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.

More from Liz Collin
  • Billy

    What a stupid question, ” why is working out zoo much work?” Dumbest question I have ever heard.

  • Journeyone

    The question should have said “why don’t people work out?” Or ‘why do people quit working out routines?”

  • Sue

    I hate working out, but I do it. Just like how I hate going to work, but I do it. It’s just something you have to do. It’s part of being an adult. So, stop whining.

  • loveworkouts

    billy I agree it wouldn’t be called a workout if it wasn’t work. I love to work out, I love the feeling I get when I am done, I feel that the hr I put into my workout is well worth it and I believe I am staying healthy by putting in the time and effort of a workout. If you aren’t sweating after a workout you haven’t put full effort into it, that is just my opinion. I have never understood why someone would sign up for a gym membership if they aren’t going to stick with it, talk about wasting money

    • tan pup

      Totally agree, except sometimes you can’t get to the gym. With all the committments and demands put on people, it can be difficult. I llike being outside but with a winter like last year, almost impossible. Love to CC ski but trails not groomed, like to walk sidewalks icy etc. However, this year – Yippee on the weather and I have gotten out. Hate gyms cuse of the lack of low impact stuff – and machines are esigned for larg people AKA men. Plus sometimes working out is just plain boring – get a friend and then you can stick with it.

      • loveworkouts

        I don’t accept that excuse when people say they don’t have time, I have 5 children who are all in various activities and work full time, I get up at 5 every weekday morning to hit the gym and depending on my schedule for the day, I get up earlier if I want to throw a run in there. I would rather run outside than inside as well so when the weather is nice I make it a priority to go for a run and still utilize my gym. I guess what I was saying is that if you’re not committed to going to the gym why sign up there are things you can do at home to get in or stay in shape or you could just buy some inexpensive equipment and use it at home.

        • Billy

          Your very right, I don’t except that excuse for a second.

      • Richard Cheese

        Thanks “tan pup” now I’ve got all the reasons I need to stop going to the gym.

  • Richard

    You don’t have to have a gym, special equipment or any of the rest. Just close your eyes and remember how much fun it was to run around and play when you were a child. You did it all day, every day. AND YOU LOVED IT! Odds are, you still do. So instead of thinking of “working out” (jeez that’s a stupid, self-defeating phrase – “working” out), just go out and play. Run until you want to stop, skip a rope, dance, ride a bike and do it like you did when you were a kid. AND ENJOY IT AGAIN! You don’t have to do it for ‘an hour’, or ‘two hours’; or even on a schedule. Just do it when you have a chance. And do it only until you find you have done it long enough for that day. As long as you did something, YOU WON!!! You will be amazed that tomorrow it will become a little easier; and the next day, even easier the next day. Just don’t push yourself. You will know when to stop for the moment. You will find you will be doing all those things because YOU ENJOY THEM, not because you have to “work out’. Play a game of kick ball, or better yet, come join us for Pickleball. Just remember what you enjoyed playing as a child and DO THAT. I guarantee you, YOU WILL ENJOY GETTING BACK IN SHAPE!

  • DoinTheDishes

    The nice ripped gentleman at the start and again at the end of the clip is my boss. He is a goofball.

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