Any fitness enthusiast will tell you, working out isn’t a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. It’s not something they have to plan for but instead plan around.
Then why, oh why, is it so difficult for the rest of us non-enthusiasts to jump on the bandwagon and get excited about it? Why do we always have an excuse to forgo that 30 – heck, even 20! – minutes of cardio and remain happily seated on our butts all day, eager for the next viral Buzzfeed link to come across our screens?
Here are three common excuses we find ourselves relying on time and time again to avoid any kind of physical excursion, and our most practical, realistic solutions of how to avoid them, once and for all. Because let’s be honest; nobody is getting any younger and the sooner we can make fitness a part of our lifestyle, the less painful this whole aging process is going to be.
EXCUSE 1: I don’t have time.
HOW TO AVOID IT: Believe us, we get it; everyone is busy. Our advice is to incorporate exercise into the activities that are already keeping you so busy.
• If you are running errands: park the car in the farthest spot; use the stairs and not the escalators; walk from store to store whenever possible; carry items instead of pushing them in a cart.
• If you’re meeting a client for lunch, walk to the meeting and walk briskly or even jog back from it.
• If you’re walking your pet, ride a bike and have your pet run alongside. Or jog. And maybe add a few lunges into the mix. We promise no one will judge you.
Easy enough, right? We also recommend wearing one or two articles of stylish athleticwear for these “non-workouts;” it will trick your mind into thinking you’re about to workout so you’ll feel comfortable moving around, getting your heart rate up, and hopefully even breaking a sweat. Athleta has designed quality, versatile pieces that are more fashion forward and don’t look like classic workout gear. Their flowy shirts, colorful zip-ups, and chic shorts can easily mix with non-fitness attire; perfect to wear to any of the aforementioned daily activities.
EXCUSE 2: I hate working out alone.
HOW TO AVOID IT: If you hate showing up at the crowded gym or fitness class stag, find a friend you would already have plans with and tie the workout in with another fun activity. For example, if you and the girls already have plans for Saturday happy hour, pop into barre before heading to your favorite bar. And forgo the bulky gym bag by leaving out your jeans and simply packing a fresh tank, dry shampoo, deodorant, and sandals—much like with avoiding excuse #1, you can transition from gym to gastropub in no time if you invest in a few versatile, performance wear pieces that are appropriate for both working out and life after the gym. We’ve linked to a few of our favorites from Athleta below!
EXCUSE 3: It’s boring/doesn’t keep my interest.
HOW TO AVOID IT: Fighting off this excuse definitely requires more work and time. But it’s bound to have the longest lasting effect. Our first recommendation is try, try again: literally try every possible workout type and location until you find the thing you love (or maybe just the thing you don’t hate). From lifting weights at the gym to jogging outside, trying Pilates to bicycling around town, shimmying in Zumba to getting frisky in a pole dancing class; the options to get your heart rate up and get moving are endless. You’re bound to like something and odds are you just haven’t found it yet. Most gyms and studios offer free trials whether it’s for a single visit or a week-long pass, so dabble and have fun! Or test out a video version online for free and in the comfort of your living room.
Our second tip would be to “gamify” your workouts. Set challenges and goals for yourself that you have to beat each time you go back and do it. Wearing a pedometer makes it easier to set goals and track your steps. Encourage friends or even coworkers to compete with you; loser buys lunch on Friday. Before you know it, walking instead of driving, taking the stairs, and moving in general to increase your step count will become second nature. This regular rhythm of being active will become habit and you’ll want to continue moving and working out even more. Eventually it will fill weird when you go a day without much activity.
What excuse do you find yourself making the most? How do you avoid it and push forward?
This post brought to you by Athleta, the premier fitness fashion brand for women.