8 Reasons You're Not Working Out + How to Overcome Them

How to drop those lame reasons you’re not working out and stick to your commitment to shape up.

| January 9th, 2013
Get Fit—No Excuses!

If talking up our plans to get fit were an athletic activity, most of us would be in sick shape. But when it comes to actually making our fitness goals a reality, lots of little things—bad weather here, a work trip there—can cause our commitment to quickly fall apart. “People who succeed at resolutions have contingency plans for roadblocks,” explains John Norcross, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Scranton and the author of “Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions.” Tired of letting excuses stand in the way of nabbing that healthier, fitter body? Here, eight solutions to common fitness resolution roadblocks.

“It’s too cold/snowy/stormy to go to the gym.”

Go online. Having a couple fitness-friendly apps at the ready ensures you’ll always be ready to work out. Some to look for: Nike Training Club, which offers free workouts with rewards—in the form of new workouts by celebrity trainers—being issued the more you use it. Pocket Yoga ($2.99) offers guided yoga sessions, along with an illustrated guide to poses. And CoachClub, an online fitness program, creates a customized workout with streamed classes available online.

“I can’t afford an expensive gym membership.”

There are plenty of ways to cut costs and still have access to amazing fitness classes. First, check daily deal sites like LivingSocial.com for offers to boot camps, yoga classes and other offerings in your area. Second, see what local athletic stores have to offer. For example, the national chains Athleta and Lululemon have complimentary in-store yoga classes, running clubs and other offerings.

MORE: How to Shop for a Gym

“I don’t have time.”

You don’t need to log hours at the gym to improve your health and keep weight gain at bay. More and more research has found that when it comes to working out, a little goes a long way. In fact, a study from the University of Copenhagen found that half an hour of exercise may be as beneficial for weight loss as an hour-long sweat session. Focusing on short, intense workouts will help keep you trim without taking up all your time.

“I feel self-conscious.”

If you went on a date wearing a dress that was similar to the one you wore to the ninth grade dance, you’d probably feel a little weird and dated, right? Well, that’s basically the equivalent of what you’re doing if you hit the gym wearing the same droopy shorts and oversize t-shirt you shoved in your locker after P.E. in junior high school.

New workout clothes flatter your body, wick away sweat so you stay dry and are cute enough to wear on an errand run. The key is to find ones that fit your particular body shape. For example, Hourglass shapes can rock halter-style tops and cropped capri pants with rouching, while Circle shapes look good sporting loosely-draped tops paired with colorful, fitted leggings that show off their slim gams.

MORE: Workout Clothes For Your Body Shape

“I’m bored with my exercise routine.”

If the thought of doing your usual workout routine gives you a serious case of the blahs, it’s time to switch things up. Your best move? Try a new class, such as SurfSet at Crunch gyms where core work is done on a surfboard-like contraption on springs, or Animal Flow at Equinox, where you spend the class moving through a challenging, body weight-based routine inspired by the way animals move in the wild. If it sounds like recess, that’s the point. “Our brains are wired to seek pleasure,” notes Norcross. “When we do something that’s fun and that we enjoy and look forward to, we’ll want to go back.”


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