By: Holly Case, Freelance Writer and Mom of Three Boys
How many times have you skipped the gym when you had a cold or didn’t feel up to it after work? That can happen to the best of us. Skipping just one workout doesn’t seem like a big deal and you promise to make up for it tomorrow. But before you know it, that one missed workout turns in to a week off or more. It’s a slippery slope into getting out of the exercise habit altogether, and then the thought of going back to the gym seems too intimidating. If you’re in a slump like that, whether you don’t want to work out today or haven’t been at the gym in months, here’s how to bust some common excuses and commit to your fitness.
Not Seeing Enough Results
If you’re exercising because you want to lose weight, your motivation may fall to the wayside if you’re not seeing the results you expected. If you’re not losing weight anymore, it’s easy to think the exercise isn’t worth your effort. Defeat this excuse by changing your workout routine from the usual; try adding more strength training. Diet matters more than exercise for weight loss, so cut a few calories from your diet instead. And remember that exercise is valuable for a lot of reasons besides weight loss. Working out regularly reduces your risk of diseases, improves your heart health, and reduces your risk of depression.
The Too-Busy Schedule
Are you too busy? Most women are. That could be an excuse for skipping a workout if you allowed it to be. Work schedules, family needs, and all your other time commitments mean that free time for yourself is in short supply. You may be tempted to skip a workout because you don’t have the time. But skipping exercise to save time is a bad idea, because exercise helps you manage that stressful life. Even if you don’t have time for a full workout, some exercise is better than none to stay in the habit.
Your Kids Need You
Raising small children is exhausting and difficult. Without enough support from a helpful spouse or a gym that offers day care, taking time to work out can seem overwhelming and impossible. Be creative about finding solutions. Could you trade childcare with other mom friends so you could all get some free time? You could hire a neighborhood teenager to watch the kids for a couple hours after school so you can go to the gym. You could work out along with an exercise video during the kids’ naptime. You could even exercise with the kids, like going on a walk together or dancing around with them to a children’s music video.
Working Out Is Causing Pain
If you’re in pain, of course you’re going to avoid working out. If you are recovering from an injury or surgery or your pain is caused by a chronic condition, this seems like a pretty good reason to skip a workout. But it’s also a trap you want to avoid, because exercise relieves the pain associated with certain chronic conditions like fibromyalgia. If you’re injured or recovering from surgery, you obviously can’t do much to exercise those parts of your body. But you shouldn’t completely skip exercise. Follow your doctor’s guidance about how to exercise safely. Work with a physical therapist if you need extra help.
Sometimes you may need to give yourself a little bit of tough love. Break those excuses and get back on the exercise bandwagon. It will help you in many possible ways!