The Top Ten Excuses People Use to Avoid Exercise. Are any of these familiar?

If we don’t exercise regularly, it’s because we have our reasons. But are they valid?


The thing to keep in mind is that… our beliefs, right or wrong, become our reality.

The purpose of this post is to challenge these excuses and beliefs that often prevent us from enjoying a physically active lifestyle.

Oh, and one other thing, these excuses are not listed in any particular order … except for the last one, because that is always, always, always the number one excuse that people give for not being able to exercise.

So, in no particular order, we’ll count down from …

Excuse Number Ten

“I hate exercising. I can’t imagine how anyone can find it enjoyable.”

From that standpoint, it may be true because any exercise may feel hard at first, especially if all we do is focus on what else we could be doing.

For example, we decide to go for a daily walk, and all we do is think about the work that’s piling up or how the weather isn’t quite perfect, or our feet feel sore or some other thing, then in no time at all we’ve built an air-tight case that exercise is nothing short of masochistic. 

But all habits take time to acquire, and here’s a fact about the exercise habit: even people who are totally “hooked” on exercise will frequently wish to skip it, but the power of habit overrides that feeling, and so they’ll do it anyway, and here’s the thing, as soon as they start, they’re always glad they did because of the inevitable flood of “feel-good” hormones and neurotransmitters that flow through the body and brain.

So when you begin to exercise, instead of looking at the negatives, focus on the endless, and I mean endless, benefits of physical activity. Within a month or two, you’ll get locked into the groove, and when you notice your body getting tighter and stronger, your energy levels rise, and your cognitive ability improves, then you’ll develop true motivation, and then one day, you’ll suddenly realize that you too are hooked for life.

Excuse Number Nine

“I’ve tried to exercise in the past, but I’ve always ended up quitting. Then I feel like a loser, so I’m better off not even trying.”

If this is you, let’s try to find some of the reasons you may have quit in the past.

Many people quit because they try to do too much too soon. They go from no exercise to high-intensity workouts seven days a week.

This is, of course, a recipe for failure, and burnout is all but inevitable. 

The solution is to begin slowly but steadily. When you start to notice your clothes getting looser and your body getting tighter, you’ll get motivated.

Most people think they have to get motivated first, so they wait for just the right author to come along, the right exercise program, or the right conditions like summer weather or for something to fall from the sky and create an insatiable desire. But that’s not how motivation works.

First, we need a little willpower to get started, just enough to get us going for a couple of weeks; soon after, when we begin to feel better and notice the results, we get motivated, and that’s when we lay the solid foundation of a lifelong habit.

Other people may start and stop an exercise program because they’re bored out of their minds. Walking on a treadmill or spinning a stationary bicycle can get pretty stale pretty quickly for some people. They see this as a “life sentence” and wonder how they could continue day after day. 

The key for these people is to find some pleasant distractions. When I walk or run on my treadmill, I’ll frequently watch TV, read, meditate, and listen to books on tape, but mostly, I’ll get lost in my Spotify collection, and since I have about 1,200 of my “favourite” songs, I never, ever get bored. When I’m on Spotify, I’m literally in my bubble of bliss!

In addition, I’ll always take a moment to notice my body and to feel how much it appreciates being used. The thing is, “we often don’t appreciate our ability to move until we lose our ability to move.”

And finally, some people start and quit because they’ve injured themselves, and they’re just too sore to continue. This, of course, is often the result of trying too much too quickly. People in this category frequently don’t know where to begin, what to do, or how much to do. They’re just blindly working out, and consequently, they’ll often overdo the overdoing, which results in injury, soreness, confusion, and frustration.

The solution begins with a walking program. This will allow your body, mind and schedule to embrace a new habit slowly.


Excuse Number Eight

“I can’t afford it. A membership at a health club is way too expensive for my budget.”

This one definitely doesn’t hold water, because if you can afford a pair of walking shoes, you’re set to go, and you can establish a wonderful habit and get aerobically fit just by walking.

So, here’s the thing: if you eventually feel that walking isn’t your thing, the YMCA or local community centers can offer a wide selection of inexpensive or free alternatives. Also, if you go online, you can find thousands of advertisements offering “hardly used” exercise equipment (treadmills, elliptical machines, free weights, stationary bicycles, resistance machines, elastic exercise bands, etc.) and god knows what else for a couple of hundred dollars.

Also, either online or at your local library, you find a wide array of workout and exercise videos that you can do from the comfort of your own home with little or no exercise equipment needed.

Excuse Number Seven

“I’ve been exercising for a while and I haven’t noticed any weight loss.”

Unfortunately, when it comes to our desire to shed excess pounds, it’s never fast enough!

However, when you learn health and weight-loss mastery, you’ll come to know that the key to success is patience. Your body needs time to react. Also, some people fail to understand that walking a couple of extra miles doesn’t give them a “free meal” ticket.

For example, Watching TV uses about 70–80 calories an hour, the equivalent of an apple or a slice of bread. Walking at a brisk 3 to 4 mph pace more than triples your calorie expenditure to 267 calories an hour, which equates to three apples or three slices of bread … but not three slices of chocolate cake!

But that’s all part of learning how to master health, fitness and weight loss.

We have to know how to set realistic goals on how to eat so that we not only enjoy our food but we feel full without ever over-eating, and when that happens, we learn to enjoy our physical activity so much that it becomes one of the best times of our day … that, of course, is what mastery is all about.

Excuse Number Six

“I don’t know where to begin. There’s so much advice and so much of it is contradictory that I can’t seem to make heads or tails of the whole thing.” 

This one’s popular but ultimately flimsy. All you have to do is lace up a pair of shoes and get walking. The key is to establish a lifestyle that prioritizes time for the most valuable thing you own … which is, of course, your health.

The fact is, IF you’re not getting regular exercise, you’re not healthy … that is a simple fact. Our bodies require exercise, but our bodies will also adapt to the prevailing conditions. If something isn’t used, it gets shut down.

When we live a sedentary lifestyle, many things start shutting down, but because they happen so slowly, we make the assumption that our lack of energy, mobility and vitality is just a natural product of aging. Well, let me say unequivocally, that is total bullshit, aging and the loss of health is nothing more than the accumulating effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Period.


Excuse Number Five … which is

“Hey, I would exercise regularly, but honestly, you should try walking a mile in my shoes! You wouldn’t believe the obligations I’ve got.”

Okay, obligations to whom? Your kids, your spouse, your business, your career? 

So, what about the obligation to yourself?

What about your obligation to be sound and healthy for your spouse, kids, and grandchildren in the years to come? What about setting a healthy example for your family? 

And speaking of setting an example, you could even get your spouse or kids to take a walk with you. They might actually need to get up and move just as much as you do. Your kids might be thrilled to shoot some baskets or play tag with you.

Look, your health IS your most valuable possession, and it’s your only tether to this life. If you don’t value your health as your number one obligation, perhaps it’s time to re-think your values!

No one can have a more significant obligation than looking after their health. Period!

Excuse Number Four

“I can’t stay motivated. Last year I managed to work out regularly for more than three months straight, but then I just started skipping here and there, and before long, I couldn’t get into it anymore.”

I can bet you’re focusing on the negatives if this is you. If you work out for a half-hour, you might see it as losing a half-hour of doing something else. Instead, try focusing on all the benefits you get from regular physical activity.

Remember, the best time to begin working out was ten years ago … the next best time is now!

Getting old doesn’t mean you have to look, feel, or act old. The greatest anti-ager known to man is regular physical activity. It’s not so much about the quantity of life as the quality of life, and it’s a matter of appreciating our most valuable asset … our health.

Imagine what Steven Hawking or Christopher Reeve or anyone afflicted with a disabling disease would give to get up and go for a simple walk.

Turn your attention to the benefits, and you’ll stay motivated long enough to make regular exercise an unbreakable habit. Let’s never take our health for granted. The fact that you can choose to exercise is a beautiful gift that too many people fail to appreciate.

Try to think of your ability to exercise as a celebration of life … because it is.


If we don’t exercise regularly, it’s because we have our reasons. But are they valid?

As you’ll see, the Grand Kahuna excuse-  like the other nine, doesn’t hold a candle to logic and reason.

So let’s pick up with …

Excuse Number three

“Every time I exercise, it hurts. My muscles ache, my body’s sore, and I feel like I’m ninety years old.”

Well, my response to that is this: if you don’t exercise, you’ll feel like you’re ninety years old long before you are … if you even get there. 

See, here’s the thing: if you begin with a basic walking program and finish with some light stretching, it’s doubtful that you’ll feel any pain or soreness whatsoever.

The key is to ease your way into a new lifestyle of physical activity.

You have to learn how to keep your heart rate in a comfortable zone. If you can talk while you walk, you can be sure you’re going easy.

Suppose you decide you want to try other forms of physical activity after walking regularly. You have to start slowly because you’ll likely be using muscles that you haven’t used in a long time.

Look at it this way: If your muscles feel sore, that should make you feel good because it’s a sign that you’ve woken your unused muscles. They’ve been dormant.

If you find yourself sore and exhausted, take a few days off and let your body recover. Still, feeling a little sore should actually motivate you … you see, it’s all in how you look at it; well, that’s what mastery is all about.

Okay … here’s

Excuse Number Two

“I don’t want to commit to an exercise routine because I honestly can’t see myself doing this for the rest of my life. I can’t see myself sticking to something I don’t enjoy.”

That’s why we’re going to get you hooked on walking first.

If you get in enough steps every day, that’s all you need ever do to stay healthy and fit.

When you discover how easy it is to take a few hundred steps here and there, you won’t even look at this as regular exercise; it’s just something you’ll do without giving it a lot of thought.

As you begin to reap the benefits … and become consciously aware of them … you’ll be surprised at how easy it will be to stay with it. 

Okay, there are the top nine excuses that people use to avoid regular exercise. So, can you guess the most popular excuse of all?

Excuse Number One, the Big Kahuna of All Excuses for Avoiding Regular Exercise, is … 

“Hey man, I would love to exercise, but honestly, I just don’t have the time!”

It doesn’t matter whether you’re the President of the United States, a CEO running a major corporation or a working mother with children; we’re ALL busy.

But here’s one thing we all have in common … each of us is allotted twenty-four hours a day and 168 hours each week.

So, the excuse, “I don’t have time,” doesn’t hold water. It all comes down to priorities.

People often think that exercising means going to a gym, working up a sweat, and keeping active for a solid sixty minutes at least five times a week. Based on that assumption, then “maybe” it could be challenging to find the time because that would require at least an hour and a half to two hours (allowing for travel, showering, etc.) of uninterrupted time each day.

However, when you understand how to incorporate physical activity into your regular, daily activities, virtually all you’ll need to do is carve out as little as 15 minutes; I can show you how to do that because it’s just a matter of being a little creative.

After all, how can you not find a few minutes to devote to the most precious asset you have … your health? 

So here’s the thing: don’t ever take your health for granted; it’s a gift to be treasured and appreciated.

To close this post off, I’ll conclude with a timeless quote from Lord Edward Stanley, who said,

“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”

” And that, my friend, you can take to the bank.

Thanks for watching; I’ll see you next time.