I’ve noticed people making all sorts of excuses not to exercise.
And it’s not because there is no evidence that exercise helps us live longer and better.
Despite the plethora of evidence, less than 25% of people exercise.
Why is that?
After observing the behaviors of thousands of people at my clinic and in my personal life during the last fifteen years or so, I think I have some answers.
Top 5 Reason’s Men Don’t Exercise and What to Do About it
- When “this happens” then I will exercise. I know someone who has purchased every exercise gadget imaginable to exercise at his home. All the fitness books are appropriately lined up on his bookshelf, pull-up bar ready to go, push up bar – everything he needs. He says, “once I get all the equipment and books I need, then I’ll get started.” It’s been three years and he still hasn’t gotten started. There’s no perfect scenario to get going. The time is now. All you need to do is go.
- Fear of looking weak. Men hate vulnerable situations. The discomfort of going to a gym and pushing weight next to a muscle head lifting 400 pounds can be paralyzing. Same with not having the developed stamina to go for a run and deal with the unconformability of gassing out. Fight your vulnerabilities.
In fact, I’d argue that your best life will only occur with you facing your discomforts instead of shying away from them.
Of course, I’m not saying to jump out of a plane without a parachute. That wouldn’t be smart and extremely painful (or deadly). I am saying the more you challenge yourself and get out of your comfort the better you will live. Resist comparing yourself to others and focus on achieving your personal best.
I consider myself a physically strong guy – I can deadlift 350 pounds, bench press 250 pounds, etc. And still, when I go train at a gym, I’m often one of the weakest there. That’s OK. I am happy with my mental and physical gains.
- I’m not the physical type. I have noticed that some people are more cerebral than physical. These are your philosophers, computer geeks, scientists, etc. People in this category were likely a bit nerdy in school. They didn’t play many sports growing up and probably felt awkward doing so. One personality type does not have to exclude the other. While some people are apparently more physical and athletic than others, we all need to be both. Find a particular physical activity you enjoy and do it frequently.
- I’m too busy. This is probably the number one excuse. And the biggest BS one of them all. The reality is we all have time for what we value. Once exercising is considered important in one’s life, then doing it is planned for until it becomes a habit. Schedule it in your calendar as if it’s a meeting with the most important person in for your business. Make it so that your life depends on it. Because it does.
- Avoiding physical pain. Some people are trying to prevent pain from soreness, gasping for air on a run or joint pain that sometimes come after working out. Others don’t exercise for fear of getting hurt. Here’s the deal; you can’t live your life in fear. Of course, you can hurt when trying new physical activities. Injuries often occur when one is simply walking down the street too. However, you can perfect the technique of a particular exercise, don’t do too much too soon and reduce the risk of injury. Also, you are going to experience pain regardless if you opt out of exercising. In fact, the more sedentary you are, the more pain you’ll experience. So, might as well do something that will keep you optimally functional and help you live longer. Make sense?
Lastly, let me say this;
There is no perfect way you should feel before you get going. Frankly, there are many days I’m not up for training. Do it anyway. You don’t always have to be in the best mood to get a workout in. If you are tired from work, life, etc, go for 10 – 15 minutes and get it in. If the feeling of exhaustion is overbearing, then that’s the only time you rest and not exercise. Know the difference between being tired vs. being exhausted.
If you are starting from zero, the most crucial element of exercising is frequency. In other words, focus less on intensity and duration and more on going out and exercising consistently. Don’t stop. Just go for a 10-minute brisk walk every day. Or to your gym, you pay or it anyway. Make it a habit of moving your body consistently.
Yes, if you are beyond starting point zero, there’s a prescribed dose on intensity and duration that is important. But even the best exercise regimen only works when you are consistently doing it. The prescriptive dose for exercising is for a different blog post on a different day.
Just do it. – Nike (Best three-word slogan ever)