Gyms Are Full of Excuses by Stuart MacEwan

Or rather, gyms are void of excuses because people who make excuses don’t generally go to gyms.  The folks who take their fitness seriously do what it takes to develop their knowledge and discipline over years of gym sessions.  They read and watch and practice as they get to know their bodies; over time they make progress because they make good decisions about how they work their bodies and hone their nutrition.  Then there’s the vast numbers of Americans that let a few bad decisions stop them from taking the right steps to living a healthy lifestyle.   Let’s look a little closer at 3 of the most common excuses that folks use to stay out of the gym and nestled at home where not much happens.

1.  “I don’t have time.”

This excuse is just a question of priorities.  A good workout can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a full hour.  Shopping for food and cooking should take 5 hours a week.  The average American spends almost 3 hours a day watching TV (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/atus.nr0.htm).  That’s 21 hours a week that could easily be cut into by taking 4 hours to workout and 5 hours to care about the foods that nourish you.  When you hear someone say “I don’t have time” it basically means that they simply have no time management skills, don’t care about their health or are in denial.  The best thing you can do for this person is to go over a time budget to show them how they spend their time.  After you illustrate their time choices, then show them that you care by inviting them to join your next fitness class or training session with you.  They might need your gentle push and presence to understand that fitness is reasonable and achievable for them too, not just the gym enthusiast. 

2.  “I’m hurt.”

Being hurt in its many forms is a valid concern for any person, active or sedentary.  Here’s a perspective… choose your hurt.  There are two eventual paths in live, the life of the active person who understands that exercise will eventually injure you in some way even if you are very careful and experienced, a the path of the sedentary person who eventually rots away sitting on a couch every day and succumbs to the weakness of a lifetime of avoiding effort.  What good is working hard at a job all your life to eventually retire with decent savings only to be so staved up by 30 years of poor physical health that you can’t walk the streets of Europe like you always longed for?  The quality of your life is determined by your ability to actually stand up and walk out your door to greet your dreams.  Don’t decompose on your couch.  Invest in yourself by working out 4x a week and eating nutrient dense foods.  If you are hurt, there are many forms of exercise that will allow you to work around your injury.  Swimming is a wonderful way to condition and strengthen your body if you have bad knees or a back injury.  If you suffer from carpal tunnel they consider walking every day or taking Zumba.  A good trainer can always look at your injuries and put together a program that is appropriate for you.  There’s no excuse not to move.  None. 

3.  “I don’t have the money.”

Once again, this is a question of priorities.  The average American thinks nothing of stopping by Starbucks every day for a quick “pick me up”.  The cost of a venti coffee runs $3 while a venti mocha costs $4.65 (http://www.fastfoodmenuprices.com/starbucks-prices/).  $3 multiplied by 5x days a week is $15 a week.  Multiply that by 4.3x weeks a month and you have $64.5 spent a month on really basic coffee that you could make at home for less than $20 a month.  Why not spend $40 on a decent gym membership instead?  Go to the gym 5x a week and take the group exercise classes, or spend 30 minutes on a stair mill?  Eventually, you can read websites like bodybuilding.com and grab a few workout programs that interest you to practice in the weigh area of your gym.  Budgeting for your health today should be view  the same way that people look at Roth IRA’s and 401k’s…invest a portion now to get a greater return in your future.  Spend a little time and money now to avoid costly heart surgeries, knee and hip replacements and gastric bypass surgeries later in life. 

The long and short of excuses is that they are made by people who don’t really want to think about their future.  They may need you to gently intervene for them by counseling them about investing in themselves to prepare for a long quality life.  Even if you are rebuffed, if you really care about someone then a sure way to show it is by trying to be a positive influence in their lives by starting that important conversation about exercise and nutrition.   If your words fall on deaf ears, then possibly the next best thing is to simply live a life of example… make those good decisions in your own life and be watchful of the opportunity to share your healthy lifestyle with those you care about when they show interest.  The world needs more shining lights in it.  Cut though the excuses and let your light shine brightest!

Gina Day-PriceComment