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Dealing with exercise excuses

When it comes to working out, I am the excuses queen. I’ve come up with some pretty common, but also some outlandish reasons to avoid working out. Most of it is because I’m tired or lacking motivation. Here are a few that I have actually used:

  • Too tired
  • Too much work or a deadline
  • Too much laundry/too many dishes
  • Baby is awake
  • Baby is asleep
  • Want to watch something on TV (yes I have a DVR)
  • Halfway through a show on Hulu and the time left won’t sync up with the time I have to be on the treadmill (this was an actual excuse I’ve used)
  • Haven’t eaten
  • Ate too much
  • Don’t want to mess up my hair
  • Don’t like the route my running group is doing
  • Garmin/iPod not charged


Here are some strategies I use to pump up that motivation when the excuses pile up:

  • Don’t sit down. For me, the key to working out is if I keep moving to begin with. Since I don’t have the option of working out in the morning right now, I’m left with evenings. If I change my clothes before I put the baby to sleep, don’t even sit down for a minute after, I’ll likely end up working out. If I sit down on the couch even for five minutes, I’ll probably be there for the rest of the night.
  • Give yourself 10 minutes. I give my permission to only work out for 10 minutes. About 75% of the time, I’ll forget about the excuse and continue with my planned workout. The other 25%, I may not be feeling it and will give myself permission to stop and rest. 10 minutes is always better than no minutes.
  • Put it in your calendar. When I feel like I’m regularly skipping workouts, I’ll start putting them in my calendar like I would any other work or personal meeting. The taunting calendar reminder is just too annoying to ignore.
  • Make it a team effort. Similar to the above, recruiting friends or signing up for a regular class is extremely helpful to get out the door. If you’re meeting friends, it’s not just you that suffers if you skip out. If you sign up for a regular class, chances are you don’t want to forfeit the money you’ve already paid.


I’m not going to say that these will work every time to bust excuses. I go through phases where I let excuses get the best of me. And when that happens, I know I’m going to pay the price later, whether it be struggling through my next workout or not meeting my ultimate training goals. The key is to first admit that you’re making an excuse, then it’s up to you to bust it – and you can!

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing