Without a doubt, going to the gym is a bit of a commitment. Everyone has good days where they’re really feeling up to it but what about those mornings where it’s just easier to hit the snooze button and skip the gym? Or when suddenly it’s way colder than you expected after class and you figure it’s just easier to go home?
Of course, the easy option is to roll over for some extra shut-eye or book it from the University Centre to catch the next bus.
Not so fast…even though it can be extremely tough pushing yourself to get to the gym, coming up with excuses on a regular basis makes it easier to put off going altogether. Next time you’re feeling like avoiding the treadmill, think about a few of these tips to get you up and ready to go.
EXCUSE NUMBER ONE: I’m too tired/hungover/lazy
If you can get yourself to the gym, then you’ve already accomplished the hardest part. Next, crank that playlist and start at a slow pace. Get your heart pumping and body sweating. At the end of the workout, you’ll not only be re-energized but you’ll be feeling less stressed, fit and ready to accomplish the rest of your agenda for the day or night. If you finish working out and still find yourself even more tired, take that time to enjoy a much deserved nap and get some sleep.
EXCUSE NUMBER TWO: My muscles are sore and the thought of moving makes me want to throw up
I’m incredibly guilty of wanting to say no to the gym on this one. Instead of not going at all, make a compromise and commit to a less intense workout. This way you’re still getting some physical activity without overexerting yourself. The more warmed up your muscles get through cardio and stretching, the more likely the pain will go away. This isn’t to say that taking a break isn’t important. It’s important to give your body a break – try to aim to work out at least three times a week, maybe four if you’re feeling super ambitious. The last thing you want is to not be able to move at all.
EXCUSE NUMBER THREE: My work-out buddy bailed so I don’t think I’ll go either…
If Batman refused to go out and save the city every time Robin wasn’t feeling it, Gotham would’ve been in a whole lot of trouble. On a much less intense note, your body deserves a good workout even if your workout buddy can’t make it. Take it as a day for some personal growth and development. For example: try a new machine, go five minutes longer on the treadmill or switch up your leg exercises. Do something that will test you in a new way that’s different from the typical routine you and your friend share. Encourage him or her to do the same thing when you can’t make it in.
EXCUSE NUMBER FOUR: The weather isn’t that great out …
I’m sure I’m not the only one guilty of waking up with intentions to go workout and then happen to see the giant snowstorm that normally takes over Ottawa in the winter and think otherwise. It’s extremely tempting to want to stay in your warmer heat-controlled apartment then leave to wait outside for a bus and make it to the gym. But, there’s something really cool about working out and looking outside to see giant snowflakes or a thunderstorm taking over the city. Plus, with the sudden increase in energy, you may find yourself ready for a snowball fight later on or a brisk walk through the city after the rain stops. But of course, there’s nothing wrong with retreating back home to blankets and a movie to deal with the rest of your weather blues.
EXCUSE NUMBER FIVE: I have so much homework…
Let’s be honest: no one enjoys papers, midterms, quizzes or finals – especially in the middle of a gorgeous weekend. Having a lot of homework is something I’m sure all of us are overly familiar with, so in the midst of spring weather, reward yourself with some time outside where you can exercise. Do a chapter of your readings, write a few pages of a paper and then get outside! Go biking, go running, take a walk, play soccer, Frisbee, basketball, grab the nearest hula hoop and have some fun. In the winter, reminisce on your childhood and build a snow fort or a snowman. Homework doesn’t have to make you unmotivated or unhealthy. Make some compromises and enjoy seasonal outdoor fun at the same time.
None of these suggestions are meant to discourage or guilt trip people for not going to the gym. There will be days when those essays just require every minute of your attention and evenings where going out in bad weather is risky and overall not a good decision. But on those not so busy days, get out, keep your body moving and counter a few of the most common excuses to do otherwise.
Don't forget to check out our past Commit to Fit blogs!