Dropping out of an exercise program

Why do most people drop out of an exercise program?

Well there are a lot of reasons. Not very good ones but a lot of them. Most people know that exercise is good for you. It will improve your health, your quality of life and even your lifespan. The major problem with decision making is that if it was rational then exercise adherence would not be a problem.

Many people say they just don’t have the time.

Many people travel for work.

Work or child care responsibilities take a priority.

They feel intimidated by others in the gym

They had to give up something more enjoyable to work out. Exactly, why workout when you can watch reruns drink beer and eat chips.


Some say they got bored with their exercise program.

Some don’t know what to do in the gym

They don’t know when how to start

They are afraid of getting hurt.

and the list goes on

One of my favorite fitness quotes:

“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” ~ Edward Stanley

It is very true. And most people know it, so what is the problem with getting people to exercise and eat properly?

over half of the population is overweight or obese. If you are thin or of a normal weight you are the odd person out.

I don’t buy excuses, but I do understand how hard to could be to get into the exercise habit. I try to help I help people get better self management skills so they are able to achieve their goals. If someone else can do it why can’t you? Why can’t anyone Many of the most successful and busy people in the world make time for exercise. If they can find the time anyone can.

I talk a little about feeling intiminated in the gym and not nessessarly knowng what to do here http://robdickson.net/?p=29

But there is nothing stopping you from taking a walk around the block. It is easy, free and great exercise. Something is always better than nothing, and you can build on it. Adding more, going longer or complementing it with other forms of exercise.

What other reasons have you heard of that people use to drop out of an exercise program? Write then in the comment section below and lets see if we can find a way to help these people overcome their objections and keep them motivated.

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Getting in shape before joining a gym

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day that just recently started working out. He picked up a few pieces of equipment from a local department store and was looking for some friendly advice on how to get started.

My first question was why he decided to start working out. The answer shocked me.

He said that he was going to join a gym but needed to get into shape beforehand.


For complete openness, I do work in a commercial fitness club. But I don’t recall anyone needing to be in shape to join. Quite the opposite, many people of different fitness levels join fitness centers every day. I am in favor of people choosing to work out at home and not joining a gym. I worked out from home for years and both working out from home and in a commercial club have their pros and cons. But naturally I wanted to know why my friend said that.

He explained that everyone in the gym will be in shape and he didn’t want to embarrass himself. That was that. He was under the impression that everyone in the gym knows what they are doing and are super fit.

First of all many people embarrass themselves in gyms every day and not for being out of shape, they get embarrassed because they do something stupid.

The stigma around not knowing what to do in a gym can be intimidating for some. The idea that there is going to be a lot of fit people in the gym and you are going to stick out like a sore thumb can also cause a little stress when it comes to getting a membership.

Let me be the first to say that not everyone in the gym knows what they are doing. Even many of the guys and girls that are big and in shape that look like they know what they are doing are doing things incorrectly.  So don’t copy exercises that someone else is doing unless you get specific instruction from a qualified professional.


And being big and in shape is not a qualification. A good rant about certifications in the fitness industry will be coming shortly.

Many people that start at a gym start with some sort of (hopefully certified) personal trainer. Usually a good idea, they can get you started with some basic exercises.

The big thing to note; if you are not in shape or that familiar with gym equipment, and you don’t want to get noticed, you won’t.

The people in the gym that want to get noticed will get noticed. They are overly loud, dress inappropriately or strangely, talk to a lot of people and spend a lot more time trying to get noticed than working out.

The average gym goer, wearing normal gym close walking on a treadmill or doing some resistance training machines typically don’t draw a large crowd of onlookers.

If you want to work out at your house, by all means go ahead. There are lots of pros and cons of both gyms and working out at home. If you do join a club seek some advice on how to get started if you are unfamiliar with gym equipment. And above all don’t worry about drawing attention to yourself in the gym, most people are looking at someone else.



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Is picking up the mail that hard?

I was watching the news last night and there was a story about Canada Post stopping door to door mail delivery. Instead of door to door delivery of the mail will now be placed in community mail boxes. If you are supper keen you can read the 26 page report here https://www.canadapost.ca/cpo/mc/assets/pdf/aboutus/5_en.pdf

This is in an effort to save Canada Post some money. Apparently they lose quite a bit of money every year. And why wouldn’t they be. Mail is starting to become obsolete. The majority of the mail I get is junk mail and the occasional cards form my mom. Most of my bills and other important correspondents happen on line.

I’m not here to discuss the political ramifications or economic impacts of this new project by Canada Post. I would like to talk about the people on the news that was quite upset about having to walk to the mailbox.

First before I get a lot of hate mail, I do acknowledge that there are people out there that are genuinely disabled, injured or sick and are physically unable to walk down the street to get the mail. However the people they had on the news were quite physically able, they just seemed lazy.

I have a community mail box where I live. I need to walk to the end o the street every day to see what 2 for 1 pizza deals are in the mail and if I am already a winner in Publishers Clearing house. Some days I don’t go down and wait for those coupons to accumulate for a day or so.

Actually I drive past the mailboxes on my way to work and my way home from work. I could stop and pick up the mail then, but I choose to walk down once I get home. I live in the middle of my street so the walk is at most 150 meters.

The people at the end of the street would have to walk a little longer up to a staggering 300 meters every day, in each direction. The Horror!

What really got me were the people on the news saying that they are going to have to change their daily routine because of this. At most it takes 10 minutes if you live at the end of your block and you choose to walk. If you were really lazy you could stop on your way out of the house when you are driving somewhere. One person mentioned that she was not going to go get the mail in her night ground. Really? Is this a thing? Does it take that much more time or effort in the morning or at night to stay dressed for 5 minutes to walk to the end of the block and get the mail? Does this interrupt your routine that much?

Another gentleman said it was Ok now but things will change when it is 20 below out there. Again, really? We live in Canada. Do you not go out at all when it is cold outside? I still need to go to work, take out the garbage and shovel the walk, step and driveway. The few minute walk may actually warm you up a bit.

I was inspired by one man that seemed to be overweight and said that the little extra exercise would be a good thing and couldn’t hurt. Yes! That is correct the little extra exercise can’t hurt. Get it in while you can.

This is a classic example of people not wanting it change and trying to avoid physical activity. Will Canada Post making changes and slowly stop delivering to houses eradicate obesity? No! People that are opposed to this will spend more time and energy coming up with ways to avoid getting the mail than it is worth.

Will it help millions of overweight Canadian’s lose weight? Probably not.

Is it a start? Yes! If I had a client in one of these neighborhoods and was brand new to exercise I would start slowly. Walking down to get the mail 2 or 3 times a week is a good start. That is better than nothing. Once that habit is established I would build on it. Adding in more and more making it longer over weeks and months, helping build and establish the habit of exercise.



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Sticking with an Exercise Program

People that start exercising start for various reasons. They are motivated by different things or circumstances to start an exercise program. Most people know that exercise is  good for you and has multiple benefits. But over half of the people that start exercising will drop out of that program within 6 months. Why?

There are a lot of reasons or excuses and we all use to get out of exercising. Not just going to the gym. We make excuses to stop that 10 minute walk around the block after work. We take more time cleaning the snow off our car than it would take to walk to the corner store.

Will explore these issues and look at some solutions solutions to help you to stick with your exercise program.


exercise pic

First thing first. Keep Exercising!

Do something, It doesn’t need to be a lot or for a long duration. It doesn’t even need to be intense or vigorous. Something, a 10 minute walk around the block is better than nothing.

For those that have tried exercising and have not made it a habit yet, Don’t Give Up!

The habit and all the benefits of exercise will come. Stick with me, send questions and comments and check back often.



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