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Avoid Giving Up


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Sticking to an exercise program can sometimes be difficult. There are many factors that can lead to an exercise program not producing the health and fitness results that you expected.

For example, some individuals, due to their hectic lifestyle, find it difficult to regularly perform their fitness routine with a high level of consistency.

For other individuals, the difficulty may stem from a lack of expected results when compared to the effort that they put into the fitness routine.

In many instances, the problem may be as simple as a misalignment between the exercise type performed and the personal fitness goals of the individual.

It is, however, important to avoid giving up, no matter how hard your exercise routine gets. By simply resolving to do something about your body shows maturity and self esteem. The hope is that your exercise program will do exactly what you want it to do. The reality is that this is not always the case.

This article is intended to give you some advice as to why exercise routines get tough and what to do to get by the rough patches. All routines will eventually plateau. By arming yourself with ways to get by these flat stretches and continue to develop yourself regularly, you will ensure that your program is ultimately successful in the long run. Understanding why your program is not working, where you went wrong and how to not make the same mistakes again are the first steps in the effort to avoid giving up.

Why Is My Program Not Working?


Exercise routines stop working for a variety of reasons. For the most part, the reasons are easily remedied by simple adjustments to your schedule or program. The same program will not work for everyone and the first few months of activity can be an arduous adjustment period. Chances are that your program is not working because you are not addressing an area of your body or program that is necessary. Ask yourself these questions:

What is the problem? It might be that you are not losing weight as quickly as you did when you started or you are not able to progress in intensity as well as you had hoped. Perhaps you are not meeting your goals. Whatever the problem is that is causing you to lose heart, first try to specifically define what you need to improve.

Try these ideas to evaluate the problem:

  • Add another session to each week of exercise to see if there is any change.

  • Evaluate your goals and decide if they are too difficult or too easy.

  • Try a different approach. (Run for 3 miles every other day rather than 2 miles a day)

  • Use your log to see exactly when the problem started. Did you change anything when you stopped seeing results?

  • Didn't keep a log? Try keeping one for a week or two to see if that helps.

Am I as enthusiastic as I used to be? If you are considering giving up, the answer is probably no. However, some people give up even when they are still enthusiastic because of time issues and other reasons. If you are losing interest, your program may be getting boring or repetitive. Simply changing things up a bit can easily solve this problem.

Try these ideas to jump start enthusiasm:

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  • If you are only using jogging in your program try biking for a few sessions a week.

  • Try on some new (or old) clothes to see how they fit and to evaluate the level of progress that you have made.

  • Ask a friend to be your workout partner and to exercise with you during your exercises sessions.

  • Try listening to music while jogging or watching television while on the treadmill.

  • Switch to a new program completely. Perhaps try weight training for a few weeks.

Is the problem really where I think it is? There can be hidden issues in every exercise program. If you are exercising to the point where you cannot exercise anymore but still eat a box of donuts every day, you may have found your problem. There are many facets to physical health that need to be considered as part of the big picture. Evaluate every part of your life to find issues with your program.

Try these ideas to really zone in on the problem:

  • Use your log to see how your calorie intake matches up with your exercise. A good approach is to try to burn 1/4 or your daily caloric intake every exercise session.

  • Didn't keep a log? Try keeping one for a week or two to see if that helps. Remember to keep track of what you eat in the log as well.

  • If eating is the problem, try eating only foods that can be measured exactly for a few days. This may include prepackaged or boxed foods.

  • Decide whether stress is a problem for you. Psychological issues can affect weight loss if they cause you to over or under eat.

Why Most People Throw In The Towel


There are ten major reasons that most people decide to call it quits. Knowing why many people stop exercising can be helpful to you if you are considering doing the same.

  1. They absolutely despise exercise: There are not many people that truly hate to exercise. There are, however, many people that do not enjoy going for a jog. If you do not like to jog, try doing something else. Even if the thing that you hate doing is proven to be the most effective, it will not be worth doing.

  2. They overload themselves: Whether it is from scheduling too many sessions, using too much intensity or not getting enough rest, people can often feel overwhelmed. Do not feel like you have to play catch up. Whatever you are able to do is fine.

  3. It gets too expensive: Gym memberships can add up but lack of money is no excuse to stop exercising. There are plenty of workouts that can be done with just your body and a little bit of space. If you need some instruction, try renting an exercise video to help your form. Many video stores offer them for free.

  4. They are not getting the results they expected: You have spent your entire life putting on weight. Although you may not spend the rest of your life taking it back off, it will not be gone by tomorrow morning. Be realistic about your goals. Some people take months for their bodies to start reacting to physical changes.

  5. They are clueless as to how to go about exercising: There are so many resources at your disposal in today's culture. In fact, you're using one right now! Do some research on some exercises and consider renting some informational tapes.

  6. They have children: Kids can take up a lot of time. Add that to a job or chores at home and it can be hard to fit an exercise session in. If you have an infant, there are many gyms that offer day care centers for moms or dads that need to have their baby or young child with them while they work out.

  7. They are not motivated: If you are not having fun while working out, you may just need some variety. Try changing your program every 4 or 5 weeks to keep yourself and your body from getting too used to one set of exercises.

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  9. They feel pain while exercising: Exercise should not be painful. If it is, you are working too hard. While a burning sensation is normal, pain is not. When doing aerobic exercise, try to never work so hard that you cannot hold a normal conversation.

  10. They cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel: If you map your whole program out, it can seem like you will never reach the finish line. If you feel like there is no finish line, take a step back and draw one yourself. Start with very small changes and short term goals. 10 small changes over 12 months can lead to 1 major change every year.

  11. They do not have enough time: If you cannot commit to a single 30 minute session, try breaking it into whatever size pieces you can fit into your current lifestyle. Just because you are not able to exercise continuously for an extended period of time, does not mean that performing shorter periods of exercise will not be effective and beneficial. Doing six 5 minute sessions that you can schedule in with your busy day is better than not exercising at all that day.