Excuses for skipping another workout? Let me count the ways

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August 14, 2012-SMYRNA: Charles Anderson leads an exercise class at Rowbot Fitness in Smyrna on Tuesday August 14th, 2012. Anderson and his wife recently opened the new Indoor Rowing Gym. PHIL SKINNER / PSKINNER@AJC.COM editor's note: CQ

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My heart is thumping and sweat is sidewinding its way down my temples as my Asics beat against the rubber.

I ran exactly twice in the first two months of the year. I know. Not great for someone trying to get her health back on track.

The litany of excuses are many – moving into a new house, getting a puppy, traveling for work, the coziness of my down comforter. Now, I can feel the extra few pounds that have crept back as I plod along on the treadmill.

I look around me at the men and women (some toned, some not) doing lat-pulldowns and crunches. It’s been more than five years since I’ve had a gym membership. My old apartment complex had one, but the new house does not.

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Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work out I go!

So last week, I drove to the L.A. Fitness closest to my house and signed up.

Not everyone is a gym person, but for me, it’s a motivator. Seeing others working up a sweat challenges me to push my body more too.

More importantly, the gym offers variety. Stair step machines, stationary bikes, barbells, swimming pools, yoga classes, the list of options goes on.

I love to run, but it can sometimes get monotonous.

Studies show that switching up your workout routine not only helps work different muscles but also helps you stick with it. Mixing things up can also help reduce the risk of injuries.

And no matter what activity you choose on any particular day, you’re still achieving a key goal in keeping yourself at a healthy weight: burning calories.

So I’m going to do my best to get my butt to the gym no matter how much I’d rather be sitting on the couch re-watching an episode of Criminal Minds for the umpteenth time.

Got a health question? Email healthmatters@ajc.com.

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