Expensive gym membership and other excuses people find to not exercise

Do you fall in one of these categories?

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People can find excuses not to work out everywhere – some of them, such as being sick, are legitimate, but others, such as being tired, can be a stretch. Where does the price of exercising fall?

TrainFitness, a personal trainer app with fitness programs, surveyed 2,000 Brits to find out what their top excuses for not exercising or going to the gym. The participants exercise at least once a week and this includes anything from walking to going to the gym, according to Richard Scrivener, Personal Training Product Developer at TrainFitness.

Hobson says that one of the most surprising results of the research was that many people think exercising is too expensive when they can, technically, just go the park and run free of charge. Just over 68 percent of the U.K.’s top excuse for not joining the gym was that it was too expensive. “I thought this was really interesting especially since there has been an increase in cheap gyms lately,” he says. “Are we basically just using finance as an excuse that isn’t there anymore?”

The cheapest gym price would usually range from £10 ($14.26) a month to £120 ($171.16) a year, but on average they usually come in at about £45 ($64.19) per month, according to Hobson.

The second most common reason people don’t hit the gym is no time due to work commitments. Work is one of the largest factors that influences people’s motivations for exercise with 51.2 percent of people would stop the gym due to work engagements, according to the study. About 35 percent say that the 9-5 schedule is just too much to include a workout in and that work commitments demotivate them the most when it comes to exercise.

Just over 17 percent of people don’t work out because they are “too intimidated by other [gym-goers].” Women, however, are more intimidated than men with 22.2 percent compared to 13.7 percent of men.

People between 25-34 years old are the most likely to feel awkward or uneasy going to the gym, whereas more people aged 65 and over said they would feel confident.

Interestingly though, more women own gym membership than men, the survey finds. “Their biggest motivation is to improve appearance, yet 37 percent would be willing to shun their gym sessions for social commitments.”

Surprisingly, for some, more people were motivated to exercise because they wanted to get healthier as opposed to just looking better. Considering the growing interest in looks in society, this result is “refreshing.” Eighty percent of respondents work out for health and wellbeing; 54 percent were motivated because of their appearance.  

Scrivener has a few suggestions and tips when it comes to motivation. “When you find your why, you will find your way!” So in order to maintain the level of motivation which will drive successful and sustained behaviour conducive to achieving one’s goals, you should consistently project forward into the future by asking these two questions of yourself:

1. “On a scale of 1-10, how important is it for me to achieve (insert goal here)?”

If the answer is 7, for example, i.e. quite a strong goal, follow this up by asking: “Why is this number not 5 or 6?”

The responses that you elicit are your “why.” They should act as a timely reminder as to why it really is worth the effort and commitment.

2. “In 6 or 12 months’ time, how would life be different if I achieve (insert goal here)?”

This helps you project yourself to a time when you have achieved your objectives and how great that might feel, and furthermore, positively impact your life. For example, you might respond with “I’ll have more energy; I’ll look more attractive, I’ll be better at my job.”

The question further helps you see the wood through the trees, just as motivation might be starting to diminish a little.

More readings: 

10 Ways to Work Out Without Going to the Gym

11 Tricks Trainers Use to Keep Clients Motivated

13 Workouts for When You’re Too Tired to Workout