Why do I start exercising only to quit 3 weeks later?

By Ashley McIntosh

This question is such a common one.  Here are four mistakes you may be making:

1) You choose a type of exercise that you do not like doing. 
So often we equate exercise with the gym.  “I guess I better get a gym pass”, we say to ourselves.  But the gym is one option out of many types of exercise.  I ask you: what might you like to do?  What did you like to do as a child?  Make a list of the many options that are available to you.  Then pick one, and try it out.  If it doesn’t work, then it is not your fault.  Just pick another and try again. 

2) You exercise too much, too soon.
If you immediately start running for 45 minutes three times a week when the only exercise you did previously was walk to your car then it is going to be too much for your body to handle.  It is much better to start adding movement to your life gradually so that it feels good.  If it feels good then you will keep doing it – nothing is more important than that. 

3) You decide to start a diet at the same time. 
Simply put: anyone who is not eating enough calories is going to be tired – so when they go to exercise, the experience will be utterly painful – they simply will not have enough energy to even begin to enjoy exercising.  We want exercise to feel good.   And when we eat, we have energy – and that feels good. 

4) You give up before the one month mark.
Do you remember the last time you started a new job?  The first month is never fun.  Everything you do seems awkward.  You don’t know where anything is.  You don’t know any of your co-workers.  You have to work hard to figure everything out.  But then gradually over time you seem to get the hang of it.  As you start to feel competent and things seem more familiar, you may even begin to enjoy it.  It is the same with exercise – it is always uncomfortable at the beginning.  Give yourself some time with it, and you may even start to like it.

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