Why Most people Quit Exercising
Every day, thousands of people across America decide they're going to lose weight. They've reached a point in their life where they decide they're simply fed up with being overweight, and they're finally going to do something about it. They start eating less, and the food they choose to eat is healthier than the stuff they've been living on for years. Or they send for some workout tapes they've seen on the internet, or advertised on late night TV infomercials. They join a health and fitness club or a workout gym. They buy a weight set. They buy a pedometer and some walking shoes and head for the sidewalks. They're pumped!
Things go well, for a while; as they have started walking every day, or they're hitting the fitness club every night, and they're cutting back on desserts, soda pop, and junk food. After a few weeks or months, they've made definite progress, and yet, if you check in with them a year later, the sad truth is that many of them will have given up. They've abandoned their new healthy lifestyle and reverted to their old bad habits. This is tragic! It also raises the question of why this experience is so common.
Talk to a few people who've been through this, and you'll hear a wide variety of reasons as to why they fell off the wagon. They got sick of eating rabbit food. They missed their soft drinks and thought one or two a day wouldn't hurt. They had a minor injury, which caused them to lay off exercise for a few weeks, and just never got back in the groove. They hit a plateau and couldn't seem to get unstuck and make any more progress. And in their hearts, they truly believe that's why they quit.
But these aren't the real reasons they quit. Those are the secondary causes. The reason they quit exercising and workout was due to loss of motivation. When they started, they were highly motivated. They were sick and tired of being fat, and by golly, they were going to change their lives no matter what. And that initial oomph kept them going for a few weeks or months. But as the weeks and months go by; the inevitable problems, challenges, and setbacks arrive wasn't enough to keep them going.
What's the secret to staying motivated? There isn't any single answer that works for everyone. Some people fight it by having a weight loss partner, Gym Coach and they encourage, motivate and challenge each other to keep going. Some tape a picture of themselves at their highest weigh on their fridge, computer monitor, or bathroom mirror. Some use motivational audio and written affirmations to keep them on track. Others read a steady diet of books and magazines related to weight loss, exercises, and health. Some go online for edification and encouragement. Many use rewards for themselves, both large and small, such as buying something nice when they reach a certain goal. Others change their workout routines or environments on a regular basis to prevent boredom.
Of course, many people who are successful at losing weight and exercising use more than one of these strategies. If you're planning on exercising, or you've been doing it for a while already, you need to be aware that loss of motivation is your #1 enemy and have a plan laid out ahead of time to deal with it. Find something that has worked for you in the past when it comes to reaching your goals, or use one of the suggestions above, or think completely outside the box. Whatever you do, don't lose your motivation and your chance at a healthier, happier life.
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