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What's Your Excuse?

For almost all excuses that come up though, you can find a way to overcome them. Often all it takes is some determination, and perhaps some creativity.
So we're almost 3 weeks into the New Year and what was the rush season of the gym seems to have died down already. So many people started out strong with their new years resolution to get in shape and improve their health. However once again it seems as though other obligations, some valid? some not so much, have crept into their workout time and are taking them away from reaching their goals.

Missing a workout here and there is completely understandable, business meetings come up, kids get sick, heck, the temperature drops to some insanely low temperature and the thought of crawling out of your warm bed in the morning is enough to make your stomach turn.

These things are all unavoidable and sometimes can be even beneficial as everyone needs a break from their workouts to stay fresh and excited, but it's when you find yourself actually looking for these excuses that you're in trouble. For almost all excuses that come up though, you can find a way to overcome them. Often all it takes is some determination, and perhaps some creativity.

Common Excuses

Excuse # 1

One common excuse many people use to avoid their daily run is "The weather is no good for me". While running in the rain is a very enjoyable experience for some, for others it presents a challenge, particularly if you don't belong to a gym where you can go instead.

This is where the creativity comes in. One option you have is investing in your own treadmill or exercise bike so this will never be a problem. This may not be a valid option for many however. Don't loose hope yet though, there are other ways to get your cardio in.

If you have a set of stairs in your house you could do some intervals. Grab a study chair or a bench and do step ups for 2 minutes followed by a run up the stairs 10 times. Then go back and repeat the step ups again. Continue doing this for 20-30 minutes and you probably will have worked harder than if you had went for your run? and given your glutes a fantastic workout in the process!

If you don't have access to stairs, or are worried that your fellow family members may think you've gone insane, grab a skipping rope and alternate with different kinds of jumping for 15-20 minutes. Skipping is very intense however, so be sure to work at your own pace and maybe even alternate skipping with just marching in place.

A final option on how you can get a cardio workout in, is by performing some common weight training exercises with lighter weights in successive order without any rest periods.

For example, do a circuit of bicep curls, followed by lunges, then overhead presses, squats, sit-ups, push-ups and bent over rows.

This will keep your heart rate up and give you some strength conditioning (not to the extent as if you had done a normal weight training session with heavy weights - but this was not the intention). In any account, you will have gotten in your cardio training and will most likely be feeling much better than if you would have skipped it.

Excuse # 2

The next excuse is that there is just not enough time in the day to work out. This is where you learn to prioritize! You need to treat workouts like any other important meeting you have.

If you made a dentist appointment, what you most likely do afterwards? You'd likely write it in your day timer. The same should be done for a workout. This is your time that you are giving to yourself to do something that will reflect into every aspect in your life.

By dedicating this block of time to yourself, you will not only be more productive in the rest of your daily events, but you will be happier and able to give more energy.

If arranging time just to workout is not possible than combine your workout with one of your other obligations. For example, instead of watching TV with your partner and kids later that night go out for a walk instead.

This way you guys will get a chance to talk instead of just mindlessly watching TV (and likely eating snacks that you shouldn't really be eating anyway) and will also get some exercise in. Or, consider if your business partners allow it, having a meeting over a lunchtime workout. This will likely only work for some situations but the point is to find a place where you can squeeze your workout in. ...but Friends/Hockey night in Canada/Sex in the City is on...

How many times have you missed a workout because you'd rather watch your favorite celebrities live their lives than go out and live yours? I'm sure everyone's done it at least once. This is an easy excuse to combat however. Just invest in a VCR or TiVo and tape your favorite show. Think how much more you will be able to enjoy it after you've put in some good time in the gym?

You will feel more relaxed and less stressed and it will give you a perfect chance to unwind. Or, alternatively, create a home workout that you can do WHILE you watch your show. You'd be amazed at how fast cardio can go when you aren't staring blankly at the numbers on the treadmill. Just be careful not to let yourself get to involved in your show, or your workout may be less than stellar. And if your doing weights, just be sure to keep enough attention on what your doing to make sure you're using proper form and aren't risking injury.

Many people use the excuse that they can't afford a gym membership. This can be a very valid excuse, however once again, is easily overcome. Go through your morning routine. Does it regularly include a trip to the local coffee shop to pick up your favorite "it takes 5 adjectives to describe my drink" coffee? Why don't you conquer two new health improvement resolutions in one stone?

These specialty coffees are usually extremely high in fat, sugar or both and are doing nothing to improve your health, only making your wallet lighter. Why don't you resolve to stop drinking these beverages (therefore improving your diet - you'll probably actually lose 2 pounds a month by giving these up alone!), and take the money you would normally spend on the coffee and buy a gym membership?

If your coffee costs $3 and you buy one 20 days out of the month, that's $60 per month towards a gym membership. Most gym's offer memberships at a much cheaper rate than this, thus you'll even have money left over to buy yourself a plain coffee, which is both healthier for you (in moderation) and cheaper.

Money Saving Calculator

Find out how much money you will save each year from now drinking coffee!

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If you quit today, you could have $ per year! With this money, you could easily buy a new gym membership!

Excuse # 3

"I'm bored with my workout" is another thing I often hear people saying. This is likely very true. If I went to the gym and did the same thing day in and day out, I would get bored very quickly too. This is why it is important to keep changing your workout around. Alternate your cardio sessions with different machines, try out a new split, or simply reverse the order of your exercises. These will all make your workout seem fresher and keep you coming back for more.

The final reason why people often sway from their workouts is because they no longer are seeing results. This is what is commonly called the plateau and is very common among people who have begun working out, saw amazing results in no time, but then have adapted to what they were doing.

The body needs a constant stimulus to keep improving which is why once again you need to change up your workout. Maybe try doing intervals in your cardio training, or reduce the rest periods in between your sets. Just try doing something that will make your workouts a little harder and more challenging for you.

Excuses are just an easy way out for most people. Its our subconscious trying to justify our being lazy and not doing anything for our health and well-being.

Rather than resorting to these negative forms of self-talk, find ways to combat the excuses, post a list of reason why you want to work out, put up pictures of what you'd like to look like to inspire you, enlist in a friend to kick your butt into gear when you feel like backing out, just find something that will convince you that working out is more important than whatever else seems to be taking you away from it.

Make this the year that you finally stick with your resolutions and never let excuses overpower you again.