In November of 2013 I conducted a survey via Facebook regarding the top fitness excuse(s) that people use. Here are the results:
Let’s start with the demographics…
I had a sample size of 60
19 males and 41 females
Ages ranging from 19 – 55
And now the results…
(1) LACK OF MOTIVATION - 15
This includes the mention of distraction, and/or procrastination, and/or laziness, and/or lack of motivation.
(2) NO TIME - 13
This includes the mention of work, and/or school, and/or no time.
(3) TOO TIRED - 13
This includes the mention of being too tired.
(4) SOCIAL REASONS - 13
This includes the mention of socializing and/or not working out alone.
(5) DOESN’T ENJOY WORKING OUT - 4
This includes the mention of not enjoying working out and/or enjoying alternative forms of working out.
(6) NO EXCUSE - 4
This includes participants who said they do not give excuses to miss exercises/do not miss exercises.
(7) KIDS - 4
This includes the direct mention of kids.
(8) LACK OF TRANSPORTATION - 1
This includes the mention of lack of transportation.
(9) TOO SORE - 1
This includes the mention of being too sore.
(1) Ignorance - 5
(2) Medical - 4 ]]
Surprisingly, not having enough time was not the number one fitness excuse among my sample. However, it tied with “too tired” for a very close second to our actual number one; LACK OF MOTIVATION. (Your words, not mine.) But, I do believe that a lack of motivation and not having the time are very closely related.
Those who do not feel hugely motivated to go to the gym, do at home workouts, or go to an exercise class are probably those same people who don’t tend to find much time in their day for these kinds of activities. In order to find the time in your schedule you have to WANT to. It’s really a no-brainer.
But then the next connection that tends to materialize is that if you don’t want it bad enough then you’ll never find the time. If you don’t want it bad enough then you’ll never have the proper motivation. If you don’t want it bad enough then somehow you must be doing fitness wrong.
But I completely disagree.
What it really comes down to is NOT “how much do you want [the proverbial] it,” but rather HOW MUCH OF A PRIORITY FITNESS IS IN YOUR LIFE.
And, yes, the two ARE different.
Parents are an absolutely great example; they may REALLLLLLY want to shed those few pounds, but when it comes right down to it, their families are the number one priority. If either that or fitness has to be sacrificed, come on… Which do you really think it’s going to be?
People who have extremely strong drive in their careers are another good example. Those who are trying hard and working like crazy to move up the ladder, or those who place a very large emphasis on their work will certainly let fitness suffer to achieve, what they believe to be, greater goals.
But of course, these aren’t the only examples, just a couple.
So, while “fitness isn’t my number one priority” wasn’t a direct operationalized response, I strongly stand by the idea that it’s what many people were trying to say. They just used other phrasings like “lack of self-motivation,” “pretty much just straight up laziness,” “mainly I’m always tired,” and “my daughter can’t function without my boobs within a 5 minute distance from her.” (That one was definitely my favorite responses.)
So, now it naturally follows that I should discuss this very viral idea within fitness communities that “not having time is not a good excuse.” Why? Because it’s narrow-minded, and quite honestly, pretty pretentious.
Sure, it is true; saying you don’t have time is really not a good excuse. I mean, come on, you can do an effective workout in 20-45 minutes. (And that’s what all the proponents of this idea will tell you.) But let me let you in on a little secret… IF FITNESS IS NOT ONE OF YOUR TOP PRIORITIES THEN YOU WON’T MAKE THE TIME FOR IT AND THUS WON’T “HAVE” THE TIME FOR IT.
It’s not that you don’t have the time, so put that excuse to bed.
It’s just that you have other priorities, and there is not a single ounce of shame in that.
Andddd, here we are; back at PRIORITIES. Which truly is what this entire issue boils down to.
You can throw excuses around as hard as you want, but really, if you don’t rank fitness as a high enough priority to find the motivation and make the time for it, then you just won’t get around to fitnessing much. End of story.
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I would lastly like to talk about something I found interested in the results…
4 people mentioned medical reasons as an excuse, and
5 people mentioned ignorance [not knowing what they're doing] as an excuse
For those of you with medical issues, there are almost always some exercises that you CAN do. If you really are serious about wanting to workout, I would consult with a medical professional to determine what your limitations are and what you're cleared to do.
And for those of you who feel ignorant to fitness, I would seriously love to help you develop a workout plan. Feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing is truly terrible (especially in a gym), and it’s a big hindrance to fitness progress. I'd love to help out in any way I can.