Why do we talk ourselves out of exercise, even when we know it’s good for us?

Are you one of those people who recognizes the benefits of exercise, enjoys it when you do it, plans to do more, and yet still talks yourself out of it when the moment comes?

You are not alone.

Our brains are very good at coming up with lots of plausible reasons not to exercise. Here are just a few. See if you recognize any:

  • I’m too busy with work today
  • I’m feeling a bit tired
  • I’m worried if I take too long I’ll be late getting back for …..
  • It looks a bit windy out
  • It looks a bit cold out
  • It looks like it might rain
  • I could probably just go tomorrow

Everything on this list is simply a thought.

These are thoughts that commonly spring up just before setting out to exercise (There are lots more!) If your intention is to exercise, then we can classify these as “negative” thoughts. These thoughts are working against your wishes and preventing you from doing something you want to do.

“The mind is like Velcro for negative experiences, and Teflon for positive ones”

Rick Hanson, Neuroscientist

This famous quote by neuroscientist, Rick Hanson, perfectly encapsulates why we should take our thinking in these situations with a pinch of salt.

The mind is designed to hold on to negative thinking. The evolutionary purpose of this is for our protection and survival. Our brains are designed to warn us away from danger and threats, and thus is on high alert to spot the things it thinks we shouldn’t do.

This is very useful if you need to avoid the valley where dangerous predators live, but not so helpful if you’d like to go for a 20 minute walk and your primitive brain feels threatened by the chance of rain in the sky.

Evolution has not caught up with the modern world.

At a conscious level we know the huge benefits of regular physical activity, but at a primitive level we want to feel safe and warm in our cave.

Only food and sex are likely strong enough urges to tempt us outside!

So what can we do about it?

Well first of all an understanding of what’s really going on does help. Understanding that it’s not just you and you’re not just being lazy. This is basic human programming. You’re being human.

When we accept we are not at fault we can stop the self-criticism and beating ourselves up. None of that helps. Instead we can deal with the real issue and find better ways to support and motivate ourselves.

It’s important to recognize that putting positive thinking at the front of our minds (the thoughts that will encourage physical activity), may take a little effort. At least until those thoughts become more habitual.

But, the good news is that our minds are extremely adaptable (even into older age) and a little work around mindset can really tip the balance, so that when the time for exercise comes, we feel motivated and ready to go.

About Diane Brown

I’m an exercise psychology coach, helping women who don't like "exercise" to create an active lifestyle they enjoy. My coaching style is both compassionate and empowering, which enables women struggling with exercise motivation to feel more motivated and confident in their abilities. I’m qualified in Wellbeing Life Coaching, Sports & Exercise Psychology and Triathlon Coaching. I also wrote The Little Book of Active Wellbeing. The perfect guide to get you started.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this Site is provided for general educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. Please consult a qualified health care professional to diagnose your health condition and prevent self-diagnosis. We do not dispense medical advice or prescribe or diagnose illness. Read full medical and health disclaimer.

Web Design YorkshireWeb Developer Yorkshire

Copyright 2022. All Rights Reserved

Back to top
FREE Successful Ways to Deal With Persistent Sleep Problems (Insomnia)Pre-Recorded Event

Let’s take you on an online journey, including Holistic Techniques, Energetic Tools, Exercise, and Chinese medicine to help you quickly say good-bye to all of your current nightmarish lack of sleep stories! 6 different amazing speakers, sign up below! 

FREE Beneficial Ways To Naturally Manage Menopause and PerimenopausePre-Recorded Event

Let’s take you on an online journey, including Acupressure, EFT, Essential oils, and Naturopath in a bid to help you embrace your changing hormones and improve symptoms of menopause. 9 different amazing speakers, sign up below! 

7 Natural Ways to Gain Calm & Balance, Whether At Work or HomePre-Recorded Event

Enjoy seven informative sessions while discovering a variety of natural ways , including Movement Therapy, EFT, Mindfulness, Pilates and much more to help bring calm and balance back into your life. 7 wonderful speakers. Gain access below! 

Effective Ways To Positively Achieve Your Desires and Side-Step FearPre-Recorded Event

let’s take you on an online journey of inner discovery, including Vision Boarding, Colour Therapy and Soul Purpose in a bid to bring more joy, happiness and positive change into your life. 6 fabulous speakers. Gain access below! 

FREE 6 Holistic Ways To Promote Self-Care And Prevent Stress/Burnout Pre-Recorded Event

Let’s take you on an online journey of holistic self-care discovery, including Energy Tools, Aromatherapy, Nature and Colour Therapy in a bid to get you back in the driving seat. 6 different speakers, sign up below! 

Naturally Effective Ways To Tame Your Stress & Anxiety, Without Medication Pre-Recorded Event

Ready to go on an online journey of natural wellbeing discovery, including Yoga, Access Bars, Singing Therapy and Guided Meditation to help reduce stress and anxiety. 8 different speakers, sign up below! 

Are you excited?We Are Giving Away a Wellbeing Hamper (worth £75)

It's our way of celebrating our new all-in-one wellbeing platform and events - don't miss out on a chance to win!

Are You A Wellbeing Business Owner - Fancy Collaborating With Us?

Register you interest to take part in collaborate initiatives such as our Pay-It-Forward wellness events, gift guides, guest blogger, guest speaker, guest podcaster, plus more and we'll keep you up-to-date on upcoming opportunities.

Need Some Help?

Spotted a bug we need to know about or just want to speak to us?

Choose one of the options below.

Build Your Client Referral Network In Just 4 Days - Toolkit!

Discover how to identify and connect with the right wellbeing businesses that share the same customer base as you, start building your referral network in just 4 days!

Wellbeing Umbrella Marketplace
0