Don’t Give up on Exercise!

Why do so many of us give up on exercising? For all the abundant messaging seen on and off the Internet about the significant benefits of exercise, the 2009 report of the National Center for Health Statistics points out that only 35% percent of adults 18 years old and above take on some leisure-time physical activity. It is not surprising then that there is a simultaneous and widespread statistic that says around 50% of people who start to exercise give up after a few months. It seems that exercise tends to be easily bumped down on an individual’s list of priorities. The following is a short outline of some of the more common reasons why this happens.

Initial lack of Commitment

The ‘exercise is healthy’ message may have varying degrees of effectiveness depending on how it is delivered. But in terms of pervasiveness, the idea has certainly become popular. Its ubiquity has reached a level that most adults, even those without an actual inclination for leisure physical activity, will be convinced to try it out at some point.

There are a variety of initial reasons for why people sign up in a gym or begin an exercise regimen elsewhere. Some of these could be: ‘I want to lose weight and look good.’ or ‘All my friends do it.’ Although such reasons are typical they may not be enough to fuel a long term commitment to fitness or even point to a real understanding of the relationship between exercise and health. As such the beginner tends to lose steam along the way, especially when the muscle soreness sets in or the exercise starts to feel like routine work.

Fitbuff.com reports that 96% of men are willing to skip out on a workout when some other activity comes up and conflicts with the exercise schedule. Another survey that aims to discover how attached people are to their phones was made by mobile applications company TeleNav and it shows that 54% of the respondents would more amenable to missing a week of exercise rather than give up their phones. These reports may primarily prove the growing attachment to mobile gadgets or other pursuits but it also indirectly shows how little exercise is actually valued.

Unrealistic Expectations

Most professional fitness trainers observe that it’s usually the ones who are impatient to achieve their fitness goals that lose their staying power. Beginners come in overly enthusiastic, wanting to lose so many pounds or gain muscle mass and tone in only a few weeks. As such they do too much at the start in terms of volume or intensity then end up injured, burned out or disillusioned.

It must be understood that exercise is basically a managed and gradual application of physical stress that aims to stimulate adaptation. The adaptation can be lost or gained weight, increased strength, enhanced endurance – it depends on the kind of exercise.

Some Solutions

If the point is to have a proper approach to exercise then having an experienced trainer can certainly help one understand the right application of the various methods available. Barring that, one can always be conscientious enough to gather information on training guidelines and educate oneself. A trainer or simply a workout companion can also be a social source of motivation for the beginner; someone to reiterate the value behind all that pain and discomfort.

Another recommended solution is ‘Creative Variation’. The monotony of drills and reps can be an obstacle. Trying out a different workout that achieves the same goal makes the exercise less of a regimen. This is one of the main reasons why athletes often cross train.

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