Many good-intentioned people don’t ever start an exercise program because of negative misconceptions they have heard from others. But once these errors of understanding are cleared up, there are many opportunities to begin a new, exciting and healthy exercise program. This article will point out and clear up the top 5 reasons why people don’t exercise.
1. Failure to set meaningful goals. If you start an exercise program without any clear goal in mind, it’s like jumping in your car and driving around in circles. Someone once said it this way: “If you don’t know where you are going – you are already there.”
What a clearly defined goal will do is help keep you focused and assist you in staying motivated. Goals shouldn’t be so hard that you lose interest. Keep them simple and step by step. What I mean by this is have a time frame of maybe 12 weeks. Map out on paper what small increments you want to achieve each week. If it is tied into weight loss, maybe losing 1/2 pound each week would be a great motivator. Have something down on paper that will challenge you each week and allow you to feel like you are progressing.
2. No Pain – No Gain. Don’t just dismiss your pain. It is your own body’s method of alerting you that something might be wrong. Don’t get all worried about a little pain when you start an exercise program. Your muscles will feel sore – that’s normal. Just listen to what your body is telling you. And don’t be so gung-ho and go running 8 or 10 miles, when you haven’t even gotten comfortable with running one mile yet.
Start off slow and add to your difficulty each week. A general rule-of-thumb is to increase your exercise program about 10% per week. Let’s say you are riding a bike 3 miles x 4 times a week. The next week don’t go off and ride a 25 miler. Instead increase your rides to about 3.5 miles x 4 times/week.
By being smart and building your exercise program steadily, over time, you will be amazed at how much you can do, and how great you will feel. And the real benefit of a goal driven exercise program is you will be much more immune to sickness and disease.
3. Sacrificing Quality for Quantity. Let’s say you have been lifting weights for a few weeks. You are now ready to increase the reps of a certain exercise that you like. Here’s something different to try. Instead of struggling to do a few more reps each time, why not decrease the number of reps in a set, and then increase the number of sets.
Here’s another strategy: back off to only about 1/2 of your regular reps and then add a couple more sets. YOu will feel less tired and still get the muscle training and gain that your are working for.
4. Weight Training Makes Women Bulky. Weight conditioning for women does many wonderful things for them. Like it will strengthen and tone her muscles, increase metabolism and also burn fat. This doesn’t really build mass. One viewpoint is that since women don’t produce testosterone the way men do, they can’t produce the muscle mass as men many times do.
5. Over-Emphasizing Your Strengths. Learn to concentrate your exercise program on your whole body – your whole person. If there is a part of your body that is weaker than other parts – concentrate on building strength in the weaker area – at least one day per week. As your whole body gets more and more in balance, you will feel even better.
There are many great books that you can tap into for more information and inspiration. I recently dug out of my bookshelf an old paperback that I hadn’t looked at in years – Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s Aerobics. The information he shares is still very timely – and priceless. I love the stories he shares of how people’s lives were totally turned around – by developing their own exercise program – and then sticking with it.