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  • Writer's pictureJackie

Still Not Exercising?

5 More Reasons We Quit & How to Get Going Again

(Part 2)

Just about every single exerciser quits their routine at some point in life, even if just for a few weeks. Working out regularly requires a lot of dedication—so kudos to you if you're one of the fighters who works to make their workouts happen regularly! If you've backed out, it helps to first stop beating yourself up! And then to understand why. In the last post, "Did You Quit Exercising?" we looked at six very common reasons this happens. But no surprise, there are many more! Here are five additional reasons people stop working out. Does one of these hit the mark for you? Maybe seeing your obstacle acknowledged here will spur you back into the game. Here's to gettin' your sweat back on!

We find it boring.

Okay, I admit that, even as someone who loves exercise & has about four decades of it under my midlife belt, it does sometimes get dull. It will for everybody at times, so if you’re just starting, plan for this. Have a backup strategy. You may need distraction in the form of new music or a movie you save for just such an occasion. You may need to increase focus by learning a new workout. (I did this over the winter with an inexpensive rebounder, aka mini trampoline.) To be effective, exercise needs to be repeated A LOT. Don’t expect to be thrilled every time, but do find a way to keep going.

We’re way too tired.

Oh, my goodness, if you’re truly always tired, you’re not alone. Much of the population is right there with you. According to the CDC, one in three American adults sleeps less than seven hours a night. Here are two things to seriously consider: 1) If lack of sleep hinders your quality of life to the point where you can’t take a brisk 30-minute walk, seriously consider a sleep overhaul before re-engaging in exercise; our bodies NEED sleep to function & recover properly. (Check out the post “Seeking Sleep? 10 Do's & Don'ts” for more info on how to start sleeping better.) And 2) Exercise can actually promote better sleep, so if you’re just a little out of whack, you might use it to nudge sleep patterns back into alignment.

We don’t understand the full plethora of benefits.

There are so many exercise-related benefits that they can fill endless posts. (For a pretty thorough overview, visit this CDC link.) Connected with our aforementioned proclivity to obsess on weight loss, we often place SO much focus on yearning for workouts to our alter appearance that the real, miraculous benefits become overshadowed. When we stop exercising, it can be easy to forget that while we were, we had more stamina, lower blood pressure and blood sugar, sounder sleep, a more optimistic mood, the ability to do any daily activity without thinking twice about it, or any of the many perks an active life bestows.

We want to exercise but keep pushing it off to tomorrow.

Of course, it’s natural to dodge workouts now and then. In fact, we SHOULD take a breather sometimes, even a full week off on occasion. Unfortunately, if unplanned or longer than this, it becomes exponentially tougher to jump back in. Think about Sisyphus rolling that boulder: It takes a ton of effort to get it going, but at one point, the rock will roll downhill pretty much automatically. So, if you’re procrastinating, just realize, yes, the initial effort could present a challenge (and maybe even some curse words, if you’re so inclined), but habits eventually take on a little life of their own. The best part—Unlike Sisyphus, you won’t have to keep going back uphill. Uhmmmm, unless you procrastinate again.

We don’t want to have to exercise “forever.”

Here’s the thing, though—If we don’t exercise regularly, at some point down the road, we may not be able to! Again because our bodies respond to the demands we place on them during workouts, we improve myriad factors like bone density, muscle mass, flexibility, aerobic endurance, posture, coordination, and countless others, not to mention lowering risk of chronic health conditions and extending health span. So, it’s true that, though we don’t really want to, we do need to exercise “forever.” And remember, none of us is actually here forever. So, we need to ask, what quality of life would we like to experience while we ARE?

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels


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