Excuses! We all use them… for being late, for not getting our work done, and even for not focusing on our fitness.  When it comes to diet and exercise, there are millions of excuses out there. Today let’s look at the 6 most common excuses for slacking on our health and fitness, and let’s overcome them together!

1. I don’t have time to work out. There’s a great myth out there that says in order to be healthy and fit, you must spend hours upon hours at the gym. False! Get up and get moving, period. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has become a huge fitness phenomenon because of the short workout time and amazing results. Check out sites like dailyhit or fitnessblender for free HIIT workouts. Or, commit yourself to a program such as Focus T25, P90X3 or The 21 Day Fix, all of which boast workouts lasting 30 minutes or less.

2. I’m too tired. Most people are. The irony is that working out will increase your energy levels! The night before, schedule your workout for the following day, and treat your workout like it’s the most important appointment you have all day! If you find yourself really dragging, commit to starting your workout and completing at least 15 minutes. Chances are, the energy will start flowing and you’ll go way beyond that time!

3. I can’t afford a gym membership. Who said you need a gym membership to be fit and healthy? YouTube is an amazing resource for workout videos. Invest in a few pieces of equipment such as dumbbells, a mat and exercise bands, and jump online to a never-ending world of free workouts. Or, if you need a more structured program, invest in an at-home DVD workout program. It may seem crazy to drop $100 or more on a program, but consider the fact that you have an entire fitness and nutrition plan outlined for you by a professional trainer. Imagine how much that would cost at a gym!

4. I never see results, so why bother? Don’t use the scale and the mirror as your only guides to results.Take progress pictures so you can periodically step back and see the changes that have happened in your body. Don’t forget to take your measurements as well- you may lose inches but not weight because you’re building muscle! It’s very important to celebrate the non-scale victories as well. Did you chase your kids around the park without huffing and puffing like you usually do? Did you wear a shirt that’s been hiding in the back of your closet because it’s too small? Most importantly, see your doctor for a yearly physical to track your health. Only a doctor can tell you what’s going on inside your body, so be sure to check your progress in that department as well.

5. I hate exercising. There is a huge array of workouts out there, so go find one you love! If you hate running, try rollerblading. If the gym machines seem boring, take a Zumba or Step Aerobics class. If you hate exercising alone, join an adult recreational sports team. Find a fitness personality that you relate to and try their DVDs- Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, Chalene Johnson’s Turbo Fire, or Tracy Anderson’s Method. If you don’t like a particular type of exercise, go try another! Keep trying until you find the one you love. Trust me, it’s out there somewhere.

6. I don’t have the motivation or support. If you don’t have motivation or support, take action and FIND the motivation and support! The internet can definitely be your friend in this department. Read inspirational fitness blogs, follow health and fitness experts on Facebook for their daily tips, and connect with new people through fitness websites such as My Fitness Pal. There are plenty of people out there just like you who need support and motivation, so lean on each other.

I often hear these excuses from others, and I’ll admit that sometimes these thoughts go through my own head as well. But we have the control to overcome them! So the next time you find yourself giving in to an excuse, remind yourself that you are STRONG. You are stronger than any excuse and you can push through. Knock that excuse to the side, and forge ahead! Your body will thank you.

About the Author– Nicole is a health and exercise lover, middle school teacher, online fitness coach and aspiring blogger from New Jersey. She has a not-so-secret addiction to buying new workout clothes, and is a firm believe that “brighter is better” when it comes to sneakers. Her favorite workouts include Turbo Kick, Body Pump, Focus T25 and Insanity. Follow her at fitnfabnj