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.