I “should” work out more. Ever tell yourself that? I know I have. Exercise is one of those things that everyone wants to do, but only a few people really stick with. It certainly doesn’t help that skipping workouts is a “lazy” thing to do. No one wants to be called “lazy”, and every skipped workout leads to shame and regret and zero progress. Luckily, not working out doesn’t automatically mean that you’re lazy. There are perfectly valid reasons that you don’t work out. Understanding them can help you forgive yourself and be more consistent with your exercise.
1) You Don’t Know How.
When were you supposed to learn this stuff? I don’t know about you, but I never had classes on how to eat right, whether to do lifting or cardio, and what kind of exercises to do. There are a million exercise routines out there. Power lifting? Running? Bodybuilding? Crossfit? Interval training? Swimming? Sports? How are you supposed to know what works? With so many things to choose from, is it any surprise that you miss workouts? Tomorrow the new trend could make all of your workouts seem silly.
2) You Didn’t Have a Fit Role Model.
Growing up, I knew a guy whose parents worked out daily in the house. He played four sports and was constantly practicing. When he was old enough, he joined a gym and started lifting. He was active his entire life, so was it any surprise that working out was easy for him?
Not everyone had a fit role model. In a lot of homes, exercise is hardly mentioned. If you didn’t start early, how were you supposed to know that this whole exercise thing was so important? It’s no wonder you don’t work out; no one was there to show you!
3) It’s Lonely.
I was shocked at how lonely exercising can sometimes be. When I told people I was trying to get in shape, I was actually mocked. People said things like “why would you want to do that?” One of the most frustrating parts of working out is that it’s sometimes hard to share your successes. You don’t want to be that guy who’s always bragging about his workouts. It can be hard to celebrate success.
Until I started paying attention to my food, I never realized how much social interaction revolves around eating. People are constantly trying to feed you sweets or offering second helpings, and it’s hard to politely decline without coming across as rude.
4) You’re Tired.
Working a 9-5 is hard. A full day of focus and energy is spent on your job. When you add in your commute, there’s hardly enough time left to do what you want to do. You still need to cook/eat dinner, do laundry, clean, and take care of adult life issues. All you want to do is relax. Even if you have the time, the thought of dragging yourself to the gym and doing all that other stuff is exhausting. You want to have time to be yourself.
5) You Don’t Have Time.
You might actually not have any time! If you don’t get home until 6 or 7pm, cook/eat, take out the trash, meet with friends, have a life to tend to, it’s hard enough to be in bed by 11pm. Morning workouts are possible, but waking up early means going to bed early or running low on sleep. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything!
6) You Don’t Feel Like You Belong.
When I started it felt like I wasn’t fit enough to be in the gym. The gym is a place for fit people, right? That’s where the super in-shape people hang out. It doesn’t feel like you belong there. It’s even worse if you aren’t sure what to do. What if everyone thinks the exercise you’re doing is stupid? What if people are judging you? The gym is intimidating.
All of these reasons can be overcome, but it’s not wrong to feel this way. Understand the reasons that you skip workouts. By doing that, you can figure out ways to overcome them.