Brace yourself. Nearly 50 percent of people who begin an exercise program drop out within the first six months, according to Rod K. Dishman, Ph.D., director of the Exercise Psychology Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Georgia.
The question is, “Why?” What is it about sticking with a fitness routine that causes so many people abandon it?
Most people don’t want health and fitness badly enough. It is a simple fact of human psychology that if we want something badly enough, we’ll do everything we can to get it.
Your challenge is to find out what motivates you to get serious about fitness and stick with it.
Unlock your motivation
Bryan Reece was told by his doctors that he was minutes away from a heart attack. So Bryan decided to fight back. Even though he had not been in a gym in 30 years, he turned his life around and eventually became a finisher in the Arizona Ironman competition. You can read his story in the book, “You Are an Ironman: How Six Weekend Warriors Chased Their Dream of Finishing the World’s Toughest Triathlon,” by Jacques Steinberg.
You do not have to be part of that 50 percent of people who quit. You can stay committed and finish strong. It is all about finding what motivates you personally.
Here are some possible motivators:
- Do it for your health. Consistent exercise and healthy eating are the two very best things you can do for your health. You will develop a strong, healthy heart, reduce your chances of many cancers, prevent diabetes, keep a sharp mind and resist dementia, and avoid many of the common ailments that come with aging. It is possible to age without decay, and the key to this is exercise and eating well.
- Do it to look better.