running morning

4 reasons for not exercising (& why they suck)

There’s constantly articles in the media about the importance of exercise. So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know you’re supposed to be active. And yet, more than half of Aussie adults don’t meet the recommended exercise guidelines.


Maybe we’ve started to believe the excuses we tell ourselves every day. If this sounds familiar and you regularly talk yourself out of exercise, here’s a little reality check. (You’re welcome).

1. ‘I don’t have time to exercise’

It’s the oldest (and most common) excuse in the book! But it’s also a bad excuse. Sure, we’re all busy, but we also all have 24 hours in a day. It’s simply a question of how to allocate your time and whether you’re prioritising your health.

Ask yourself, do you spend hours each night binging Netflix? And how much time do you spend mindlessly scrolling through social media (honestly)? New research shows that Australian women spend an average of 391 minutes on social media each week, with men accumulating 287 minutes. Scary, right?

Now, I’m not suggesting you stop using social media or watching Netflix. That’s not realistic. But small changes to your routine can make a big different. Try spending more time outdoors instead of on your phone, or do some exercise while you’re watching your favourite show. It all adds up!

not exercising

2. ‘I can’t run, it’s bad for my knees’

There’s a million versions of this one…“I can’t lift weights, I have a bad back”. “I can’t do yoga, it hurts my shoulder”.
Let’s be clear… I’m not suggesting you should start pounding the pavement if it hurts your knees. But just because running isn’t for you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise at all.

There are hundreds of ways to exercise. Literally.

If you have an injury that prevents you from doing one activity, move on to another one that’s a better fit. If you’re not sure how to work around your limitations or you’re concerned about injury, ask an expert for their advice.

3. ‘I can’t afford a gym membership’

No money for gym membership? No worries!! There are so many ways to exercise that don’t involve going to the gym (and are totally FREE).

  • Lift your body weight – It’s one the best piece of equipment you have!
  • Use free equipment in the park – Lots of local parks now have a few “machines” that you can use to do a workout. If that fails, park benches make for a great makeshift piece of equipment!
  • Join a free community program – A lot of local councils promoting activity through free classes. Do some research and see if there is one near you.
  • Get outdoors – Take a hike, swim in the ocean or explore your local national park.

4. ‘I don’t have enough energy to exercise’

As anyone who exercises regularly will tell you — exercising regularly gives you energy! Yes, really.

Strengthening your muscles, heart and lungs makes them better able to endure usual daily challenges — carrying groceries, standing or sitting long periods at work or chasing kids. You won’t know the truth of this statement for yourself until you try it.

So, what’s stopping YOU?

If you aren’t exercising (even though you know you should), what’s stopping you? What are your reasons for not exercising? Think about the things that are holding you back. Write them down. Talk about them with a friend or family member.

And be honest… Are they really valid reasons for avoiding exercise? My guess is if you look deep enough, the answer is no.

If you can change the way you think about exercise, I promise your body will thank you!

Need a little more motivation?

If you’re new to exercise, or struggling to get back on the wagon, it’s OK to ask for help. Chatting to an exercise professional can help to:

  • Increase your confidence
  • Improve your chances of success
  • Help to overcome the barriers to exercising


If your living with, or at risk of developing, a chronic condition, talk to your GP before getting started. They might refer you to an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, who can help you to start exercising safely.

If you’d like to find a university-qualified exercise professional near you, click here.

exercise expert