Making Excuses#1 - I have no time

I thought I'd blog a wee series about excuses and reasons.  The first one today is about not having time for exercise.  Prepare for the tough love.

1. It takes too long to get to the gym. 

Your choice, you can either a) miss your session completely or b) do what you can in the time you have.

I love this one, particularly when there are gyms on every corner and the maximum trip should really only take you 15 minutes.  So you've only got 60 minutes to get to the gym, do your workout and get back to where you need to be.  Let's take the worst possible scenario that it's a 30 minute round trip, and you only have 30 minutes left to exercise.  Make that exercise count!  Forget the treadmill stroll with the magazine and do something more challenging like interval training!  I guarantee you'll feel like you've had a better workout doing 30 minutes of that, than wasting 60 minutes of your time chatting on your cellphone while pushing out a few light bicep curls and a casual walk.

My friend said to me "the best exercise, is the exercise you do".  I don't care if you are inside that gym for only 10 minutes, at least you did something. 

2. I don't have time in the morning, I have to get ready for work.

Your choice, you can either a) miss another exercise session or b) set the alarm earlier.  Exactly how bad do you want to achieve your goal?

This is one of my personal favourites.  Yep, while you're hitting the snooze on your alarm clock, people who want to achieve their goals are out there in the morning getting it done.  Here's some logic for you - if you are awake hitting snooze, then you certainly aren't asleep are you?  So if you tell me that you can't get out of bed earlier, I know that you're lying to yourself and me, because you've just spent the last half hour awake waiting for the absolute last minute to get out of bed and act as though you "have no time".  Sorry, but that's crazy - stop wake-snoozing for half an hour and get the hell outta bed.  Here's a few strategies for 'no time in the morning'

  • Place your alarm clock in the hallway, so you have to actually get out of bed and travel a distance to switch it off.  Better still, put your phone alarm (or whatever alarm you use) in your sports shoes.  They will be looking at you, waiting for you to pull finger and put them on.
  • Set your alarm clock half an hour earlier and get 20-30mins exercise in.  Your body is not going to miss the half hour - you're going to have to trust me on this one.  But look, let's be realistic here - if half hour earlier means getting up BEFORE 5am, then forget it - I agree with you, you have no time in the morning.  To those of you who are sleeping in till 9am (and not on shift work), you have no excuse whatsoever.
  • Go to bed earlier so you can rise earlier.  OK, yes I know there are some people out there that love working 15 hour days, and there are people who feel that they MUST work 15 hour days.  Tell ya what, when you're working that amount of hours the difference between 14 and 15 is nothing - so cut yourself some slack.  Go to bed an hour earlier, get up an hour earlier and do some exercise, it'll help with those long workdays.
  • Go workout in the evening or lunchtime. 

3. I have to get home and feed the kids (or watch my favourite TV show)

Your choice, either a) miss yet another exercise session or b) do some exercise at home or c) do some exercise before you go to work

Google these words: Skipping, mountain climbers, burpees, starjumps, crabwalks, lunges, squats, tricep dips, plank....etc and so on.  Go to youtube and type in "workout" or "cardio" or "jazzercise".  Yes, so what if it's not the treadmill at the gym - it's a way of fitting exercise into your day in spite of you using your kids as an excuse for having no time.  Buy a skipping rope, or if you have exercise equipment in the garage, haul it out.

4. I couldn't fit an hour of exercise in today, so I had to flag it

Your choice, either a) yet again, miss another exercise session or b) do what you can in the time you have.

Tell me, where is it written: "Thou must do 60 minutes of exercise or thy be damned".  If you can't fit 60 minutes in, then go and find a hill and sprint up and down it for 20minutes or just do half a group fitness class.  There's no law that says you're locked in to the aerobics room for 60 minutes.  Do what you can, get in, get out and get on with this busy day of yours.

5. But then I have to shower and go back to work and it all takes time.

Your choice, either a) miss another session for the week or b) exercise at a different time of day or c) just shower in a can, who cares.

When I was a mobile trainer and training clients at the start and end of the day it meant I had to cram my workouts in wherever I had a gap.  You're right, there's no time for a shower, which is why I jump in wash the sweat off and jump out in a matter of 30 seconds. If you wish to faff around exfoliating, washing your hair, re-applying your makeup etc that's your choice.  But seriously, you're wasting a huge amount of time.  I used to watch a lady spend a minimum of 15 minutes straightening her hair every day at the gym.  All you need is a towel, good deoderent, a dry set of clothes and the ability to leave your vanity behind.

6. The gym is only open until (insert time) so I can't get there.

Your choice, either a) miss yet another session or b) find a 24 hour gym or c) do exercise that doesn't require a gym

Anytime Fitness is a new 24 hour gym chain that has popped up around the country, and plenty of other gyms are going the 24 hour way also.  Sell your existing gym membership on Trademe and go and get a different one.  Alternatively, hire yourself a personal trainer who specialises in home based training and exercise programs and get them to give you a program.  95% of my clients don't go to a gym, and they still all achieve their goals.

You could make excuses all day long or you could get out of your own way and get on with it.