The Top 11 Reasons You Don’t Exercise

We all have our reasons for not exercising. Some are legitimate and others, not so much. Some are intended, logical and well reasoned, others not so much. Whatever your reasons, you need to consider it carefully if you want to make a lasting change.

What are your reasons?

Below are 11 of the main reasons people skip exercise and my argument against the reason. If your reason is captured here and you are persuaded by my argument, great. If you are not persuaded but would like to discuss it some more, comment, or email me and we’ll keep the conversation going.

11. I Eat Right, Am Energetic and Far From Fat.

Rationale: You can easily see why it makes sense to those who believe it.

What you don’t recognize: Losing fat is not the ultimate aim of exercise, and slimness does not automatically bring with it the tremendous benefits of exercise.

10. Exercising Will Ruin My Wardrobe.

What to wear?

 Rationale: Exercise may cause you to lose weight, and when that happens your clothes won’t fit. Plus, if you stop exercising and regain weight you’ll need back your old fat clothes.

What you don’t recognize: You really won’t lose weight so drastically that you cannot plan for it, and you can prevent yourself from regaining weight.

9. Exercise Makes Me Hot, Sweaty and Smelly.

Rationale: Some people really hate sweating, or being smelly even if it’s only for a short while.

What you don’t recognize: It’s not like you are being asked to go to work, or out on a date dripping in sweat and smelling like a country goat. If you a) wear clean clothes every time, b) use a deodorant before and c) bathe immediately after you exercise, then you should be alright.

8. Nobody Really Needs Exercise to Anymore (liposuction, plastic surgery).

Rationale: The benefits of exercise are mainly cosmetic anyway, right? So why not just skip the hassle and pain of exercise if I can get a great body surgically?

What you don’t recognize: Surgeries are expensive, surgeries can go badly (scaring or worst killing you), the effects of surgeries may disappoint you significantly and again the benefits of exercise are much more than cosmetic!

7. Exercising Is Just Too Painful.

Rationale: Why should I do something that feel so horrible it makes me want to cry? A hill run, for example, can leave your body in so much pain that you never want to try again.

What you don’t recognize: The more you work out, the better it will get. The easier it will be to manage the pain and the more enjoyable the whole experience will be. For the men…really??

6. Exercise Costs Money (and I don’t have it). 

Rationale: You need proper shoes, shorts, shirts, head and arm bands, music player, head phones, gym memberships, towels, Gatorade, supplements, and a bunch of other stuff. If you are playing a sport, forget it. Tennis rackets? Health food costs? Keeping fit, regular exercise costs money.

What you don’t recognize: Dying of a heart attack isn’t cheap either. Seriously, the incredibly costs of poor health cannot be refuted. Read my post It’s time to change your attitude toward exercise. 

5. I Have Never Been An Exercise Person.

 Rationale: I wasn’t naturally drawn toward exercise earlier on. I wasn’t a member of any team during primary/prep, junior/high school or college. Maybe you are in college now.

What you don’t recognize: Those who started early, or who seem like “naturals” don’t hold a monopoly on exercise. You are a human being, with the ability to change if and when you want to. So CHANGE.

 4. I Do Not Know How To Exercise.

 Rationale: Especially among people who were not “exercise people” growing up. Where do I start? What kind of exercise? Whats the difference between aerobic and anaerobic? Do I lift weights, do yoga, Pilates, plyometrics, P90X, Insanity? How do I ensure I don’t get hurt?

What you don’t recognize: Nobody was born knowing how to exercise, just as nobody was born knowing how to drive, or swim, or walk or even talk. With a personal trainer, directions from a few good magazines, a friend or two who have some basic knowledge (watch out for this though) and many other resources – can learn.

3. I’ll Never Look Like That Guy, That Girl.

Rationale: How frustrating is this. I’ve been to the gym and seen guys work twice as hard as me and not be able to achieve my results. They just don’t have the fast-twitch muscles that make you look like a body builder. Similarly, there are guys who just seem to be able to run for farther and longer with so much greater ease, and less work than me. That sucks.

What you don’t recognize: You can achieve almost any result you wish with hard enough work and sacrifice. Additionally, your concern shouldn’t frustrate you to stop exercising altogether – you should adjust your expectations, or your efforts.

2. I Never Have Enough Time.

Always have the time on my mind.

Rationale: I can barely find time to sleep as it is. I have back to back work, exams, assignments, children, family responsibilities, church, clubs and societies, mentorship and more – I am up 16 hours a day.

What you don’t recognize: I guarantee there are thousands of people, busier than you, who exercise. Read what Barack Obama, Condoleeza Rice and Richard Branson have said about why they exercise and why they make sure to fit it into their schedule no matter what.

1. You Are Just Lazy

Rationale: Most of us do not have a real reason. You just simply cannot bother. Everything inside is just so much more comfortable. You like your food, the warmth of your bed, sleeping in as long as you can – you just cannot be bothered.

What you don’t recognize: Exercise, though it can feel demanding, is a necessary part of a balanced life. If you skip it, you may not have the ability to do some of the other things in your life that make you happy.

Just plain old lazy.

What are your reasons? Please Let Me Know What You Think. You may: 

24 thoughts on “The Top 11 Reasons You Don’t Exercise”

  1. Great article, I believe some people don’t realize that exercising and a healthy diet is all part of a lifestyle change not just a one time event. Whatever we do to our bodies now will have lasting effects later on, good or bad. These resasons are merely excuses, in my opinion,  one can use the stairs instead of an elevator/escalator, walk faster instead of the snail pace they’re used to, use their body as resistance and space in the home to workout, no extra money needed…..I can go on and on. I also believe, if someone truly values their life and understand the benefits of exercise, no reason will deter them from doing it. One form or another.
     I’m looking forward to the next series.

    1. Great response Sherie. You are absolutely correct. All these excuses flow from approaching fitness as a one time event and not a lifestyle. Thanks for reading.
      Andrew M. WILDES

      Sent from my BlackBerry® device from Digicel

  2. Just to add to your “what you don’t recognize” under #6, you don’t have to break your pocket to exercise. You can take a stroll around your neighbourhood, you can get a CD with high energy music and dance away. You can do crunches, jumping jacks, dips, lunges, sit ups…which are all effective and don’t require the use of equipment. Money is no excuse!!!! 

    1. Exactly Dale. That’s pretty much how I keep fit. No gym membership. I go jogging, do a whole routine at home and use some weights I have here. Even if you don’t have equipment though, you can really get alot done.

  3. Nice article to get the mind to ponder.  However, it should be called “Excuses” not “Reasons”.  Exercise is as important as eating and sleeping.  So, why do we avoid exercise?  Perhaps, it has something to do with gratification.  Eating and sleeping feel good immediately.  Exercise feels hot, sweaty and really hard immediately.  We are creatures that demand instant gratification.  Exercise does not provide a reward for effort or diligence as do many other things in our lives.  For instance, you work hard at your job and you are rewarded with a vacation.  Kids in school who work hard are rewarded with skipping a quiz.  Exercise rewards hard work with more intense work.  That sort of sucks. 
    How the hell can someone feel guilty about exercising?  And why?  If I could get past this one, I’d be jogging right now.  I can’t get out of my own way.  The more I get bogged down with things needing my attention, the less I’m able to do.  If I can’t get some of my stuff done, how dare I even consider exercising?  Exercise is playing, in my emotional self.  What happened to the dynamo that once was within me?

  4. Honestly just thinking about exercising just wears me out. So I’ve learned to call/see it as clearing my head. Running, hiking or whatever physical activity I do, I do it to get my thoughts in order. It becomes addicting after some time…like therapy time you don’t want to give up

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