We’re really out of shape! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two out of three Americans are overweight and one-third are medically obese. Regular exercise will improve the situation a lot, but according to the American College of Sports Medicine, less than half of all Americans get the recommended exercise. The fact is that more than 50% of people who start an exercise program give it up in the first six months. This happens for five primary reasons: Injury, Lack of time, Boredom, Lack of support And Lack of motivation. The good news is that we can take specific steps to address each of these issues.
1. Injury. Injuries are the single biggest reason people quit their exercise programs. Injury can include significant damage to muscle tissue such as a sprain, or minor muscle damage that causes pain. Any situation can reduce your motivation to exercise. The most effective way to deal with injuries is to avoid them. You can do this by warming up before exercise, starting with a simple exercise method and extending it over time, learning the right form for each exercise and engaging in a variety of aerobic and strength training activities.
2. Lack of time. The number one excuse for not exercising is, you guessed it, the lack of time. No one ever thinks they have enough time to workout but the truth is you need to spend only 30 minutes 5-6 days a week to get significant health benefits from exercise. In addition, you do not need a formal exercise method. Instead, try to make physical activity a part of your daily life. Whether you enjoy cycling to work or to school, engaging in physical activities with your children (e.g., throwing a frisbee), participating in sports activities that you enjoy (but beware, this often leads to injuries), walking . On a daily basis, or by doing household chores (e.g., mowing the lawn, shoveling snow).
3. Boredom. Another reason people stop exercising is because they get bored. Therefore, it is important to have variety in your physical activities. Try different exercises every day or every week. Choose the activities you enjoy, not what anyone else says you should do. Remember, there is no better exercise. Anything that makes you move will enhance your health and overall well-being.
4. Lack of support. It is difficult to join a successful, long-term exercise program without the psychological support of your family, friends and coworkers. Develop this support by exercising with others. This is especially powerful at the beginning of your exercise routine. It is more difficult to skip a workout if one or two friends are exercising with you.
5. Lack of motivation. Each of the above factors can have a negative effect on your motivation to exercise. However, at the end of the day, you must define your reasons for exercising. Are you trying to get in shape for an athletic event? Maybe you want to look better for the next social connection. Maybe you want to reduce your risk for the disease. Whatever your reasons, make them clear in your mind and always keep them in front of you. One way to do this is to write down your reasons for exercising and post them in the most visible areas. This will give you a constant reminder of why you are exercising and can motivate you to go through difficult times when your enthusiasm is low.