Why You Don’t Like Working Out, And How to Improve Exercise Motivation
Why you hate it: It’s boring.
Solution: For some people, there’s nothing worse than running. Others hate swimming. And still others would rather get a root canal than lift weights at the gym. That’s why it’s important to try a variety of exercise styles to find what most appeals to you. There are tons of different types of workouts that appeal to all types of people. My guess is that if you think exercise is boring, you just haven’t found something you like. Try something new.
I can help you find interesting ways to get moving, or you can head to Beachbody On Demand for a selection of more than 40 different workout programs for all fitness levels and cover everything from weightlifting to yoga. Check out this guide to get an overview of the most popular options.
Why you hate it: It’s not fun to workout alone.
Solution: A good workout buddy can boost your enjoyment, and studies show that it can even encourage you to exercise more often. When it comes to working out, being accountable to another person can also go a long way towards keeping you on track with your schedule.
Working out in a group can multiply the benefits — especially when it comes to exercise enjoyment. Some have found great success with a group at the gym or in virtual/ online groups. Conversely, working out alone CAN be fun and very rewarding if you have a personally compelling reason WHY you are working out. When your mission is greater than your fears & excuses, you will mysteriously find joy in the process – even when you are doing it alone.
Why you hate it: It’s exhausting.
Solution: When you get home from a long day at work, all you want to do is plant your butt on the couch; trying to summon enough energy to exercise is the last thing on your mind. But research shows that physical activity can increase energy levels rather than sap them. Working out could be just what you need to have a productive end to your day.
But if you just can’t pick yourself up in the evening, pick a time of day to work out when you’re typically more energized, and when you can work out consistently. That last part is key. As the saying goes “the best time to work out is the time when you will work out.”
Why you hate it: You’re afraid you’re going to fail.
Solution: Sometimes it feels easier to avoid a task altogether than to risk falling short of your goal. If you never start trying to lose weight, then you can’t fail at it, right?
This is why Baby Steps are key: They help you work towards something you can actually achieve. “It’s important to set small, reasonable goals for yourself,” Dr. Leo Marvin says. Acknowledging your success can be a huge step forward in making the workout plan more enjoyable. When you hit a goal, celebrate it and set the next baby step.
Truthfully, the only way to fail on your healthy living journey is to never start, or to give up. This is a journey – filled with ups and downs, progress and setbacks. Embrace the journey and press on. Your future self will thank you for conquering your fear.
Why you hate it: You don’t like getting sweaty.
Solution: Unfortunately, in order to lose weight or gain strength, you’ll need to put in some hard work and get sweaty at some point. To avoid having to repeat your ‘get ready for work routine’, time your intense workouts to the beginning or end of your day.
Fortunately, you don’t have to subscribe to a gut-busting, sweat-soaked workout every single day. There are low-impact and low-intensity exercises that can give you a decent calorie burn without sweating buckets. Try activities like yoga or walking. Research suggests that you can gain major health benefits from a simple 30-minute walking routine. It’s enough to get your heart rate up, but won’t leave you soaked and smelly.
Why you hate it: It takes up too much time.
Solution: Whether you have a demanding job, no childcare, or both, it can be a challenge to find time to exercise. This is the most common excuse I hear for why people don’t exercise. To get over this hurdle, start small, and make exercise a non-negotiable must-do. Schedule it like you would a recurring business meeting. Start treating exercise like a key part of your day instead of a perpetual afterthought.
Break up your workout into short intervals throughout the day if you aren’t able to find a time to get everything done at once. I shared some excellent body weight workouts you can do anywhere anytime that really work. Try “habit stacking.” Simply add a few minutes of exercise on top of something else you already do every day, like doing some push-ups after you brush your teeth. You don’t have to work out for very long to notice a benefit (research shows that even a few minutes of intense exercise per week can improve cardiovascular fitness), but you do have to be consistent.
Why you hate it: You can’t afford or don’t want to pay for a gym membership
Solution: Access to workout facilities and equipment can play a major role in sticking with a workout routine. So why add extra obstacles like a gym membership or tons of gear into the mix when they’re not necessary? Angie and I exercise in our living room with minimal equipment. Though we have different expressions after our workouts, it sure beats going to the gym! With Beachbody On Demand‘s extensive exercise library, which includes more than 600 fat-blasting workouts that can be done in a six foot-by-six foot area — we never get bored, and don’t have to leave home. Not only does working out at home save you the money of a gym membership, but it also lets you exercise on your own time.
Why you hate it: It’s embarrassing to work out in front of other people.
Solution: Exercise is supposed to relieve stress, not contribute to it. If you make yourself work out in an environment where you feel judged, it’s likely you won’t stick with it. This is a big reason why at-home workouts are so appealing. Being able to exercise in the privacy of your own living room removes the fear of being judged by others. It also allows you to slow down and learn new exercises at your own pace, instead of feeling pressured to do it right the first time.
Why you hate it: You’re really out of shape.
Solution: The first few days or weeks of a new exercise program are often the hardest. Even when you do muster the energy to work out, new moves often leave you feeling tired and sore in places you didn’t even know existed. To avoid this, take steps to prevent muscle soreness so you don’t get discouraged. Start slowly, and gradually increase your effort and intensity based on how you feel after each successive workout.
What you eat after working out can also optimize your recovery and help prevent soreness. Beachbody Performance Recover is made with 20 grams of protein to aid muscle repair and growth, and it contains pomegranate extract, which has been shown to reduce muscle soreness.
Additionally, listen to your body and schedule rest and recovery days when needed. Getting enough sleep, stretching, and eating well is extremely important. Try not to work the same muscle groups really hard on consecutive days.
Why you hate it: It’s all just too overwhelming.
Solution: The sheer volume of fitness advice in the world can be intimidating. That’s why it’s vital to not overcomplicate the process of getting started. Keep it simple: Think about what sounds like fun and really go for it. Just DO something. Yoda says, “Do or don’t do, there is no try.” Exercising is still work. Results take time and effort, so don’t give up when it gets difficult. Make the commitment to yourself to get on the healthy living train and stay there. One baby step at a time. Be stronger than your excuses. You can do this!
Special thanks to Mackenzie Lobby Havey and the Team Beachbody blog for doing the heavy lifting on this article!