Excuse #8: “I’m not seeing results.”

Beginning an exercise program often leads to instant payoffs, like weight loss and fewer aches. But it’s natural for the progress to gradually slow with time. “Your muscles eventually adjust to this new level of activity,” says Dr. Rosenthal. To shake things up, mix up your regular routine with new workouts. Or jumpstart your walk with intervals by alternating a few minutes of brisk pace with your normal moderate stride. A 2007 study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that women who did an hour of intervals on a stationary bike – four minutes of sprints, followed by two minutes of recovery – burned 36 percent more fat than those who maintained a steady pace.

Besides shaking up your body, you may need to kick-start your mind, too. Remind yourself of how exercise improves your life on a daily basis. According to a 2011study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, people who reminded themselves of these little benefits – like having more energy or feeling less stressed – were more likely to stay motivated than those who simply focused on long-term goals, like better health and a slimmer physique.

Excuse #9: “It’s been so long since I’ve exercised –I don’t know where to begin!”

If it’s been a while since you last laced up your sneakers, you may need a refresher course from a personal trainer. He or she can show you how to do exercises and suggest workouts. “Learning the proper form and technique is important for preventing injury,” says Rick Schultz, MD, the chief of surgery in orthopedics and director of the musculoskeletal care division at Scott & White Healthcare in Round Rock, Texas.

It’s important to find a qualified expert with experience working with people who have arthritis. Seek out someone with a four-year undergraduate degree in an exercise-related field and a certification from a reputable organization, such as the American Council on Exercise, National Academy of Sports Medicine or American College of Sports Medicine. “Ask what kind of specialized education and experience he or she has training people with arthritis,” says Dr. Schultz.

Excuse #10: “I’ll start tomorrow.”

You woke up with every intention of hitting the gym. But after your day got busy, you decided to put it off until tomorrow. Sound familiar?  To snap out of the procrastination cycle, make a plan. “At the start of each week, schedule your workouts into your calendar,” suggests Dr. Rosenthal. “Have walking or exercise dates with friends, so you won’t back out.” 

Setting small goals, like exercising a certain amount each week, and treating yourself when you meet them can provide extra motivation. According to a study published in 2012 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, employees spent less time on the couch and more time exercising when they were offered cash incentives for healthy behaviors. So give yourself healthy rewards, like new music or clothes for your workouts – and you’ll be more inspired to get moving.