your biceps? Write the number down. Maybe you are not looking in the right places. Measure your waist, your heart rate, and your weight. Once you have worked out for few months, measure again. Celebrate even you made small progress. Don’t give up.

Whether you see results or not, beneath the skin, your joints are improving, which means you are laying down a foundation for future muscle growth.

Don’t believe in marketing messages out there telling you that you can slim down with little effort. Set realistic goals.

Before you see any result, you need to have motivation. You can have the best gym, branded exercise attire and nice running shoes, but if you are not motivated to exercise, you will never see any result.

6) I felt even more tired after my workout.
Start slowly. Do not over exercise for 7 days a week. Eat and take enough rest. But, any rest more than 72 hours will be lame excuse, unless you are injured.

Regular exercise increases your energy level and can actually make you feel more revived than a nap. Exercise can make you fall asleep faster and sleep better at night, which allows you to truly feel rested after a long day.


7) I get hurt 2 months ago, another last month and it happened again last week.
Now, you really have to know your body limitation. If you run only for 30 minutes, then don’t run for 2 hours. If you know you can only take 40-pound dumbbells, don’t ever try 90 pounds. If your wrists are hurt after bench pressing, you properly need to hold the bar correctly.

Focus on right form with light weight. Make small progress. Be patient.

If you have injury caused by accidents, consult a physiotherapist so that he can come out with a program that will not worsen your injury.

8) I don’t like working out alone.
Me too. But, I say hi to people at the gym. Make friends there. If you can afford to hire a personal trainer, get one to revamp your exercise program.

Actually, do you really need someone to work out with? If you are committed, rainy or sunny days, with or without partner, you will still exercise.


9) I am a housewife and I have a baby to take care.
More gyms are having nursery or child care section for your kids. Once the kids are older, think about organizing family outings that you and the kids can get active together, like bike riding.

10) I have to work.
I guess everyone has to work, unless you are student or someone who is very rich like Bill Gates. If you are committed to your job, may be you should treat working out at gym as a job too (though you pay the gym and not the other way round).

Find a gym which operates early morning or late night and close to your working place.

11) I’m too old. It is too late to start exercising.
Exercise is an ageless activity. Working out may not remove your wrinkles on your skin, but it will bring smile to your face. It will build your stamina, help you to lose weight and reduce stress, allow you to live longer and healthier.

Think of how much more you can enjoy doing the things you like to do when you are in better condition even when you are late 50s or 60s. Think about how much more fun you can enjoy with your children or grandchildren as they grow up.


12) I’m young and healthy. I don’t need to worry about exercising now.
This group has the opposite thought compared to the previous group of people. Some people believe that when they are 20, 30 or even 40, they are still young and do not really need to exercise. Many things we do during our youth comes back to haunt us in later years. Do something good to your body when you are young. If you are active with regular exercises, you will maintain your muscles which are helpful in keeping your metabolism level and allow you to remain strong to do many physical activities even when you get older.

13) I’m too fat with big tummy. I’m embarrassed to exercise.
Unless you are really obese and your doctor asks you not to exercise, it is unlikely you excuse is valid. Start with something simple. Even if you just walk for 15 minutes, do it. Slowly, you can jog before you can run.

Some overweight people want to swim but feel embarrassed about being seen in swimming costume. The same goes for people who want to work out in gym. If you are worrying how others look at you, you can start by exercising at home. Buy a set of dumbbells and stability ball. You can do many exercises with just those two equipments.

You can also get an equally fat buddy to go swimming or working out in gym with you. Don’t bother whether others will laugh at you. Those who despise you are lame losers. But trust me, most people are busy exercising and will not spend time looking at you.


14) I’m a beginner and I don’t know what to do and where to start
Everyone has to start from somewhere. Exercise is not a rocket science. Do something you know and you are comfortable. It can be as simple as walking. Get a pedometer to motivate you to walk more. Get some exercise books or DVDs and read fitness articles here. Check out another article of mine – How Not To Get Intimidated When You Are New at Gym?

Final Words
Exercise is not a chore, but a fun activity you should enjoy. Don’t let excuses control your mind and keep you from reaching your fitness goals. Ditch the excuses. I may have few regrets in my life, but I am fortunate enough that I realized about the importance of exercising and therefore I started exercising earlier. Many people I met in gym told me that, “Mun, I should have started working out earlier…”

No more excuses. It is all about your priority. Get it right. You know what I meant – it is ultimately you who has the power to change your life.

Everyday you give an excuse not to exercise, is a day lost in getting closer to your fitness goal. Everyday you follow your workout program, is a day closer to your fitness goal.

No more excuses. The time is now.





Email This Post Email This Post

Category: Motivation

If you like this or other articles in this blog, Subscribe to today. It is free.
Scroll down to leave a comment. I really want to know what you think.
13 responses so far ↓
  • Angie Tan // Mar 18, 2009 at 10:51 AM

    *sigh*… Yeah, we shouldn’t give ourselves excuses.

    Every time I want to head to the gym, I seem to be catching some cold or very bad cough which makes it hard for me to catch a breath while exercising. From then onwards, it becomes an excuse. I’m quite fed up with myself at the moment.

  • JL // Mar 18, 2009 at 6:41 PM

    Ahh! – you brought up some interesting tips for no 3, which is a problem I face.

  • raj // Mar 18, 2009 at 7:39 PM

    yeah mun ,it’s true that some are just lazy to do it even me..must have focus…

  • dunton86 // Mar 21, 2009 at 4:26 AM

    I’ve so used some of those excuses!! haha

    Sometimes I think I don’t have time to work out when really I’m busying myself with unimportant things, tend to overwork and then something that should take 5 mins takes half an hour when It would do more good switching off from work and going to the gym! Always feel better after a session, sometimes it’s just hard to find the motivation to get there if i’m having a bad day and things.

    Awesome article though.. PMA all the way !!

  • needa // Mar 21, 2009 at 8:20 AM

    yess..the is no excuse actually only we create REASONS not to xcercise..

  • simon // Mar 24, 2009 at 1:38 PM

    excellent piece, mun. but i have to comment on no.9. actually most gyms don’t have childcare or even a kids room, and i can safely say all the big chains don’t have them. i know this coz my wife was looking for one recently. Very few have this esp only ladies gym, if you’re lucky its near your house and it isn’t too expensive.

  • Marshall Page // Mar 27, 2009 at 9:49 PM

    I agree with Needa all the way. We create excuses not to do things. Only thing standing in the way of the gym and your goals is YOU.

    Drag yourself there if you have to. Remember the feeling you had after the workout, even if you didn’t want to go in the first place. Everyone feels great after, no one likes going.

    Make the choice not an excuse.

  • Clinton Walker III // Mar 28, 2009 at 12:31 PM

    I have always believed that you will find the time to do something you find important. I inform many of my clients to make out a schedule of their day which usually free up time to workout.

  • Tom Parker // Mar 29, 2009 at 8:25 AM

    Hey Mun. Some classic excuses here. I’ve heard a lot of these before. Ultimately, excuses are what stop people from achieving their fitness goals. If you make excuses your setting yourself up to fail.

  • jaysiefert // Jul 21, 2009 at 9:00 AM

    I’ve heard all of these excuses before. As a personal trainer, my general response is “How important is achieving your goals?” If it is placed at a very high priority, you will find the time to do it.

  • John // May 3, 2010 at 12:09 AM

    It’s easy to come up with excuses to stop exercising – but it’s harder to come up with reasons (motivating enough) to get yourself back into the gym!

    I’m a personal trainer and the amount of people who give up is just astonishing. If only they knew how good it feels when they achieve their goals! My advice is to never give up – find some form of exercise that makes you feel good and just do it!

  • Zac // Jun 9, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    I’ve been lazy with going to the gym more than a few times. The best method of sticking regular workouts, I’ve found, is to find a gym buddy.

    When you’ve arranged to go to the gym with a friend there’s a lot less of “Oh, but I’m kinda tired..” excuses running through your head. You just pick up and go.

  • Reestus Rat // Dec 20, 2010 at 7:21 PM

    “Exercise is not a chore, but a fun activity you should enjoy. ”

    Crap. Exercise is like paying bills or cleaning toilets. Do it, do it effectively at the minimum input of time and money and then go on to something interesting.

Leave a Comment

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id=""]