New Year, No New Excuses

Don’t let your healthy resolutions fall victim to worn-out excuses. Here are rebuttals for the top five gym-skipper rationalizations.

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Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute expert and celebrity trainer Ramona Braganza has heard every excuse in the book—and refuses to let them slide. We asked how she responds to the five biggest whoppers.

“I just don’t have time!”

This is the biggie, the one we hear over and over again. Here are a few responses:

Evaluate your priorities. Do you log enough couch time to be the in-house TV critic at your office? Do you have a free hour every day to peruse the Facebook updates of your 300 closest friends? Or did you make it to skill level 29 on Halo in two months? If you answered yes to any of those, you might want to cut back on your screen time or where you’re logging it. Hit the treadmill when your favorite show airs or browse Twitter from your seat on the stationary bike—that way you can be both entertained and in shape.

It doesn’t take that much time! You can get a good workout in just 30 minutes. “Some of my clients work 16-hour days, but still have to stay in shape,” says Braganza. “This was the case when I worked with Jessica Alba on Dark Angel, so she woke up at 5:30 a.m. to train from 6 to 6:30 a.m.” To get started, check out Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute expert Adam Friedman’s five 30-minute workouts or our Ultimate 30-Minute Workout.

“But nothing is happening! I never see results.”

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“Define your weight-loss goal, then stay on top of how many calories you need to burn to achieve it,” Braganza says. “Use a fitness app [like MyFitnessPal] to help you track calories, and wear a heart rate monitor to make sure you’re training as hard as you think you are.” Also, make sure that you have a reasonable time frame for dropping those pounds or seeing muscle definition. “Weight loss on average is a pound a week,” Braganza points out, “and that takes dedication and work.”

“I’m just too worn down.”

Lack of sleep or heaps of stress can definitely make it hard to find the energy, but the more you exercise, the more energy you’ll have. Plus, exercise is a known stress buster. Also, consider what time of day you work out. “Are you tired the minute you wake up?” Braganza asks. “If not, then take a 20-minute power walk or a jog. If you’re training later, have a healthy snack to give you a boost.” And make sure it’s not dehydration that’s making you sleepy. “Even being 2% dehydrated can lower your energy levels,” she says.

“I’d rather watch paint dry than get on a treadmill. Seriously.”

If your exercise routine is a yawn-inducing endeavor, think about making it more original. Try a new class, like TRX. “Challenge yourself to learning a new sport—maybe a winter sport, like snowshoeing. Get a friend to join you to make it more fun.” If that doesn’t interest you, Braganza suggests resorting to bribery: “Give yourself a reward when you accomplish a certain number of workouts in a week. Maybe get a foot massage!”

“I’m too old to be in a gym.”

“Since I turned 50, my new fitness goal is to keep up with my 77-year-old mother,” Braganza says. “She just became a Zumba instructor. I never limit myself with my age in anything I do in life, and you shouldn’t either. Age might be an excuse—but not a good one.” Take note that most Gold’s Gyms offer a senior citizen discount.