When it comes to exercise, what’s your excuse?

William Hobson and, a leading company who specialise in offering personal training courses, have partnered to survey 2,000 UK respondents to find out what excuses they give when it comes to exercise and going to the gym, and also what motivates them to work out.

The results from the survey, which can be found here, are quite surprising. Most interestingly, of the people asked, a massive 80% stated that their main motivation for working out is their health and wellbeing, instead of the more thought of ‘I want to look good’ response, whereby only 54% answered to exercising to improve appearance. This is a really refreshing find, especially with the added pressures on looks from social media is this day and age.

Too expensive

According to the survey conducted, 68.3% of the UK’s top excuse for not joining the gym was that it was too expensive. Even though there has been an increase in cheap gym memberships lately, such as The Gym Group and Pure Gym, which are also open 24/7, are we just using finance as an excuse?

Findings also revealed that over a fifth of females said that they find the gym intimidating, However, undeterred by their concerns, out of those asked, more women owned a gym membership than men. Their biggest motivation to exercise is to improve their appearance, yet 37% of women would be willing to shun their gym sessions for social commitments. Secondly, 17.25% of people are too intimidated by other gym users and use this as their top excuse.

Work commitments 

Work is one of the largest factors that influences our motivations for exercise, with 51.2% of people stating that they would stop going to the gym due to work commitments. Is working the 9-5 just too much to fit in a workout before or after work too? 35.6% of respondents also said work commitments demotivate them the most when it comes to exercise, as perhaps they feel too tired and lethargic after their working day is finished to want to do anything else but relax and unwind at home. 33% of people blame their unhealthy eating habits on not having enough time to prepare meals due to work, whereas 18.3% of people blame their home environment and 15.5% blame a bad influence from work colleagues.

Diet is vital when maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as you cannot out-exercise a bad diet. When it comes to cheat meals on the diet, the most popular cheat food is pizza, with over 10% of respondents choosing it. This was closely followed by chocolate, fish and chips, and curry. A cheat meal maybe once a week is something to look forward to when healthy eating, but using this as an excuse to eat excessively that day or having the urge to carry on your cheat meal over more than a day or two can lead to an unhealthy balance in your diet.

Richard Scrivener, Personal Training Product Developer at suggested these tips when it comes to motivation:

When you find your why, you will find your way! So in order to maintain the level of motivation which will drive successful and sustained behaviour conducive to achieving one’s goals you should consistently project forward into the future by asking these two questions of yourself:

1. “On a scale of 1-10, how important is it for me to achieve (insert goal here)?”

If the answer is 7 for example i.e. quite a strong goal. Follow this up by asking: “why is this number not 5 or 6?”

The responses that you elicit are your ‘why’ and if you find them powerful enough responses they should act as a timely reminder as to why it really is worth the effort and commitment.

2. “In 6 or 12 months’ time, how would life be different if I achieve (insert goal here)?”

This helps you project yourself to a time when you have achieved your objectives and how great that might feel, and furthermore, positively impact your life. For example, you might respond with “I’ll have more energy, I’ll look more attractive, I’ll be better at my job”.

Once again, this question further helps you to see the wood through the trees, just as motivation might be starting to diminish a little.

What excuse do you use to avoid going to the gym? Let us know in the comments below!