Hate to Exercise?
6 Reasons Why and What You Can Do About It
- You’re Working Out for Weight Loss
One of the top reasons for starting a fitness program is weight loss. It’s a surprisingly bad motivator when it comes to getting long term adherence to an exercise program. In the list of benefits from exercising, weight loss is pretty far down the timeline list when compared to other benefits gained almost immediately such as more energy, less stress, better sleep, improved blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose. It’s important to focus on the numerous internal benefits that are not necessarily reflected on the bathroom scales. Remembering how good you feel afterwards and reminding yourself of those seemingly invisible results will help keep you steady and on track ensuring that you will continue to say yes to exercise and see the weight loss.
- You’re Going Overboard
There’s no doubt that exercise can be a big life change especially if you’ve been sedentary for a long time. With that said, start-up exercise programs shouldn’t be intense and drastic. Sure, anyone can muster up the discipline to dive in to the 5 a.m. 6 week killer boot camp but most people drop out before the end or quit exercising shortly thereafter. Let’s be honest, who wants to get up at 5 am and kill themselves everyday especially if you already hate exercise. Start with small goals that you know you can achieve and then build upon that foundation. This has been shown to bring about long term adherence. Not only do you give your body a period of time to adjust to the increased physical demand, you avoid unnecessary overuse injuries.
- You Feel Bad About Your Body
Self-consciousness about how your body looks and worrying over what people think can squash your motivation quick. There’s mixed research on the effect of mirrors in gyms and motivation but for those suffering with body hatred a mirror might not be such a good thing in the beginning. Most people don’t look amazing in their workout clothes when they begin exercising so don’t put that unreasonable pressure on yourself. Celebrate the fact that you are doing something positive for your health. Many YMCAs, private gyms and ladies only fitness centers offer safe spaces for people to work out who might be overly self-conscious. Working out in the privacy of your own home is another option. Find a workout that’s right for you on a DVD, YouTube channel, or podcast.
- Picking the Wrong Workout
Don’t force yourself to do workouts that don’t suit your personal preference or personality. If you’re a clumsy loner who loves the outdoors, don’t go to a jam packed Zumba class. A long walk or bike ride on a beautiful nature trail is probably more suitable. On the flip side, if you’re energized around people and love the social aspect of group fitness classes you probably won’t enjoy swimming laps in the pool. This isn’t to say you box yourself in to certain activities because cross training is beneficial for minimizing overuse injuries. Go for the types of activities that you enjoy so it’s easier to participate and the dread-hate factor is lessened. Think about those activities you’ve always wanted to do but never had the chance to do, or something you enjoyed in the past.
- You’re in Pain
A bad back, sore knee, previous injury or arthritis can make getting fit a challenge. Physical therapy or corrective exercises can probably help many of these conditions. Ask your doctor to prescribe physical therapy or find a corrective exercise specialist who can show you techniques to address problem areas. By strengthening and lengthening specific muscles, exercise can be more comfortable if not pain free.
- You Think It Costs Too Much
It’s true that you can shell out a lot of cash on fitness. Personal trainers, boutique studios, upscale fitness centers and Pilates classes can add up. Skip the expensive activities and stick to your budget. You may already own a pair of walking shoes, bicycle or fitness equipment. There are tons of free YouTube videos and podcasts to guide you through any type and length of workout you want.
Emily May MA – Ergonomics & Health Fitness Specialist