Why Are We Not Exercising?
Exercise should be a part of every life. It makes the body stronger and sharpens the mind, making you more capable of overcoming everyday challenges and improving your life.
Numerous benefits of exercising are well-known. Every year, a plan to incorporate more exercise into a daily routine makes it to the top of most people’s list of New Year’s resolutions. But why does something as good as exercising need to be a resolution? Why aren’t we simply exercising more, in general, when we know that it can positively impact our health? Why are there almost half of the adults under the age of 65 who are not physically active in the US? A whopping 80% of people who make these resolutions seem to give them all up after only five months.
If you’re interested in some alarming exercise statistics, then take a look at this article for a brief overview. And if you want to know what’s stopping the world from exercising, keep on reading.
Who Is Exercising?
According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults should do moderate-intensity workouts for at least 150 minutes, or vigorous-intensity workouts for 75 minutes every week. The reality is that only 22.9% of people do both, and 32% choose either of the two. Only 13.5% of adults in Mississippi meet this requirement, whereas Colorado is in the lead with 32.5%. For some reason, people living in the states down south, like Mississippi and Virginia, seem to be less active than residents up north, in places like Ohio, Maine, and Utah.
Overall, men seem to be more active than women, with 27% and 18.7%, respectively. Also, the rate of engagement in physical activity seems to decline with age. As students approach their high school and college years, the decline is more evident. Only 38% of college students are physically active, which is a drop from 65% of them who exercised in high school.
Reasons Why We Don’t Exercise
Understandably, baby boomers aren’t too keen on calorie-burning workouts due to their age. They prefer low-impact activities, like golf. On the other hand, 60% of millennials and 70% of Gen Z-ers favor high-impact exercises. But why is the number of people who exercise still so alarmingly low? According to a Freeletics survey on exercise barriers commonly faced by Americans, they’ll come up with just about any excuse to avoid a planned workout.
These excuses range from bad weather, eating too much to avoid working out, and even preferring to binge-watch tv series after a long day’s work. All in all, it seems like Americans are just too tired to work out. With today’s busy schedules, the average American only has 89 minutes a day for physical activities or other important self-care activities.
However, Sherry Pagoto, an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, wrote an article stating that humans don’t like working out due to discomfort. She presented human behavior theories showing that future rewards are a distant goal compared to immediate experiences. She believes that humans will always choose to avoid doing something uncomfortable, even if the rewards are beneficial.
According to Freeletics CEO Daniel Sobhani, we seem to have a catch-22 situation. Daniel states that “69% of Americans believe regular exercise would help them quit their bad habits. However, because so many Americans are facing these common barriers to fitness, they can’t break out of the circle. Additionally, 46% feel that even their work has been a workout barrier, so this is an opportunity to push for positive change. It’s time fitness became more convenient. And this is exactly why we at Freeletics aim to eliminate all workout excuses.”
As you can see, the reasons for not working out these days seem superficial. The real reason is that we’re just too tired. One way to break this cycle is by promoting workouts that people can do from the comfort of their own homes. Although the numerous benefits of exercising are more than obvious, humans are just too tired to step outside their comfort zone. That is why physical inactivity is still a major cause of death in the world.
Again, since shouting out the benefits of exercising doesn’t seem to be working, what we need is to change our perspective and rethink our reasons for not working out. Exercising can be a form of habit, and you need to be disciplined and do it frequently enough for it to become your way of life.