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put an end to excuses

You’re too busy? You’re too sore? You’re embarrassed? Gold’s Gym trainers have heard every reason for avoiding exercise—including some that are just plain ridiculous. “It’s too cold.” (Uh, it’s not cold in the gym.) “I don’t like leaving my cat alone.” (Hold on, our eyes are rolling.) We’ve compiled the top 10 excuses that gym skippers give, and we’ve got a solution to each and every one.

I’M TOO TIRED AFTER WORK

Solution: Being active makes you more energetic in the long run. “Wake up early and go before work,” says celebrity trainer and Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute member Mike Ryan. If you’re a snooze-button fan, think about going at lunch or turn a co-worker into a gym buddy. “It can inspire some healthy competition,” Ryan says. “You don’t want to be the lazy one.”

Bottom line: If you’re always tired after a long day at the office, then exercise might be the cure.

MY LIFE IS JUST TOO BUSY

Solution: Shawn Kraft, a Gold’s Gym personal trainer in San Antonio, hears this one all the time. “You have to make time for you,” says Kraft. “Schedule it in. Put it on your calendar and treat this like an important meeting.” Ryan seconds that and believes there is always time for a quick run around the block or a dumbbell routine while you watch television.

Bottom line: Making time for yourself should be a priority.

I HAVE TO WATCH MY KIDS

Solution: First check with your local Gold’s Gym to see if it offers child care. If it doesn’t, arrange for your spouse to watch the kids while you’re at the gym, or ask a friend and then return the favor. “And you can also work out with your kids,” says Ryan. “Go for a bike ride or play a Wii workout game with them.”

Bottom line: Staying active and healthy for your children’s sake should be the main reason to toss this excuse.

I’M TOO SORE

Solution: Be sure you vary your workouts so that you aren’t exercising the same muscles over and over — a common cause of soreness. “If you normally run on the treadmill, then ride a stationary bike or use an elliptical machine,” suggests Michael Gutierrez, a Gold’s Gym personal trainer in Brownsville, Texas. “Or skip the weights and take a yoga class.” That said, if you’re so sore that you can’t perform everyday tasks like lifting a box, you should skip the gym.

Bottom line: The stronger you are, the less sore you’ll be next time.

I’M INTIMIDATED BY THE MACHINES

Solution: You can always ask a Gold’s Gym trainer to show you around or explain how to use a machine. Also, there are many online resources, including goldsgym.com and bodybuilding.com, that can teach you proper form and technique.

Bottom line: Overcome your fear with knowledge.

I’VE GAINED SO MUCH WEIGHT THAT I’M EMBARRASSED

Solution: Remember that everyone at the gym is there to focus on his or her own body — they’re not there to compete. “Let the gym be a sanctuary,” Ryan advises. Then make sure not to push yourself too hard at the beginning or be dismayed when you hit a plateau. “Take it slow,” adds Kraft. “Ask a trainer to show you some simple moves, and get to know the gym staff. We want to be your cheerleaders.”

Bottom line: Surrounding yourself with other people who are committed to staying in shape can motivate you to get healthy again.

I’M NOT GETTING ANY RESULTS

Solution: You need to establish a goal, do you want to be more muscular, leaner, toned? Then formulate a strategy of exercise and nutrition to achieve that goal. Begin your strategy by setting small, realistic goals — a few pounds, 10 more minutes on the treadmill — then go from there. Make sure not to sleepwalk through the same old routine. Shake up your workouts to shock your muscles and get results. If you always do floor sit-ups, do them on a BOSU ball; increase the resistance on the cardio machine; or try interval training.

Bottom line: Results come from hard work.

I’M LATE FOR MY FAVORITE CLASS OR MY PERSONAL TRAINING SESSION

Solution: “Go anyway,” says Ryan. You can probably sneak into the class (they don’t lock the doors when classes start), or try another class. If you’re late for a training session, your trainer can either create a shorter, tougher workout or give you extra exercises to do after the session ends.

Bottom line: Any amount of workout time is worth showing up for.

CARDIO BORES ME

Solution: Try the Cardio Cinema available at many Gold’s Gyms. “It’s a mini movie theater stocked with cardio equipment that plays new releases all day,” explains Gutierrez. If this isn’t available, he suggests a functional training group class where you can try out the TRX Suspension Trainers, which build muscle and burn calories by using your own body weight as resistance. And don’t forget: Interval weight training can get your heart pounding just as hard as a stair machine.

Bottom line: The benefits of cardio can be achieved on and off the treadmill.

I’M HUNGOVER

Solution: “Well, you should think before you go out to the bar, and limit your intake,” Gutierrez advises. “But exercise is also a good cure. Go to the gym to sweat it out, and drink lots of water.”

Bottom line: Drink responsibly, and don’t let this excuse become a regular one.

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