The shock realization of writing this article is that it is not the unattractive panting and sweat that women dread, but the actual mindset associated with exercise. Read on to identify your main reason for putting those training clothes at the back of your cupboard and pushing the thought of exercise to the back of your mind:
#1. It’s too much of a mission to get dressed and showered after sweating
Exercise time does not only involve the 45 minutes of physical activity. There’s the traveling, dressing, showering and grooming that doubles or triples the time that has to be aside for exercise in our jam-packed day. Vigorous exercise such as cardiovascular activity leads to sweating which requires extra ablutions, while a Yoga class could only take 1 hour and may not require hair washes and blow-dries after meditation. A well-groomed woman may leave the gym compared to the disheveled one that entered to have a workout. If only the old saying was true: ” Animals sweat, men perspire, women do neither”.
SOLUTION: don’t sweat during exercise (impossible for me) or exercise before work (early bird misses the traffic) or keep your workout clothes in the back of your car for when you have a free hour.
#2. Incorrect and insufficient exercise education
We are not informed about what exercise to do and how to do it. This leads to feelings of inadequacy and intimidation that leads to a dislike of exercise before we even break a sweat. Magazines feature perfect bodies executing proper technique when performing exercise, but we just look at the picture, wish we could look like the model and then turn the page when we should be copying the posture and form that is demonstrated instead of exercising without a program. We tend to stick to the same type of exercise whether it be classes, circuits or certain sports instead of investigating alternative exercises that maybe more beneficial.
SOLUTION: take that magazine to gym with you or try the exercises at home with the family to make exercise an education experience or get a training partner or personal trainer.
#3. Exercise incorrectly associated with gym
We forget about the outdoors! Walking from the car to the shopping mall (especially on a Saturday or during school holidays) counts as exercise. Not enough cardio for the week unless you go to the shops on Christmas eve, but remember that there are various alternatives to going to gym. Brisk walking on the beach, swimming, cycling and hiking all are excellent forms of exercise and there are added benefits such as a suntan as escapism – just keep an eye on the road instead of getting lost in your daydream.
SOLUTION: join a club (dating and chess clubs not applicable) or enroll in a self defense program or start a neighborhood walking group.
#4. Childhood memories and past experiences
The compulsory physical education lessons where you would put on hideous shorts, shirts and unsupportive shoes and then sweat in the sun while performing some mundane activity. To make matters worse, the dirty school uniform had to be put on again. This school recollection could put you off any type of exercise for the rest of your life. If we had the option, we would get our parents to write us notes to excuse us from exercise into adulthood. Getting picked last for sports teams and being embarrassed at school games has a lasting effect that subconsciously affects our enthusiasm for exercise.
SOLUTION: we now have inventions such as aircon, trendy sportswear, music and we can choose when and where to exercise.
Women generally do not want to win or prove a point. All we want is to get a good workout and avoid getting muffins and rolls around our bodies, yet keep eating them. Males tend to have training partners and compare a workout session while we just want to be able to not feel guilty about having desert. We don’t have to want to tackle an opponent who gets on the treadmill ahead of the queue or cycle away from our friends.
SOLUTION: keep a training diary and create internal competition with yourself as motivation, just do not beat yourself up when you cheat.
The reasons are not purely physical for avoiding exercise and we should conquer these hurdles to exercise by choosing an activity that suits our lives and learn to enjoy it. Push the bad memories away, kick away misconceptions, punch the self-doubt and jump into your individualized exercise routine.