These are 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.

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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.

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.

Lack of energy and motivation

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.

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“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.

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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.

Motivational factors

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).

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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.

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“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

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