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Revealed: The nation's top 40 excuses for not working out

REVEALED: The Nation’s Top 40 Excuses For Not Working Out

Millions of adults have a ‘fairweather’ approach to fitness – with rain and cold temperatures among the top reasons for not taking regular exercise.

The top 40 excuses for not working out also include finishing work too late, already having other plans and being hungover.

Food clearly has an impact with one in 10 of the 2,000 adults polled admitting they’ve skipped exercise because they were too hungry and 16 per cent have done so because they’d only just eaten.

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But for three in five, the weather makes a difference on their fitness routine with rain, cold temperatures, snow and it being dark all making the list.

The research, commissioned by Spatone, also found people are most likely to make an excuse to avoid exercise in the evening (35 per cent), while a fifth will put it off first thing in the morning.

Julia Cameron-Wallace, Spatone brand manager, said: “The research shows how many people regularly lack both energy and motivation to exercise.

“Busy days, social plans and work commitments can easily get in the way of workouts.

“It seems the weather has a big impact, hopefully with summer around the corner more people will feel motivated to exercise outdoors.

“We hope to give people the natural energy they need to put their trainers on and get moving.”

The study also found more than half of Brits are likely to use an excuse when planning to exercise on their own.

But three in 10 admitted they have been known to bail on a planned workout with someone else.

Other popular excuses to avoid exercise include it not being ‘hair wash night’, needing new trainers and not having space to do so in their home.

Some have even used the excuse of their favourite TV show being on to get out of exercise.

However, on the flip side, things that would motivate people to workout were having nicer weather (39 per cent), more energy (35 per cent) and longer days (24 per cent).

During the typical week in summer 30 per cent of people exercise more than five times a week, but this dips to 23 per cent in winter.

Working out with someone else (21 per cent), upbeat music (21 per cent) and having an end goal (21 per cent) were also among the top encouragements.

But bailing on a workout leaves people feeling guilty (39 per cent), demotivated (27 per cent) and sluggish (24 per cent), according to the study carried out via OnePoll.

Julia added: “If you’re feeling tired or fatigued, you might not be getting enough iron, a key nutrient required for natural energy and a healthy immune system.

“We hope to educate people on the importance of iron for the body.”


  1. You’re too tired
  2. It’s raining
  3. It’s too cold
  4. You’ve got a cold
  5. You’ve only just eaten
  6. It’s too late in the day to exercise
  7. You don’t have time during the working day
  8. You’ve got sore muscles
  9. You get bored of exercise
  10. You finished work late
  11. You’re planning to exercise tomorrow instead
  12. It’s dark outside
  13. You exercised yesterday
  14. You’ve already got other plans
  15. It’s snowing
  16. You’re hungover
  17. You’re having a rest week
  18. You’re too hungry
  19. You don’t want to exercise in public
  20. You want an early night
  21. You’ve got an early start tomorrow
  22. You’re too stressed to exercise
  23. You’ve already exercised this week
  24. You can’t afford the gym/exercise class
  25. You don’t have space to exercise in your home
  26. Your favourite TV show is on
  27. You won’t have time to shower after exercising
  28. You don’t like exercising alone
  29. You don’t want to eat late after exercising
  30. You don’t have anybody to work out with
  31. You’ve only just washed your hair
  32. You haven’t seen any progress so far so what’s the point
  33. You don’t want to get injured
  34. You need new trainers
  35. Your exercise clothes are in the wash
  36. You don’t have suitable exercise equipment at home
  37. You don’t have time around your social life
  38. It’s not your hair wash night
  39. It’s too busy outside e.g. too many cars on the roads to go for a run
  40. You don’t have time around looking after your children

Joe Long
Joe Long
Freelance women and men's health writer at Fertility Road.

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15 articles about IVF and Donor Conception by top IVF experts worldwide!