I Don't Want To Exercise

I've often wondered why is it that people don't want to exercise? There is a plethora of information out there telling us why we should exercise and the benefits of exercise. Yet despite all this information many still refuse to do any form of exercise. I suppose if you pointed out to them that they already do some form of exercise - walking or running to catch the bus/train, carrying groceries to/from the car - they would scoff at you and say that's not exercise!

So what is it about exercise that makes people to not want to exercise?

The first think that comes to mind is that exercise puts them out of their comfort zone and closely followed is the desire to avoid the discomfort that comes with exercising. People will often say how they want to get fit and healthy but then add - "but I don't have time!" Contradiction??

Lets be honest, when we experience something for the first time, that experience outweighs future rewards - we will either like or dislike that experience. This means that it is hard to do something that is uncomfortable, even if it has rewards later on.

Fact - exercise is uncomfortable, uncomfortable relative to our "typical reality." Maybe exercise isn't too uncomfortable - maybe as a result of our first world pampering our everyday lives have become too comfortable!

So what discomforts are people using to blame exercise and hence use as reasoning for not exercising? I myself may be guilty of mentioning one or two. Here's a list of some but not necessarily all.

  • I hate sweating
  • I hate being too hot/too cold
  • I hate being out of breath
  • I hate it when my hair gets messed up
  • I hate sore muscles
  • I hate blisters and calluses (who doesn't??)
  • I hate getting wet in the rain
  • I hate getting out of bed when it's dark and cold
  • I hate going out at night when it's dark and cold
  • I hate getting dirty
  • I hate working out in front of people at the gym

People who exercise, myself included, experience all these discomforts regularly, but we still push through it because what was initially uncomfortable becomes less noticeable when you experience the discomfort over and over again. I challenge you to change your thoughts on discomfort and challenge you to to confront the discomfort(s) preventing you from exercising, and achieve a break through on exercise discomfort.

  • Go for a walk or run in the rain
  • Get sweaty
  • Get snowed on
  • Get out of breath
  • Get dirty

Waiting for you at the end of your exercising discomfort will be a huge sense of achievement, a huge step in moving forward to a fitter, healthier you - plus a hot shower, warm clothes, a warm home and a snuggly bed.

Your discomforts will always be there - step outside of them once in a while to Change-Challenge-Achieve. You'll find it's pretty dam good after all.

Martin McKone