Have a reason to avoid exercising? Not anymore!

Getting into a healthy living groove is possible—even if you’re busy, on a budget, injured, intimidated by the gym, or daunted by the prospect of a lifestyle change. Here’s a look at five common excuses for not working out, and how to overcome them.

  1. I don’t have time.
    Between work, school, activities for the kids, and the usual demands of daily life, it can seem tough to find time to work out. As a first step, make a list of how you typically spend your free time. What can be skipped? What could be added to working out? For example, could you watch TV while you work out? Could playing with your kids be turned into a workout? Could you spend time with your family at the gym?

    With ideas for how to free up some time, add exercise to your calendar three to four times a week—just like any other appointment or commitment. Consider making a fitness date with a friend, which is fun and can help keep you accountable.
  2. I don’t have the money.
    You don’t need to have a gym membership or buy fancy equipment to get a good workout. Walking outdoors, running up and down the stairs, lifting “weights” with hefty household items and no-equipment exercises are all free, and can be done without spending gas money to go anywhere.

    If you’re interested in joining a gym to avoid working out in the elements, or are looking to connect with fellow fitness fans, consider reallocating expenses for less-healthy activities to a gym membership. For example, skipping the daily take-out latte, eating out less, or giving up some of the cable channels that entice you to the couch.
  3. I’m injured.
    When an injury has you sidelined, you can still get in the game—usually with a few modifications. Get some tips for staying active while injured. And remember to check with your health care professional before starting or maintaining any sort of fitness routine while you’re injured.
  4. I don’t know what I’m doing at the gym.
    Most gyms are chock full of cardio equipment, weight machines and free weights—all good tools to help you work out. And if you have no idea how to use any of them, all you have to do is ask for a little help—either from a friend or the staff at your gym.

    At the Y, there’s always a friendly expert available in the Fitness Center to answer your questions and show you how to use the equipment. You can also sign up for a free Fitness Equipment Orientation, or schedule a personal training session and a trainer will help you create a customized workout plan, including how to properly use fitness equipment. And don’t forget, everyone at the gym was a newbie at some point.
  5. It seems impossible.
    Yes, working out is hard—and getting started can be even harder. If the above tips aren’t enough motivation that you can do it, consider all you can gain from working out. Regular exercise results in a whole lot of benefit for your overall wellbeing. Mayo Clinic says physical activity helps to control weight, prevent and manage diseases and chronic conditions, improve mood, promote better sleep and more. The important thing to do is just get started—the more you exercise, the easier it will be to stick with the routine.