5 reasons you don’t stick to an exercise routine
5 Reasons you don’t stick to an exercise routine
Exercise every day – most people say they want to do it but they don’t actually do it. You own the most sophisticated machine ever built – the human body – do you fail to give it the routine maintenance it needs for optimal performance? Here are some of the most common reasons why:
- Time — How do you spend your time? Here’s an awesome post by Tim Urban that will really get you thinking about how you spend your time every day. According to the American Time Use Survey the average American adult watches 2.8 hours of television – per day! So most people probably have the time to exercise. Also, you may be subconsciously invoking this excuse when you see someone who has the body you want and think to yourself “they probably spend three hours a day at the gym”. Both the fitness industry and the medical profession have you convinced that you have to commit a huge chunk of time every day in order to make any difference at all. That’s not true. In fact, tiny changes in your daily routine can have a huge cumulative effect on your fitness level.
- Boredom — Does working out feel like a second job? Schlepping to the gym every day and pumping the elliptical is ridiculously dull. You probably spend more energy devising strategies and playlists to distract yourself than you do exercising. You only have one life – about 30,000 days long – how do you spend it? Why spend a part of each one of those days going to a place you can’t stand to do something you hate? That’s perfectly logical. The obvious answer to this conundrum is either to learn to love exercise or figure out a more efficient way to achieve your goals so you don’t waste a huge chunk of your life doing something you hate.
- Overwhelm — Between the millions of workout videos, blogs and podcasts, the books and magazines, the different styles of gym, how can you possibly decide? The simple answer to this is that if you did no exercise at all yesterday, then anything you do today, even 5 minutes, will be an improvement. Make that tiny improvement right now.
- Disappointing Results — You’re doing the cardio and strength training your doctor and trainer recommend, but you’re unhappy with the results you see in the mirror. That’s because cardio is designed mainly to train your heart muscle and increase cardiopulmonary reserve (great if you’re training to be an olympic swimmer), and strength training is mainly focussed on bulking up peripheral muscles (great if you want to compete in a bodybuilding show). So be honest with yourself about the results you want – it’s not really a number on a scale or to be “healthier”. Is it really just about not dying, or do you really want to enjoy living? Do you secretly desire to see a hot body in the mirror? Fear of admitting what you really want is holding you back. You can have the body you love, but first you have to say it out loud – “I want a hot body”. There are lots of ways to get there but the most efficient way to get that lean, toned, defined look from all angles is to use your brain & scientific knowledge to change your metabolism.
- Fear — Have you been told your whole life that your “body type” is chunky or husky or zoftig or rotund or full-figured or big-boned or mesomorphic or doughy or stocky?…. This false belief that your body type is your destiny can leave you terrified that no matter what you do you can’t change it. News flash – there is only one body type – HUMAN!. Your body type is human and you absolutely CAN change its shape. All you need is a simple step-by-step system and the willingness to start today.
Wrong Body Type? – Think Again
“Body type” is a myth based on a now completely debunked scientific theory that emerged after World War II as part of the Eugenics movement of the 20th century (Eugenics was the theory used to justify Nazi atrocities in the name of breeding a “master race”). The concept of body type masqueraded as science under the term “somatotyping” and was championed by W.H. Sheldon, a psychology professor at Columbia whose theory held that measurements of a person’s body could be used to accurately predict their intelligence, personality, moral worth and probable future achievement. The most disturbing fact about this embarrassment to science in general and to the Ivy League in particular (Ivy League and sister schools, until 1968, took nude photos of entering freshmen, calling them “posture photos”) is that much of its mythology persists today. You can still find the stereotypes in pop culture of the fat, jolly endomorph, the tense, high-strung, skinny ectomorph or the buff, narcissistic mesomorph.
One of the most damaging aspects of the persistence of this pseudoscientific myth is that it still has people convinced that their body type is their destiny and there is nothing they can do to change it. This attitude can be seen on websites for weight loss or workouts that encourage consumers to take a test to figure out which body type they have. But what if you want to change your body type? Is it possible? The answer is yes – you simply have to decide what you want to change, obtain a little bit of knowledge, devise a strategy, and implement a system.
Of course it is true that all bodies are different, and anyone can come up with a set of measurements, but classifying them into dogmatic, either/or “types” with scientific-sounding names (or fruit names like banana, pear, apple etc.) is a canard. It creates the false impression that there is a natural, bright, clear dividing line between body types that cannot be crossed – there isn’t. Spot fat reduction is not possible without surgery (sorry – you can’t lose belly fat by doing sit-ups, or butt fat by doing squats), but the good news is that total body fat reduction is actually not as hard as you think. Furthermore, the exact same habits you build into your daily routine to burn fat can be used to reshape muscles. Sculpting lean, toned muscle and reducing the bulk of the fat layer over the muscles can dramatically change the shape of your body. You can even change your posture and the curve of your spine, to further your goal towards having a body shape that you love.
The human body, each and every one, is, by orders of magnitude, the most miraculous machine ever created. There are far too many people walking around who are willing to accept living their entire life not loving, not even liking, the one-and-only unique version of this miracle machine they’ve been bestowed with, simply because of the remnants of a defunct, pseudo-scientific, nonsensical theory that claims physique equals destiny. Your body type is not your destiny. You can change it. Don’t be bamboozled by fake science and false reasoning to convince yourself that you’ll fail to achieve your fitness goals before you even start.