Working out is no doubt a healthy pastime that everyone should have in their daily routine. Exercise is such a great thing that the only vice associated with it is not exercising at all. Unfortunately, that’s pretty common.

Over the span of your life, you will hear a number of different excuses from people as to why they don’t go to the gym. I admit there have been a lot of times where I have been one of those guilty individuals.

Exercise and physical activity is essential for keeping the brain active and in good mental health, especially while going through the stress of university. With that in mind, perhaps it’s time to help yourself or your friends to mend the vice of excuses by having some counter-arguments at the ready.

For starters, you’ll hear it from a lot of people that they just don’t have time. University is busy and strenuous, so the last thing you probably want to do is add another commitment into your schedule, but I’m going to get a little science-y here.

Working out pumps up neurotransmitters in your body, which are called endorphins. Endorphins are the hormones that are responsible for making you feel good, excited and satisfied. Exercising also causes you to take your mind off other things and helps you to sleep better, and we all know a good sleep is important for excelling in school.

With all that being said, physical activity will help you be more productive with your time rather than taking additional time out of your day. Even just squeezing in a half hour of working out can improve your sleep and mental health, causing you to live a happier and more productive lifestyle.

Another reason people will avoid going to work out is because the gym is always crowded. This is probably especially relatable to the Golden Hawks who use the weight room in Wilkes House. Well, I’ll tell you a secret, the busiest times are from 4 p.m. to closing time but anytime in the morning is an absolutely prime time to go. It usually stays fairly unoccupied until around 2 p.m., sometimes until three. I’m only in second year but I’ve been to the gym a lot since I started attending this university, so trust me.

Now let’s say one day you did go to the gym – which is great – except the next day you’re too sore to go again. Maybe you’re too sore to go all out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work out at all. Running really helps to loosen sore muscles, so hitting the treadmill would be ideal. In fact, any type of cardio is okay – biking, swimming, elliptical, etc.

Barely anyone admits this next one, but a lot of people are afraid to be judged. It’s common that people just don’t know a lot of exercises, or feel self-conscious going about them on their own. If you don’t feel confident doing a workout by yourself and you don’t have a friend who wants to tag along to the gym, try out some of Laurier’s fitness classes or join Run Laurier and hit the trails along the river with a group of people. Doing physical activity with a group really helps to make sure you do a full workout without cheating yourself or not trying hard enough. It is really motivating to have others doing the same thing around you so that you can try and keep up with them. The instructors tell you what to do and how to do it, so you don’t have to worry about coming up with your own workouts.

Some people just simply don’t enjoy working out, but the beautiful thing is, people don’t necessarily need to go to the gym to get exercise. Look out your window and look at all those charming sidewalks and roads paved for you to walk and bike on. Intramural sports are also a great way to get out and active, and you get to meet tons of new friends at the same time. On campus there are always lots of options.

I would say I am sorry for butchering all the reasons we give for not exercising, but I am far from apologetic. Laurier Brantford is bursting with beautiful, intelligent people who all deserve long, healthy lives. Let’s break the bad habit of trying to justify our laziness and just get those muscles moving.

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