Health & Fitness

20 Reasons People Stop Exercising


It’s a choice

Physical activity is a behavior, meaning it is a choice to participate or not. For some, exercise has been a lifelong component of their daily routine. For others, the concept of physical exertion is not appealing. The exercise roller coaster that aims for consistency, can plummet from time to time even for the most avid gym-goer. One day “off” leads to another, time passes, body shape changes, and willpower falters. Studies show that 60% of Americans don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity. 25% of adults are not active at all. But I bet I can counter argue any excuse.

So what is the recommended amount??

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends a minimum weekly total of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity. This can be 75 minutes if the activity is vigorous. That means 5 days per week of 30 minutes. Strength training is also recommended at least 2 days per week for the major muscle groups.

In no specific order, you may or may not relate to one or more of the following “excuses”:

  1. You: I hate exercise: sweat, gyms, the whole concept is repulsive to you

Me: Your BODY loves exercise

  1. You: It’s not in my budget and I’m unable to afford it: memberships, personal trainers, and equipment don’t have the return of investment for my bank account

Me: Walking is FREE

  1. You: I’m not seeing results: exercise seems pointless and hopeless

Me: It doesn’t happen overnight; try asking someone you haven’t seen in a long time because they will see the change

  1. You: I have to take care of the kids/family: I’m the taxi driver, maid, and secretary for everyone else

Me: You can’t take care of everyone else if you don’t take care of yourself because you will crash and burn

  1. You: Exercise hurt: it seems like self inflicted pain

Me: This is the good hurt, that “hurts so good”

  1. You: I just don’t have time: 24 hours isn’t enough in a day

Me: 30 minutes leaves 23 ½ hours for the rest of the day

  1. You: There are a million other interests I would rather do with my time

Me: Watch Netflix while riding the Elliptical

  1. You: I have zero motivation: taking the first step isn’t going to happen today or anytime soon

Me: Hire a professional, take a class, be accountable to someone

  1. You: I have no energy: between work, school, and life, there’s no more fuel in the tank

Me: Exercise gives you more energy

  1. You: I’m too old: my body doesn’t move that way anymore and why try now

Me: Age is only a number and if my 79 year old clients can do burpees than so can you

  1. You: I hate doing it alone: gym partners have fallen off and our schedules never work

Me: A trainer will show up for you

  1. You: I have too many injuries: foot, ankle, knee, back, shoulder

Me: There are accommodations and modifications for every exercise

  1. You: I don’t know what/how to do anything: I’m clueless and just waste time

Me: Most machines are labeled with demonstrations or hire a trainer to help you

  1. You: The gym is intimidating/overwhelming: everyone else is so advanced

Me: Don’t compare yourself because everyone started somewhere

  1. You” It’s too late to start over: trying and failing gets old

Me: Failure is part of the journey

  1. You: My significant other doesn’t approve

Me: The right person brings out the best in you, so be sure they are on your team

  1. You: It will take forever to reach my goal: 100 pounds of weight loss will take years

Me: With the right diet and exercise program, your commitment will pay off

  1. You: I’m not going to change my eating so why exercise: diets are too hard

Me: Daily better choices and small changes add up to big results over time

  1. You: I travel too much: work and vacations will keep interrupting

Me: The world is your gym and body weight exercises can be done anywhere

  1. You: Next year….

Me: Your heart has an expiration date, the longer you wait the shorter the battery life will be

Habits take time to develop. We keep the habits in our lives that are comfortable and pleasurable. Exercise is sweat, it is awkward, it is effort involved. BUT it’s good for you. When you do something good for yourself, your BODY and mind will thank you. You may have no idea how good your BODY is meant to feel, and this is no opportunity you want to pass up. After all, you can’t BEAT a healthy heart.

Megan Johnson McCullough is a NASM Master Trainer & Instructor, AFAA Group Exercise Instructor, candidate for her Doctorate in Health & Human Performance, professional natural bodybuilder, she’s a Women’s Health Magazine Action Hero, and she owns a fitness studio in Oceanside, CA, called Every BODY’s Fit. Her mission is to help every BODY become the best version of themselves. Her pug, Steve Nash, is the mascot and her assistant at the studio. She is happily married and loves spreading her passion for health, fitness, and wellness through training and writing.

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