Try as we may to keep motivated, there are some days when making an excuse to miss a workout session is the most effort we’re willing to expend. While everybody has an off day, skipping too many workouts can put you back at – or close to – square one, from a fitness standpoint. Here are some of the most common excuses, with advice for talking yourself out of each one and getting back into the fitness center!

1. “I don’t have time!” Being overbooked and overscheduled is part of the American lifestyle. It may seem impossible to get in quality fitness time for yourself between driving your kids to soccer practice, working overtime, running errands and running your household. However, exercise is too important to your health to become expendable. Schedule workout sessions into your week, and keep the commitment. You’ll be able to handle the rest of your busy calendar with more energy.

2. “I’m too stressed out!” Studies have shown that exercise is as effective, or even more effective, than medication or therapy to decrease stress. Make the time to work in some form of fitness activity in your day. It will boost your outlook and your immune system.

3. “I’m too tired!” That sofa looks awfully tempting at the end of a long, exhausting day. And a marathon of your favorite TV series is running! If your schedule is flexible, change the time of day you work out. If your workplace has a fitness room and showers, take advantage of these amenities before or after work, or during lunch. If late afternoon/early evening is your only time available, at least start your workout. You may find you become energized enough to complete your routine!

4. “I’m just not in the mood!” No matter how awesome your fitness center is, exercise is still hard work. Even if you’re not on the verge of physical collapse, there are days when you’d rather be doing something more entertaining and less physically demanding. Taking a new fitness class or exercising with friends can make your routine more interesting and invigorating.

5. “I’m not getting the results I want, so why bother?” Regardless of  your fitness goals, change your routine if you don’t seem to be making progress. Your body may have adapted to your program, placing you at a plateau. Future Fitness members can consult with a personal trainer for advice and a program designed for your specific objectives. The more you succeed in achieving your desired fitness level, the less likely you’ll be to make excuses for avoiding your workout!