1. Health
Paige Waehner

Vote: What's the number one reason you quit exercise?

By December 3, 2012

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I met with a client once who described her experience with exercise like a game 'Red Light, Green Light.' If you don't know that game, it involves running like crazy when the 'it' person yells out "Green light!" And stopping, statue-like, when the 'it' person announces, "Red light!" If you're still moving? You're it.

In my client's case, she described getting a green light to exercise. For example, the kids would go back to school or the holidays would end or she would get back from a vacation and think, "Finally! I can get back to to my workouts." And that's what she would do...all the way up until the inevitable red light - Another string of holidays, a sinus infection, a visit from her mother, etc.

For her, there was no working around the red light to find a way to keep going, but more of the paralyzed statue-like behavior reminiscent of the game.

It was almost like that red light, no matter how minor it might be (she mentioned an emergency hair appointment as one of her red lights - which, admittedly, I kind of understand), sucked the motivation right out of her. Those red lights didn't seem to be so much the cause of her quitting exercise, but handy excuses to stop doing something she really didn't want to do in the first place: Workout. In fact, she admitted feeling relieved sometimes at her recurring shoulder injury or that surprise sinus infection that gave her a legitimate reason to stop exercising.

Of course, she's not alone. There are a number of reasons we avoid workouts, but for many of us, there's one thing that keeps coming up again and again without us even realizing it. Maybe we don't like the workouts we've tried or maybe we don't like the pain and soreness that comes from overdoing it. Maybe the workouts we've tried are boring or we haven't found a routine that fits in with a hectic schedule.

Thinking about your situation, are you a yo-yo exerciser and, if so, what's the main reason you stop exercising? What 'red light' keeps popping up for you again and again? Vote in this week's poll and tell us the number one reason you quit exercising.

December 3, 2012 at 4:48 am
(1) Dianna says:

My #1 reason I quit excercising is ’cause I’m just plain lazy.

December 3, 2012 at 8:57 am
(2) James says:

It’s tough to stay motivated… and i can’t get my wife interested to do it together.

December 3, 2012 at 9:09 am
(3) Jim says:

I live about 45 minutes from the nearest gym/fitness center and begrudge the time it takes to get there and back. An hour and a half I could use for productive work.

December 3, 2012 at 9:15 am
(4) vld says:

I work out regularly – and happily – until I feel like my fitness level and body are where I want them to be. Then, I start scaling back the intensity or frequency, trying for a maintenance stage, and next thing I know I’ve stopped working out entirely. Sometimes it takes several months, and getting back to the starting point, before I go back. Very frustrating.

December 3, 2012 at 11:58 am
(5) Moonsilver says:

Pain, plain and simple. I have a neck and a shoulder injury that just won’t let go. When they flare up, I quit and feel like it wasn’t worth the effort to exercise. Why do something intentionally that is hurting my body more than helping it?

December 3, 2012 at 12:26 pm
(6) Rosemary Westen says:

The day was too hot or too cold – I had errands to run – work to do around the house – I just coukdn’t find a rhythm -

December 3, 2012 at 2:23 pm
(7) Mike says:

I was highly active in the military for 25 years. I was an infantry soldier & airborne paratrooper (7.5 years) and physical education and recreation instructor (7.5 years – until they went to civilian alternate service delivery). I always worked out and engaged in muscular strength and endurance and cardio respiratory fitness training. I’ve lifted weights (morning), ran mid morning pt, distance swam (1 km during lunch hours), cycle to and from work each day and so on and so on. After the Phys Ed trade went to civilians I ended up doing an office job but continued to work out each morning or after work. I believe that going from such high activity to sitting at a desk had a detrimental effect on my body. I’ve had hip reserfacing surgery and I have arthritiis in my spine, cervical spine, both shoulders, and both hips. I have modified my workouts such as I don’t do anything impact any longer due to the hip surgery. I cycle (sometimes 60kms) but mostly around 25. I’ve had to stop the gym for financial reasons but when I hike I do chin ups off trees, push ups with my feet elevated on rocks, step ups on rocks. Nature has a lot to offer and I’m enjoying getting outdoors more. I snowshoe in the winter or just walk on well used trails in the woods near my home. Right now my motivation is low because of the transition between summer and winter. The blahs make it hard to stay motivated, but I’ll bet back out there soon. So basically I do experience lulls but I generally overcome them. I sometimes feel like I’m a weeble. Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down….lol.

December 4, 2012 at 4:58 am
(8) hank says:

I keep stopping because everything else in life is contrary to exercise. Exercise is a form of play, everything else isn’t.

December 10, 2012 at 8:46 pm
(9) retired2010 says:

I just lost the motivation

December 11, 2012 at 7:43 am
(10) Aprilsparrow says:

I don’t know what really works to loose weight and keep it off and be a healthy person so I try something for a week don’t trust the process to work and quit. I do this over and over it’s an endless cycle that keeps me up at night. Literally I wake up in the middle of the night wondering how I’m going to get this weight off.

December 12, 2012 at 9:31 pm
(11) Lynn says:

I never felt the strong need to comment as I do now. I’ve been exercising for around 5 years. I always looked forward to my workouts, never doing them to lose weight. This year I started working longer hours at work, and a very interesting thing happened. I lost my motivation. I guess it’s a mixture of being tired and bored of my workouts. If someone would’ve told me this would happen a year ago I would’ve laughed in their face. I still go to the gym, but only about once a week, which is very little for me. I really hope I don’t lose it completely. Any advice would be great!

December 17, 2012 at 1:57 pm
(12) Kendall says:

I can’t seem to find a schedule I can keep up with. I’d like to exercise consistently but no schedule seems to work for me. Do I enjoy exercise? No.

May 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm
(13) Ex says:

I once had a balanced life, I wrestled & body build at age 50 and trained in mind enhancements, memory & speed reading – a was full on physical & mental.
As of today only live in mind no exercises which was like 30 odd years ago – all it took to change my life was just a few seconds where my shoulder was gone, the guy was out to hurt me & did as of today I can barely move my arm – intantly loss my job, then under my living circumstance never was able to seek treatment, so as of today I still have vivid dreams wrestling with my mates, but when I awaken those dreams are dead & I fantasize about wrestling each day till I pass away.
I still speed-read & perform memorizing feats – I had no choice but to be force to live unbalanced, totally I can only live for 1 purpose all day-every day doing mind enhancements – unfortunately that was the only avenue – it’s was a damn weird choice – just lately I have nearly been dieing in my sleep so my passing is very soon to come – hopefully no 1 here ends up like me ): – (;

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