Good Question: Why Is Working Out So Much Work?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Many people are making the effort to exercise in 2012. Gyms see a 25 percent spike in memberships this time of year.

But more than half of us who resolve to bust our butts in the new year start sitting on them after just a few months. Why is working out so much work?

Good Question.

There is nothing quite like the feeling when it’s over, but just getting here can be the most work of all. One man lifting weights at Anytime Fitness in Stillwater Wednesday night said even as someone who has always worked out most of his life, it’s still a struggle.

“I don’t enjoy working out but I enjoy how I feel after I’m done working out,” he said.

Brad Taylor is a franchise coach for Anytime Fitness chains.  We asked him why working out is so much work.

“I think the main reason is the intimidation factor,” Taylor said.

Taylor said many people think they have to be fit first just to go to a gym, and that if they skip a few days it’s all of a sudden all over.

Rebecca DeRossett is a psychotherapist in Stillwater. She contributed to a book called “Working Out Sucks” by Chuck Runyon, the CEO and Co-Founder of Anytime Fitness.

“Working out is hard because it’s new behavior for many people, and anything new is difficult because we’re creatures of habit and our brain is used to doing the same thing over and over again. If we want to change we have to change how our brain looks at things,” DeRossett said.

One message of the provocative new book points out the alternatives to not working out like heart disease, depression and obesity are much worse.

“If I want to change any behavior I’m used to doing, I think it sucks because I have to get up every day and change myself to look at things differently,” DeRossett said.

She offers three tips to changing behavior:

1. Have a clear vision of what your goal looks like.

2. Have a certain set of skills.  It’s not about willpower but skill power.

3. Find a good support system to keep you on track.

Taylor said it comes down to stopping the excuses and just doing something, any movement matters.  Even 90 minutes a week can make a difference.

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