If we were to compile a list of the most common excuses for not working out, a lack of time, energy, or a workout buddy would probably be near the top. Here are three more excuses you might have used for not making it to the fitness center more frequently, and how to keep them from sabotaging your health and weight loss goals.
#1: I’m too embarrassed to go to the fitness center.
If you’re just starting your fitness journey, you might feel like you’d be a little out of place in a mix of people who are already in great shape. Despite the stereotypes, you’ll find a mix of shapes, sizes, and fitness levels at the gym. If you stick around, you’ll find it doesn’t matter how similar or different you are to those around you: fitness centers are places where everyone shares the common goal of pushing and improving themselves.
If you’re still struggling with feelings of embarrassment or self-consciousness, try to visit the gym during low-traffic hours until you get comfortable with the setting. Eventually, you’ll get used to having others around you and discover that there’s nothing to feel self-conscious about.
#2: Working out is boring.
Maybe your struggle is that working out just seems boring. Maybe you even sent to the gym a few times to see how it went and barely made it through 20 minutes of monotonous cardio. Workouts can be boring if you let them – but they don’t have to be.
Even if you stick with resistance machines, cardio machines, and free weights, there are fun ways to mix things up. For instance, working intense intervals into your cardio sessions will not only give you something to focus on; it will make the time go by faster and increase your calorie burn.
If you’re stuck on what to do to liven things up, watch others at the fitness center to get ideas or ask for advice from a staff member or trainer. YouTube videos and channels are another resource for new workout moves, with the added benefit of visual instructions for keeping good form and staying safe while you do them.
#3: Exercising is too hard.
No one said getting in shape would be easy, but neither is it too hard with a little support, discipline, and determination. If you start a new program and it feels too hard, consider starting with something easier until you build up more endurance and strength. At the same time, any workout program should be at least a little challenging. If you’re not working up a sweat or at least increasing your heartrate, you can probably handle more! When you first start making exercise a habit after a long break, it will feel more difficult. You might have to push through a few workouts, but eventually, your body will start to respond. If you ever feel discouraged, think about something you used to struggle to do (perhaps walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded, or run a mile), and remember how far you’ve come.
Most of all, lean on the support of a good network of friends, family, and gym buddies who will help you keep everything in perspective, encourage you when you’re feeling down, and motivate you to get past the mental hang-ups and reach your goals, one step at a time.