Picture yourself as a cartoon character, looking earnestly at a whistle-necked, clipboard-carrying fitness professional. Your mouth is open, spewing into a text balloon the reasons you simply can’t exercise that day.
She has to focus her eyes on your forehead so they won’t start rolling. That’s because she has heard such protests galore — yours, and countless variations on the theme.
Here are some of the most common excuses, lamebrained and otherwise, and ways trainers suggest you talk yourself out of them.
Whine No. 1: ‘I don’t have time’
The trainers’ comeback: Make time.
Plan ahead, and wake up a little earlier a few days a week. A half-hour will suffice. If that’s too big a chunk, break it up.
Whine No. 2: ‘I’m too tired’
The trainers’ comeback: You won’t be for long.
Regular exercise can improve mood, boost energy levels and enhance your sense of well-being. If you schedule your workout as you do other parts of your life, eventually it will become a habit.
Whine No. 3: ‘I’m not fat, so I don’t need to exercise’
The trainers’ comeback: Yes, you do.
Studies show that life expectancy is not necessarily correlated with low body weight, but it is definitely connected to regular exercise.
Whine No. 4: ‘I don’t know where to start’
The trainer’s comeback: At the beginning.
Educate yourself. Ask fit friends, who might have been waiting for you to join them. Start with exercise videos put out by credible sources. Working with a personal trainer can help you identify areas of weakness and help you develop them so you won’t get injured. Many gyms also offer free orientations to show you how to use the equipment.
Whine No. 5: ‘My [name of body part] hurts’
The trainer’s comeback: Avoid the movement that brought on the pain.
Even if you have limiting conditions such as knee or shoulder trouble, or plantar fasciitis, you still can move. Consult a personal trainer for alternative exercise ideas or to strengthen the areas around the injured body part.
Whine No. 6: ‘I don’t want to mess up my hair’
The trainer’s comeback: Mussed hair is easier tended than a messed-up body.
A healthy lifestyle is a higher priority than a hairdo. Bring toiletries and a change of clothes to your workout, or work out when you have more time afterward to primp a little.
Whine No. 7: ‘I’m too embarrassed to work out at a gym’
The trainer’s comeback: People are more concerned with how they look, not you.
Most people are at the gym for the same reasons — to take care of themselves, not be critical of others.
Whine No. 8: ‘I’m too old’
The trainer’s comeback: Probably not.
There’s always something you can do, such as yoga. Any exercise can be modified. The key is to keep moving.