5 Common Excuses for Skipping Your Workout: Which Ones Are Legit?

gym excusesYou have big plans to go to the gym after work today. You arranged someone to be there to take care of the kids, you packed your gym bag, you piously said no to after-work drinks with your colleagues. Then 6 p.m. rolls around, and, well ... maybe the kids need help with their homework tonight after all. Or your boss is going out for drinks, maybe you should go along too. Or you’re exhausted after a long day, and didn’t you read somewhere that you’re more likely to get injured exercising when you’re tired?

Chances are, you already know when you’re making excuses because you just don’t feel like working out. But are there actually times when it IS a good idea to skip the gym? Yes, there are -- and here’s the personal trainer take on what’s a valid excuse and what’s NOT.

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Excuse #1: "I’m too tired."

Personal trainer verdict: Go to the gym. I know, I know, it's not what you wanted to hear. Whether you’ve had a long day at the office or you’ve been with the kids all day, it’s hard to motivate yourself to work out when you feel exhausted. But you might be surprised how energized you feel once you get there and start your workout. It seems counter-intuitive, but exercising actually increases your energy in the long run. If you’re still struggling 15 minutes into your workout, then give yourself permission to head home. 

Excuse #2: "I'm in pain."

Personal trainer verdict: Skip it. You know your own body well enough to know if there's something wrong. If it's a sharp pain or it doesn't feel "right" to you, then rest up. If you’re sore from a previous workout, though, light to moderate cardio can actually help alleviate soreness by increasing blood flow and speeding up your body’s repair process. 

Excuse #3: "I don't have enough time."

Personal trainer verdict: Skip it ... sort of. If you're heading out for a workout in which some of your time is going to be eaten up by driving to the gym, going to the locker room, warming up, etc., then skip it. Instead, why not try a workout in your living room or going for a brisk walk in your neighborhood? 

Excuse #4: "I’ve been going regularly and I still haven’t seen results, so why bother?"

Personal trainer verdict: Keep at it! I know it’s really tough when you’ve been putting a lot of work in, and you haven’t seen the payoff yet. I promise it will happen eventually. Regardless of your long-term goals, remember that every single exercise session is doing your body good, even when you can’t see it happening. 

More from The Stir: 8 Gym Rules No One Should EVER Break

Excuse #5: "I feel like I’m coming down with something."

Personal trainer verdict: If you started feeling vaguely ill only when you glanced at your gym bag at the end of the day, well, maybe take a deep breath and ask if you really feel under the weather. If you’re actually feeling sick, then 9 times out of 10, my answer would be to skip your workout until you’re back to 100 percent. Sometimes, I’ll tell a client if they have the start of a head cold to see if it feels okay to exercise, but only if they’re working out outside or will be exercising outside of a gym environment where it’s too easy to spread germs. Anytime you have a chest cold, feel nauseated, or have any kind of stomach discomfort, definitely skip your workout until you’re better.

Have you given yourself an excuse to get out of working out before? Did you let yourself off the hook or did you work out anyway?


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