You are working like a busy bee all year long. You hardly ever get out of the house, except for work. You spend most of your evenings on your couch watching TV or playing online with your friends. After a time you discover your love handles, and see that they are growing day after day. You decide it’s time for a change, and head over to the gym to get fit. But after a few days, or maybe weeks, you abandon exercise, and return to the lifestyle you had before.
Why would you abandon exercise?
It’s not easy to change your lifestyle. The barriers keeping you outside the gym are numerous, and sometimes hard to overcome. But the main reasons for which people give up exercise are often trivial. And sometimes they would be easy to overcome with a bit of determination.
Lack of time
Most people blame it on their busy schedule. Having no time to work out is an easy excuse, both for the one making it and the one hearing it. But it’s also one of the easiest to refute. Except for some extreme cases when your schedule really can’t suffer any changes, it’s easy to find a bit of time for moving.
Shorter periods of exercise to make it fit easier into your daily schedule. Say, 10 to 20 minutes a few times a day. Taking walks instead of driving whenever you can also counts. Escalators and elevators are for the lazy – climbing the stairs is also physical activity.
I, for one, like to work out fresh out of bed. When the gym where I went changed its business hours, making it impossible for me to go there early in the morning, I didn’t abandon exercise – I merely rescheduled it for the evening. And for the mornings I decided to slip in a short jog, just to get my blood pumping.
Lack of money
Somehow people associate working out with going to a gym. And even if they get a gym subscription as a present, they abandon exercise later, blaming it on the lack of money to continue. But a gym is not the only place where you can work out. You can do it at home, in the park, in the staircase – wherever you see fit (sic!).
Body weight exercises are great because they don’t need any equipment. Push-ups, sit-ups, squats and others can be easily done at home, or in the park. Stairs and hills are great for walking, and jogging / running doesn’t need a treadmill either.
Lack of energy
A vicious circle, that’s what this is. You feel you lack the energy to work out – and it’s often the result of your lack of activity. Of course, sometimes there is a medical condition is to blame for your lack of energy. But if you’ve been to the doctor and have been declared “clinically competent” to move more, you have no excuses.
Some people abandon exercise blaming their exhaustion – when often it’s just a question of scheduling your workouts right. Going to the gym after a busy day at work is, indeed, wearisome – so why not work out before work? I’ve tried both, and I found that I can do more in the morning hours. And, instead of wearing me down, exercise in the morning helped me perform better throughout the day.
Once you start, you will see that working out will not just improve your health, but also boost your energy levels significantly.
Not forming a habit
I found that it’s easier to abandon exercise if you didn’t do it for long. Science says that to form a new habit you need at least 18 days. At least, but not exactly – it can be four weeks, or six, or eight, or even more.
This means that if you go to the gym for a week or two it will be easier to give up. If you pass the one month mark, or sometimes the two months one, it will “burn into” your mind, becoming a “habit”, one that you are less likely to abandon. The trick is to keep doing it, not letting anything to divert you from the “path”. Before you know, working out will become as natural for you as having your morning coffee.