Have you recently joined the ranks of people who’ve given up their exercise program? Have you put away your jogging shoes, cancelled your gym membership or stopped wearing your activity tracker? What does it take to be successful in maintaining a physical activity program, and why do so many Baby Boomers and older adults give up on exercise?
The Numbers Are Disheartening
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, less than 21% of adults age 18 and over met the physical activity guidelines for both aerobic and strength-training activity in 2015 (150 minutes for moderate-to-vigorous exercise and at least two days of strength training per week). And a staggering 67% of people with gym memberships never use them.
The number one leisure activity of older adults in America is television watching, and the average adult in our country engages in sedentary activity (read: sits) for 9 – 10 hours per day.
Indeed, couch potatoes we’ve become!
Why Are We Doing So Poorly?
Here are three reasons I’ve observed that cause people to stop exercising.
1) You start for the wrong reasons.
I’ve discussed this before. If you start exercising to get in shape for a big upcoming event, you’ll probably quit after that date. If you start because your doctor or spouse wants you to, that won’t carry you through tough times. You get the picture. The key is to have a deep and enduring motivation to exercise, one that you can call upon to keep you going…forever.
2) You expect large weight loss.
I can’t tell you how many people get discouraged with exercise because they thought they’d lose a lot of weight, and didn’t. This is also a topic I’ve written about before. There are dozens of excellent health reasons, both physical and mental, to engage in physical activity, but weight loss is not one of them. Consider this: 30 minutes of most moderate activity burns about 150 calories…a 16-oz frapuccino has 240+ calories (depending on the flavor). My advice: lose weight in the kitchen, gain health in the gym or trails.
3) You think you know what you’re doing.
I hate to tell you, but you probably don’t. People waste their time with weights that are too light, use exercise machines incorrectly or think that walking is the only exercise they have to do (a big mistakes for folks aged 50+, because we need to replace lost muscles with strength training to maintain self-sufficiency). Other folks eat poorly and think they can make up their deficiencies with a handful of supplements.
Do yourself a favor–invest in yourself and pay for some time with a trainer or Registered Dietitian to get started on the right foot and set realistic goals. Then you can be the proud exception–one who starts an exercise program for the right reason, with the right expectations and the right advice. And who succeeds in the long run!
Want to be successful with your exercise program?
Reach out to me with my FREE CALL. I promise to give you a few tips and things to look at immediately, plus we can discuss if any of my programs or classes are a good fit.
If you’d like to schedule that call with me, just CLICK THIS LINK, and let me know in the message that you would like a 1-on-1 call with me right away and I will be in touch to schedule that – oh, and leave me your phone number in there too since email is not as reliable as it used to be! Thanks.