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Why am I not motivated to exercise?

Why am I not motivated to exercise

The article "How Exercise Strengthens Your Brain" was published earlier this month in the NewYorkTimes

Healthcare professionals and exericse enthusiasts never tire of hearing about the benefits of exercising. 

However, after close to 40 years of hearing stories of people struggling with using exercise as medicine for chronic pain, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and more, I have become skeptical of the impact of such articles for those who need it most. 

The WHAT and WHY are often missing the critical details of HOW for people with barriers of pain, stress and motivation. 

Here are some examples from the article: 

1️⃣ "The brain benefits really start to emerge, though, when we work out consistently over time." 

It makes me wonder, how will people who are already frozen with exericse guilt take this information? They already KNOW it's important. That is why they feel guilt for not doing it. 

2️⃣ “Physical activity is one of the health behaviors that’s shown to be the most beneficial for cognitive function and reducing risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia,” 

I think about the people with exericse barriers of pain, stress or anxiety feel. How will they feel as they read this? They already live with an undercurrent of fear about their health and this is just one more reason to worry because they are not exercising. 

3️⃣ “The more you can improve your cardiorespiratory fitness, the better the benefits are.” 

For the people living with chronic pain in weight-bearing joints, I imagine they will feel a pang of dread and dis-ease at the idea of doing cardio when every step is painful. 

What about those who are fearful of having a heart attack when exercising? How will they feel about doing high-intensity exercise? 

Then there are the people who have experienced exercise trauma or exercise shame.  They are not likely to bring up how they feel when they read these great benefits, but the word "exercise" leaves a pit of dread in their gut.  

The last line really has a hidden message that only people who are not exercising will get.   

"For example, on busy days when she can’t fit in a full workout, she’ll seek out hills to bike up on her commute to work. Even if it’s a little,” she said, “it’s still better than nothing.”

Meant to inspire people to do something, for the 80% of people who are not exercising, this seals the deal as they think  "I'm just not an exerciser!" 

I am so thankful for people who do health and exercise research and write articles to raise awareness of the benefits of exercising. Truly I am.  But we need to face facts. More information does not lead to motivation. 

Until we give solid science-based information and guidance for HOW to exercise for people limited by pain, stress, or low motivation, the benefits of the exercise approach will only reinforce the choice not to exercise.  

I'm on a mission to redefine exericse as whole-person self-care FOR ALL. By using a whole person science-based method that shows you how to exercise when you are limited by pain, stress, or motivation, everyone can enjoy the benefits of exercising without having to be an athlete or look like an Instagram fitness model to be successful.  

Click here to learn more about how to Start Well so you are Exercising Well with Confidence, even as you age.


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