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Ways to get over exercise excuses

Do you have a tough time getting motivated to get fit? Flip the cards for great ways to overcome common obstacles.

busy young soccer player

"I am too busy."

  • Try different times of the day to see what works best for you.
  • Just do a little at a time, aiming for at least 60 minutes by the end of the day.
  • See if you can cut out something to make the time for physical activity.
  • Try scheduling exercise the same way you plan for other activities and commitments.
  • Exercise may be tiring at first, but over time it will give you more energy to do what you need to do.
young woman with audio device wearing earbuds and dancing

"Exercise is boring."

  • Try different activities. Maybe rollerblading, Pilates (say: puh-LAH-teez), hiking, or dancing are more your speed. Check out some ways to beat boredom.
  • Add music or friends to liven things up!
  • Aim for variety. Do different activities on different days.
happy basketball player friends with water bottles and ball

"It's hard to stick with it."

  • Make a list of the reasons you want to get fit. Look at it often.
  • Work out with a friend or family member. You’ll be less likely to cancel if someone else is involved.
young woman in push-up position

"I don't have equipment or a health club membership."

  • Do activities that don’t require a gym, like jumping rope. Be creative. Walk your dog (or borrow a friend’s).
  • Find out what your community offers. Contact a community center, church, or parks and recreation office. They may have free or lower-cost programs. Maybe a local school has a track or pool. Think about joining a walk-a-thon for a good cause.
  • For muscle-building, use canned food. Or use your body weight with activities like sit-ups and push-ups.
young woman doing stomach crunch on a mat

"I don't know how."

  • Start with activities you already know, like walking or climbing stairs.
  • See if you can find a friend who can teach you a skill you want to learn.
  • Take a class at a community center or health club.
  • Get help by joining a team sport at school.
young happy woman with towel

"I'm going to look bad
when I work out."

  • We think anyone who is working out looks good! Exercising means you look like someone who cares about her health — and likes to have fun!
  • Consider getting started in private first. Close your door and dance, walk up and down stairs, or clean your room with extra energy.
  • See if you can get out there anyway. Try to focus on how great you are going to feel, instead of what other people think. Be true to you!


Content last reviewed March 27, 2015
Page last updated June 12, 2015