Dec 18

No Excuses NOT to Work It Out

I don’t have time to workout.


I make time.

I know, I know… easier said than done.  But it CAN be done!


Today’s Work It Out is about beating our holiday excuses.  We all make them.  Some of them are even legitimate! During the holidays we’re traveling, over-committed, and exhausted.

Yesterday on Facebook I asked you guys for some of the excuses you have for not working out over the holidays.

Do any of these sound familiar?

“I don’t have time to workout.”

“I feel selfish taking time away from my family to go to the gym.”

“I’m too tired!”

“It’s too cold to go outside.”

“I don’t have access to a gym/weights while traveling.”




Today let’s think of ways around these barriers.

No time?

Make it a habit!  If you haven’t gotten to that point yet, start by taking some steps to plan.  I schedule the time with myself on my calendar, and I have my gym clothes in the car so I can go on my way home from work.  If things are TOO hectic, I squeeze in what I can, when I can.  Do you have 10 minutes in the morning? Do a quick rotation of jumping jacks, planks, burpees, and push-ups in your living room.  Only have 20 minutes at lunch?  Go for a brisk walk!


Feeling selfish?

#1 DON’T!  Your family is better off in the long run when you are healthy and happy.  Personally, if I don’t get to move a little bit each day (and take a little break from the relatives), I’m not as pleasant to be around.

#2 Turn exercise into a family activity.  Suggest a walk or a game of touch football after one of the many holiday meals I’m sure you’ll have.  Bring a workout video to share.  One of the best times we had last year was when my mom and sister and I all tried to do P90X Plyo together.  The laughter alone was a calorie burner!


no regrets


Too tired?

I know you don’t want to hear this… but exercise actually energizes you AND improves sleep quality at night.  Instead of dropping to the couch after a long day, put on y our gym clothes before you even sit down.  Half of the battle is getting dressed!  If that’s not enough to motivate, make a date with a friend to talk a walk or sign up for a class.  If you already spent $50 on that month of Body Pump classes, you’re more included to actually go.


Too cold?

I get it.  I hate cold weather.  When I ran regularly, I always took the coldest months off.  This is the time to dust of your P90x/Gillian Michaels/Yoga for Dummies DVDs.  Your living room is warm.  Exercise there!  Or take advantage of all of those “one week free!” fliers.  I’m willing to bet you could gym-hop for at least a month at free of charge. :)


20 min workout


No equipment?

Again, you can bust out your old DVDs.  Another idea involves Pinterest.  I love taking these “pinned” workouts and doing a few rounds at home.

A few of my favorites:

(Click images for sources.)

Great beginner AM workout

Great beginner AM workout



No Rest

This will leave you feeling like spaghetti in 30 mins.


Plus 1

Perfect for setting your own pace and then pushing a little beyond!


I Make Time

One from my trainer, with a video demo.


These best part is that these can all be adjusted based on the amount of time you have and your physical limitations (Bad knees?  Do wall sits instead of squats.)  They can also be done indoors, so you avoid the cold.  AND you can get the family to join in, eliminating the selfish-feeling factor.

So what was your excuse again?


One more Kitchen Workout check-in before the holidays!

I once again did well during the week and succumbed to sugar over the weekend.  There was a cookie swap party.  This happened:

Keeping it real.

BUT this kitchen workout is about doing what’s right for YOU.  I know myself.  If I’d sat at home or gone and watched everyone else eat cookies, I would have been annoyed and then (more than likely) done worse damage later.  So I ate cookies.  They were delicious.  So there.

As I go into and even bigger holiday-part week, I’m keeping these tipsin mind.  I’m not going to splurge on the store-bought party things, but when something is “worth it” (for me that means chocolate and homemade) I’m not going to feel deprived.

As always, feel free to post/pin/tweet the #KitchenWorkout graphic and show your clean eating pride!


In other news, I have only completed my Christmas shopping for 1 person.  Oy.  Power walking through the mall in a panicked state is great exercise!

Did anyone try last week’s Gun Show workout?  What did you think?

What are some of your excuses?  Any of these sound familiar?



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  1. Alex @ therunwithin

    those are all great tips. it makes me frustrated when people think I am crazy for waking up early to workout but heck I do it because I love it and it is the only time I could find a time. As you said, just squeeze it in!

    1. Laura

      I wish I could get going earlier in the morning to squeeze it in!

  2. Khushboo

    Gah don’t get me started on excuses! It’s one thing to take a rest day when your body needs it but it’s another thing to keep making excuses! I rarely make excuses but not because I’m some kind of workout saint- it’s because I know I’m only going to be cheating myself. THese are all great tips and on that note, I am going to go bundle up and get moving- cold or not, it’s workout time!

    1. Laura

      You are so right – I love it: “you’re only cheating yourself!”

  3. Michelle @ Eat Move Balance

    Boy, with all these workout resources, none of us have any excuses to not workout!! :) Thanks–I love having some new and different routines to mix it up a bit.

  4. Miz

    you know I so agree, Girl.
    I dont have workout excuses…I HAVE ME SOME WORK EXCUSES :-)
    can you pretty please help?

    1. Laura

      I hear you on work! that’s where it comes in handy to literally block out that time on your calendar. it’s my DO NOT DISTURB sign .:)

  5. Laura @ LauraLivesLife

    Love this – when working out is ambit, it is easier to fit in (and our families come to expect it too)!

    I’m still wondering how ill fit it in on the cruise, though… AND how I’ll come back without the “all inclusive” pounds packed on!

    1. Laura

      Have you ever tried running on a cruise? I nearly killed myself falling! LOL!

  6. Angela @ Happy Fit Mama

    There really is NO excuse. If you think you’re busy, there is always someone way busier than you who squeezes in a workout. I make time! Great tips!

  7. Fran@BCDC

    You’re so right, Laura…there’s no excuse not to work out or at least get some exercise into your routine. When I was still working I got up at 3:50am so that I could be sure to get in at least my 30 minutes on the exercise bike before starting my day. It was a good idea and because it was done I didn’t have to think about it the rest of the day!

    1. Laura

      Exactly! That’s why I walk first thing every morning!

  8. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    Definitely great tips, especially considering that my gym closes for the holidays tomorrow. I’ll be looking at these workouts again later in the week!

  9. Lee

    I actually like working out during the holidays. It’s like a break from the madness.

  10. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

    I don’t do workout excuses. I actually have to force myself to rest. That’s what I’m doing today. ;)

    As a trainer though, I hear so many different excuses. I don’t really let that fly. I think once you make it a habit, you crave it, so you have to keep it on your schedule regularly for that to happen. Also, find something you love to do! If you don’t like what you’re doing, then you won’t keep it up.

    1. Laura

      Sarena, that’s my struggle too. I’m going extra hard this week so I can take an extra day next week tough.

  11. Heather (Where's the Beach)

    Great post – my running partner and I sometimes get on our soap boxes about all the freaking excuses you hear about why someone can’t seem to ever work out. I realize that sometimes you really do have to take a break or sometimes you have those days where life totally gets in the way, but I always plan out a contingency for those times. Even right now when I am not supposed to run, lift or do anything that could potentially dislodge this clot, I am still getting out for walks and standing up, moving around as often as possible – even pulling out the yoga mat for stretching.

    1. Laura

      You are so inspiring. There’s always something we can do to get the blood flowing. No excuses. Not even a blood clot. (Seriously – you rock.)

  12. Meg

    great post! love you

  13. Danielle

    What a great post filled with some great tips! I admit that with the chaos of the holidays it’s definitely been harder to make it to the gym as much as I’d like but I know how awesome I feel when I do make it and that is motivation enough for me :)

  14. Jody - Fit at 55

    GREAT POST Laura!!!! Even 10 minutes 3 times during the day or 25 2 times during the day incorporating your suggestions above… people get into that it has to be all at the same time or stress themselves out. Do what ya can & up the intensity to make it burn….

    I love the gym & it will be closed on a couple days I work out. I am already planning to switch things around & days around so that I get my workouts in… we do what we have to do & we can do any of your suggestions above….

    Just doing something will make one feel better! :)

  15. Jody - Fit at 55

    PS: COOKIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

    1. Laura

      Those cookies KILLED me! I had to go for a walk after due to the sugar high. LOL!

  16. Amanda @ Romancing the Unusual

    Love this post! It has been so hard for me to run in the cold! And I hate the treadmill. Fortunately(?), I am training for a marathon so I HAVE to run. And last minute Christmas shopping is definitely a workout! hehe

    1. Laura

      I don’t envy that… I always took a running break in the winter. one thing I have learned is to do a warm up mile on the treadmill before braving the outdoors. That way your body temp is already up and its a little less painful.

  17. maria @ lift love life

    Awesome tips. I’ve been known to use the excuse “I’m cramping, or I’m too nauseous” with this pregnancy but I’ve still been getting out there to work out. It’s too important to me not to And sadly, I actually know people who would skip brushing their teeth. Gross lol.

    1. Laura

      Really?! Are they over the age of 12???

  18. Allie

    I love your selfish excuse-buster–I always drag my mom to the gym with me when I go visit family, and we crack up and have a blast the whole time (while she makes ludicrous numbers of excuses for why she “can’t” do exercises–which I then make her do anyway). Walks are a fabulous time for really talking with and paying attention to friends and family members too.

    And there’s always room for cookies around this time of year! I’m convinced they’re part of a healthy, balanced holiday diet :)

  19. Ed

    I think this is the smack in the face all us procrastinators and lazy folks like me…I will remember this post next time I think of a reason not to do something…no excuses

    1. Laura

      Thanks, Ed! I’m going to do the same. :)

  20. Anonymous

    Love this post… lots of great ideas here… can I ask a question… the first graphic … the one that says twice a day workout…. do you do it down the left and then down the right or across each line left to right? Would love to try this one if I get the sequence!

    1. Elle

      Didn’t mean to post anonymously! Thanks!

      1. Laura

        It’s down the left and then down the right… I never thought about doing it the other way. May be a good way to shake it up!

        1. Elle

          Thanks so much. I will be trying it!

  21. Kammie @ Sensual Appeal

    What about the “I’m lazy” excuse. That’s mine right now lol
    it’s okay, I’m hoping to get in the gym later today. Getting back in the funk hopefully. Hopefully.

    Great link up of the workouts!

    1. Laura

      Did you go?! :)

  22. Lisa

    Preach it! Such great tips! I don’t believe in the no time to workout. There is always a little time in the day! I used to be a huge exercise avoider. I could pull out every excuse in the bag…no it’s kind of the opposite haha.

    1. Laura

      Haha – I was/am the SAME way.

  23. Heather @ Better With Veggies

    I love this!! It drives me nuts when someone says they have no time, it’s a matter of priorities. :) And I’m glad you enjoyed yourself at the cookie exchange, I’m so NOT about depriving yourself of goodies. That’s what makes people hate “living healthy”. Just another reason to get in the gym, right? ;)

    1. Laura

      YOU are the poster child for making time. Love your workout FB pics. :)

      An yes to no deprivation. Life is short!

  24. Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen

    I have to admit the cold weather and getting dark at noon (OK, so I exaggerate slightly) is getting to me. The problem isn’t that I don’t WANT to run, it is that is too dark or I fear my fingers will fall off. Once you get going, it is fine, but it’s dealing with that initial blast of chill. I’m investing in some crazy ensembles to help beat this problem. That being said, there is always the gym, and I certainly don’t mind whiling away some time on the elliptical. My track running just isn’t as successful as when I can run outside…

    But, I digress. What I really wanted to say was going to the gym or working out is just a part of my schedule. Like, when I say, “Oh I have SO much to do tonight” to my roommate (or anyone else for that matter) and start rattling off the errands I have to run or the meetings I have or the packages of Nutty Butter I have to prep and ship, never do they bat an eyelash when I take an hour (or more!) to go for a run or hit the gym first. It is as though non-negotiable. I swear it keeps me happy and sane. My mom even said, “I only took the afternoon of Christmas Eve off because even though you would be home I knew you’d have to go work out.”

    1. Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen

      I realize that makes me sound workout obsessed, but I swear, I’m not hardcore. A lot of that time is simultaneously spent reading US Weekly and watching House Hunters.

      1. Laura

        I don’t think you sound obsessed… maybe because I’m the same way? LOL!

        Everyone around me is a LOT happier when I work out. ;)

  25. Carol @ Lucky Zucca

    This is awesome Laura!! Your question on FB actually motivated me to write up a similar post on staying healthy during the holidays today (though yours, I feel, is much better). Thank you! And thanks for including my no rest workout!! Spaghetti is right!! ;) I love all the others you’ve listed on here too- they’re all awesome and I feel honored to have one of my workouts included!

    I love your answer to the feeling guilty not spending time with your family excuse. I’m thinking of taking my Insanity workout to my parents’ house tomorrow night when I go over to see them! I think you’re absolutely right- the laughs will be a workout themselves!!

    1. Laura

      I loved your post!!! I love how you always focus on the mental as well as the physical. it’s all so important!

      Did your mom try Insanity?!

      1. Carol @ Lucky Zucca

        I ended up stuck in traffic for almost an hour and couldn’t go over there! :( But we’re hoping to try it together over the weekend!

  26. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets

    Great post. Way to call those excuses just that: excuses.

    Once you are in a routine, it’s so easy to stick with it, but once you deviate, it makes it that much harder to get back on track.

    Cookies happen. It’s ok. In fact, I think we should make a bumper sticker out of it. We could be billionaires and then do nothing but blog all day long. Although people might get sick of us, and then our fifteen minutes will expire and the next thing you know, we’ll be on the street, eating organics out of dumpsters from the priciest of restaurants and bench pressing trash cans and stray alley cats.

    1. Laura

      LOL! Comment of the day. I love the way you think. Calling the printer now. ;)

      Some of those alley cats are FAT! Could be a good workout…

  27. purelytwins

    great tips and great quotes! Making working out a habit is sooooo true!!! We are firm believers in there is always time to workout even if it is just 2 minute plank! Can be done anywhere at anytime :)

    1. Laura

      You guys are the plank MASTERS!!

  28. RavieNomNoms

    Great tips girlie! I have been doing great with my new workout regime. It definitely makes it easier for me if I make a calendar for myself ahead of time, so that my month is planned out. That way I can just look at my schedule and go from there!

    I love the pinterest workouts too! During the summer Patrick and I print them out and run around the track and every .25-.5 miles we stop and do a set of the workout. It is awesome

    1. Laura

      Good for you! I love that you have a whole month planned.

  29. Ali @ WHOLEistically Fit

    Great tips & thanks for all the no-equipment workouts. I totally dig a good at-home workout and these look awesome! :D

  30. Amanda @ .running with spoons.

    Love these tips! There’s definitely no valid reason for people to be unable to get some exercise in every day, aside from if their body needing a day off. I think that if someone is continuously making excuses, it’s probably because they’re not enjoying the exercise that they’re doing, and at that point it’s time to find a new and exciting way to exercise.

    1. Laura

      That’s a great point – if it’s not something you enjoy, you’ll never stick with it!

  31. alicia

    I always think about the fact that someone out there with LESS time than I do is working out… and that makes me feel motivated to make it happen. I plan my day around my workouts, usually.

    1. Laura

      Exactly! That quote is one of my favorites – I have it “pinned” on my Inspiration Pintrest board. :)

  32. Allie

    Gym hopping LOL! That’s a fun idea ;)

  33. Tina @ Best Body Fitness

    Love it all! There are so many excuses and, given, there are times and situations that call for a workout to be put on the back burner (like family emergencies) but on the whole…no reason to not do SOMETHING! I’ve heard it all.

  34. Brittany @ Delights and Delectables

    Great tips!!! I love these. I used to be so guilty of making excuses b/c I hated going out in the cold to the gym. Now I workout at home, and I’m consistent!

    1. Laura

      I’m with you on the cold… I’ve been known to drive 1/4 mile to the gym if the weather isn’t good. LOL!

  35. Holly

    I don’t have any excuses. One of the reasons I’m so fanatical about running EVERYDAY is for the reason you mentioned above: if I don’t go, I’m exhausted all day and feel like poo. If I have to get up at 5am to run well then, 5am it is. The only thing that stops me is ice on the ground.

    I might try some of those pinterest workouts you’ve posted. My knees have been bothering me lately (never a good sign) and it’s pouring today so I might need to take a break from running whether I like it or not.

  36. Your Trainer

    Have I ever told you that there are only 3 legitimate excuses to miss a workout. 1) Physically sick below the neck. 2) You’re making $$$. 3) You’re getting “Lucky”. No other excuses are accepted.

    1. Laura

      You tell me that often. I went today!!!

  37. Nadiya

    Technically we were born to move/ exercise. It’s going against nature not too :P Love how you wrote this post because it really should be a priority for everyone!

  38. Jed Gray (sportsglutton)

    Ya I made time to take a wrong turn while running in Rock Creek Park today extending my run by 2 miles. No worries though…more wine for me!

  39. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli

    Loving all these tips girl! I’ve finally gotten my groove back at the gym (thanks to a few of your workout moves might I add!) and it really DOES make a difference once you make it a daily habit! Now, as soon as I wake up, I throw on my workout clothes, down my ACV cocktail, and head to the gym…without even thinking about it! I had some plans yesterday and ended up having to skip my workout so I could get to Nashville on time…yeah, it kinda killed me, but I figure as long as I’m back at it tomorrow, hopefully I won’t fall victim to that “it’s too cold…I’m staying in bed where it’s warm” thing like I usually do this time of year! Oh…and just FYI, I did the gun show workout again on Tuesday and I actually bumped up my weight a bit on the preacher curls without ANY pain! …well unless you count the soreness I was so proud of the next day! ;)

    I’ve done that 54321 workout before and it is NO joke! The 30 min full body one looks like a killer! I’ll have to give that a go soon…said the masochist in the corner! Lol

    1. Laura

      Good for you!!! I’m so glad you’re liking the Gun Show AND you rock for upping the weight! Way to keep pushing. We’ll have to arm wrestle when you come back to ATL. :)

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