Excuses, Excuses.

People complain incessantly about the state of their physique, but when it comes time to improve themselves, they can always manage to find a reason not to help themselves and their bodies.

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Teaching fitness has always been a top priority in my life and I love it. I take pride in the way I look and also the example it sets for the rest of my family.

Over the years, I have taught all kinds of people: different shapes, colors, genders and age. I always seek to inspire and refuse to pressure people into working out. I’m not one of those people who demand an explanation from students who do not show up for classes.

Still, for some strange reason, people seem to often feel the need to explain to me why they miss their workouts. What’s up with all the excuses? I’ve already have heard all of them, and more.

Now, I’m not judging—really. Naturally, I am guilty of using a few of these excuses myself. Do me a favor and bear these examples in mind. Someday when you guiltlessly use any of these excuses, your trainer will probably know that you are just trying to BS your way out of your workout. Maybe they’ll judge you, but hopefully only a tiny bit.

So then, here are my winning picks for the lousiest excuses to put off working out:

1) “I can’t exercise because it’s that time of the month.”

To this day, this heavily overused excuse bewilders me. Are we so frail as women that we can’t do anything when we bleed? So what if we’re a little cramped, or bloated, or moody, life goes on. We can’t just stop being mothers or wives. So, where’s the logic in halting exercise for an entire week?

I will let you in on a little secret: it starts with “T” and ends with “N,” and seriously, it is God’s greatest gift to women. Use it, and get moving!

2) “It’s too cold outside.”

Believe it or not, someone once told me this: “I do not exercise in winter because when I do, I sweat, and if I go out into the cold right after, I will get sick.” So, for three whole months, this person does not exercise.

Okay, I can understand and I respect that, but for every problem, there is a solution. This issue can be easily resolved by taking a shower after the workout and leaving the gym or studio nice and dry. Problem solved! If a person then escalates the excuse to say that showers right after workouts are bad for the body, I then wave the white flag and surrender.

3) “I need to stay home and pray.”

Exercise takes your mind off life’s troubles and makes you feel better, most of the time. So, say a quick prayer, then get your ass to the gym.

4) “I feel so lazy.”

Honestly—and I mean this in the nicest way possible—I do not care. It does not bother me when people choose not to take advantage of the benefits of exercising. You reap what you sow. There is a reason why fit people look the way they do. They work hard and are committed, and so they look great!

In other words, if you choose not to exercise, do not complain about being fat because no one will be sympathetic to your moaning.

5) “I have no time. I am just too busy.”

Yes, we all have a million things to do, but I truly believe that if something is a priority, you will make time for it.

6) “I am too fat to move.”

You might be hefty, but you’re not dead. Begin slowly and build up gradually. Walking, swimming, biking and other exercises that do not involve a lot of pounding work wonders.

7) “I don’t like to exercise.”

I don’t like to do a lot of things, but I still do them. These are responsibilities and as a mature adult, I do these things even though I don’t always feel like it. A lot of things worth doing are not always fun or enjoyable, but hey, if I can learn to love living in Dongguan, you can learn to love exercising.

A lot of things worth doing are not always fun or enjoyable, but hey, if I can learn to love living in Dongguan, you can learn to love exercising.

Now, with all these in mind, is there ever a time when you should skip your workout, guilt-free? Absolutely.

1) You are genuinely sick. Do not work out when you have a fever, a deep, hacking cough, are dehydrated (e.g. hung-over) or if your doctor tells you to take a break.

2) You are so sore you need a crane to get out of bed. Your muscles do need to rest between workouts. So if you have overdone it the day before to the point of near paralysis, take it easy the next day with gentle stretching and rest.

3) You are sleep-deprived. Yes, exercise will boost energy levels, but if you are suffering from a long bout of sleep deprivation, your performance will be impaired. In turn, your ability and reflexes to guard against injury will be much lower.

Still, don’t try to use these on me every time because I’ll know where you got them.