Your alarm goes off in the morning and you think, “I’m too tired for the gym.” Or, it’s the end of the workday and you skip your evening walk because you’re just too busy. Sound familiar? Since you’re following the South Beach Diet, you already know that exercise is an essential part of leading a healthy lifestyle and achieving your weight-loss goals. There may be times, though, when your job, family, and hectic schedule get in the way of your workout routine. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on your fitness goals altogether. The trick is to counter the excuses that keep you from exercising. Check out these easy strategies to offset some prime exercise excuses:
Excuse: “I’m too tired/busy!”
Solution: Determine what time of day works best for you to exercise. If you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, schedule a regular walk with a friend after work or try an evening group fitness class. And then don’t say you’re “too busy” to make time for this. Dr. Arthur Agatston, creator of the South Beach Diet, prefers to work out first thing in the morning, but he recognizes that some people find it easier to exercise in the afternoon or early evening. His recommendation: Exercise when — and where — you will most enjoy it, since this will make sticking with your routine easier. And if you’re too tired or too busy to squeeze in a full workout, try working in some shorter periods of exercise throughout the day: On your way to work, park your car farther away from the entrance or get off at an earlier transportation stop. Or, take the stairs instead of the elevator and go for a brief walk during lunch.
Excuse: “I can’t afford a gym membership.”
Solution: There’s no reason you have to join a gym to exercise — there are many activities that can be done outdoors or in your own living room. Take a brisk stroll around your neighborhood, head to a local track, or hit the park trails to get in a workout. If it’s raining or too cold outside, go to the mall and walk the perimeter. At home, work up a sweat with the help of an exercise DVD, or get inspiration from an online exercise video. It’s a great way to learn basic Pilates and yoga — or even kickboxing, if you have the space. Or, if exercising in a group setting is what keeps you motivated, check out a YMCA or a local recreation center in your area that offers fitness classes at an affordable price.
Excuse: “I’m bored with my routine.”
Solution: Boredom is one of the major reasons people give up exercise. If you’ve done the same routine day after day for months, it’s time to try something new. It can be as simple as taking your walks outside rather than striding on the treadmill or finding a new form of exercise entirely (Dr. Agatston likes to remind people not to forget their core muscles and taking a Pilates class is ideal for that). Sign up for a new activity, like tennis or golf lessons, or enroll in a fitness class you haven’t tried. Sometimes simply working out with a buddy can break the boredom. Want another way to stay motivated? Listen to music while you exercise. Create a playlist for your portable music device and choose songs that will inspire you to zip through your workout.