When you don’t feel like exercising you can come up with all kinds of excuses. We get it: Exercise is the worst. There are so many things you could be doing instead. You don’t have time. And so on, and so on. But exercising regularly has too many benefits for us to stand idly by while you pretend these are good reasons for not working out.
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With the help of New York-based fitness instructor Joana Meneses, Lifehacker has come up with tips on how to overcome the common obstacles that stop you from working out. Below, we destroy all of your excuses.
I Don’t Have Time
Working out seems like it’s a time-suck, but your entire life doesn’t have to revolve around your workout routine. There are quick high-intensity workouts that can just take seven minutes. Just be sure to avoid these pitfalls when doing high-intensity workouts.
Lifehacker also has a guide on how to make time for your workouts by carefully scheduling your workouts and wasting less time doing other things. “You don’t make time, you make excuses,” Meneses said. “If you don’t make time for exercise, then you’re going to really have to make time for injury, for illness. And that just defeats the purpose of everything else you’re making time for.”
I Have Kids
There are many ways to include your kids in your workout routine. Many of these ideas encourage your kids to be active as well, and it can be a good bonding exercise. There are all kinds of options, from building obstacle courses to just running with them. “It really doesn’t have to be that regimented; it just needs to be consistent. And it’s a really healthy thing to get everyone involved,” Meneses said.
I Hate It
There are many different reasons you might dread your workouts. One reason is that you might not have found an exercise you enjoy yet. The obvious solution to that is, well, trying new workouts. For Meneses, who has been in the fitness industry for 17 years, it took a lot of trial and error.
Unfortunately, some people just might not like working out. If you hate exercising, there are ways to make your experience more pleasant, such as doing something else you enjoy while you workout (such as watching your favourite television show or listening to music).
Strangely, the best thing for your soreness might not be taking a rest day. Obviously, don’t jump right back into a super hard workout, but you can perform more gentle exercises such as walking or gentle yoga. Lifehacker has tips for working out when you’re sore and dealing with the soreness.
“When you work out in a certain way, you’re going to be sore, especially if it’s been a while since your last workout,” Meneses said. “But it doesn’t need to hurt to be effective.”
I’m Already Tired
After a long day, the last thing you want to think about is working out, but doing something active when you’re tired can boost energy levels more than watching television does.
The key is starting slow. “A lot of people will not work out on a consistent basis, so once they have had however much time they have had off, they will make the mistake of wanting to make up for it all on the first time they go back,” Meneses said.
I Don’t Have a Gym Membership
Finding a gym membership that doesn’t rip you off can be difficult, but there are discounts on gym memberships you might be eligible for — for instance, if you have health insurance. You can consult this guide for even more advice on choosing a gym and finding reasonably priced memberships. Alternatively, you could make your own gym on a budget.
Gyms aren’t required for working out. You can run almost anywhere or do workouts using just your bodyweight. There are also a lot of online workouts that you can do from the comfort of your home, such as Yoga Glo.
I’m Intimidated by Other People Who Work Out
The gym can be an intimidating place, and it’s hard to shake the feeling of being judged by other gym-goers. Becoming more comfortable at the gym is a process, but after you master these tips, you should feel a lot more confident.
One option for starting is exploring different fitness classes for beginners. “There are a lot of different classes for people out there, especially for beginners,” Meneses said. “And if they find themselves in a community like a CrossFit or yoga studio where they don’t feel like their level is being catered to, that’s not a place for them. There are so many other options.”
I Don’t Know Where to Start
There are a ton of workout options for beginners, such as the Lifehacker Workout or using Sworkit, an app that automatically generates workouts for you. What workout you choose isn’t as important as just starting, though.
“Not everybody needs to do CrossFit,” said Meneses “Not everybody needs to lift weights. I think there’s so much information out there that people get overwhelmed and they think they’re not doing anything right, but I believe that the most important thing is just to move your body.”