It’s no secret that exercise is a critical component to a healthy life. In fact, a recent study pointed out that vigorous exercise, regardless of body weight or chronic disease status, can reduce early death, significantly. Still, sometimes making excuses is easier than making instant macaroni and cheese.
The reality? Your plethora of excuses for why you’re not hitting the gym won’t get you a toned stomach or help you complain about those love handles you swear your mom passed down to you genetically. We caught up with Dr. Jim Afremow, author of “The Champion’s Mind,” for how to tackle the three biggest exercise excuses.
1. “I don’t have time.” Afremow recommends having an honest conversation with yourself about the time you do have to fit in activity. “If you don’t or think you don’t have the time and you really mean that, then maybe what you need to do is focus on what you can do, exercise-wise, that would not take up a lot of time,” he said.
Something is better than nothing. Maybe in your ideal world, you’d like to work out for an hour and a half each day. However, if your job or other obligations won’t let you do that, then maybe 20 minutes when you are unable to do your full workout can be a plan B. Embracing the plan B will help you get in that activity when it matters most.
2. “I’m not feeling motivated.” According to Afremow, motivation is overrated. Think about it: How many of us really feel like going to work every day? The answer: Not many. “Full motivation usually comes while you’re doing something, not beforehand,” Afremow said. “Most of the time I don’t feel like going and working out, but once I’m doing it, I never say, ‘I wish I wasn’t here.’ Champions lean on their commitment, not their motivation in the moment, because whether they like doing it or not, they’re going to honor their commitment to getting it done.”
3. “I don’t have the energy.” The best part about working out? It actually gives you energy, according to a University of Georgia study. “Saying you don’t have the energy isn’t logical,” Afremow said. “The reason you don’t have it is because you’re not exercising.”