Let’s be honest for a second, some of us hate exercising. I’m here to tell you that’s OK! If you fall into the group who likes to exercise, then, CONGRATS! It’s far easier for you to stick with your training than most. But, for the rest of us who don’t like training, maybe, we should ask ourselves, “Why do I hate training?” OK, maybe ‘hate’ is a strong word but you would rather go home after a long day at work and watch some TV and order in food from the restaurant down the street. Or, you like to sleep in and don’t feel like getting up at 5am to train and be done with it. It doesn’t matter the reason but the ‘why I don’t like training’ is still not fully answered.
At first glance the answer seems quite simple: people like to do what feels good. Eating birthday cake feels good. Driving a really nice car feels good. For some of us, working out feels good. So, why do most of us not like exercising? Study after study has shown physical exercise improves our mood. We’re happier, more energetic, we can handle life’s stresses better, we enjoy a better quality of life, and more. So, with all this info, why do most people still not like exercising? I feel the answer lies in what we’re good at doing. Here me out….
Most of us have no problem going for a walk. If you had no choice and had the option of lifting heavy weights for an hour or go for a casual 2-mile walk most people would say, “Hand me my sneakers and an iPod.” Why? Walking comes naturally to us (unless born with a defect or have had a traumatic accident). What comes easy, we like and what comes challenging we hate. Personally, I hate golf. I say I don’t like it because I think it’s a stupid sport (watch Robin Williams standup on the history of golf and you’ll see why and probably laugh your butt off!). Truth be told, I hate golf because I suck at it. If it came naturally I would probably love it! This same attitude applies towards training. Just visit a “globo gym” around 5:30pm and you’ll see what I mean.
Have you ever noticed most women in a “globo gym” get on the treadmills while most men are lifting weights? People like what they’re familiar with and will do that instead of trying something new or more difficult. Ever notice how most guys lifting weights love bench press and dumbbell curls? It’s because those movements are simple and easy to focus on the muscles they want to enlarge. However, squats are heavily avoided (pun intended) because most guys don’t know how to squat well and squatting is difficult. For women who lift, they love lower body exercises such as squats and deadlifts. Their mechanics tend to be better for squats and they love the way it helps shape the derriere (this works for men too but we’re not as obsessed with having nice butts, it’s all about the GUNS! –> watch any “BroScience” episode and you’ll see).
How about sprinting versus jogging? Sprinting takes less time but more effort. Jogging takes more time but less effort. So, why do some prefer one to the other? It could be a simple measure of genetics. Those who like sprinting tend to have more Type II muscle fibers (fast twitch), which are great for explosive, powerful movements. Individual’s who like jogging tend to have more Type I muscle fibers (slow twitch), which enables them to run at a comfortable pace for a greater period of time compared to a sprint.
Don’t forget yoga! Women love yoga while most men detest it. Why? Women tend to be more flexible than men. Yoga, if you’ve been living under a rock, requires a great amount of stretching and holding positions that are very difficult if you’re stiff. On the other hand, men drift towards high intensity workouts. Most HIT workouts don’t require a great range of motion but require a decent amount of strength. Men thrive on strength activities because it comes more naturally, being flexible doesn’t.
So, you have a basis for why you don’t like exercising or why you prefer one method to another. For those of you who don’t like exercising, get off your butt and go for a walk. Seriously. It’s just a walk. Who knows? Maybe you’ll starting jogging because you want your walk to end sooner. Or, you’ll start doing short sprints on the sidewalk from telephone pole to telephone pole. Maybe you’ll drop down and do some pushups or some air squats. The only way to know what you’ll like is to start doing it. Last time I checked sitting on our butts all day long doesn’t make anyone healthier. Just. Start. Walking. It’s the easiest thing you can do.
STAY FIT MY FRIENDS!