By Akosua Asare-Frempong
Starting an exercise routine can be tough, but sticking with it can be tougher. Usually, we lack motivation. But once we overcome that challenge, we find we reach our health goals, including staying fit and healthy and maintaining our weight.
Contract trainer for Olympus Gym, in Purcellville, Va., Joey Burr, said the biggest hindrance to people continuing with their exercise routine is the lifestyle changes they have to make. The 25-year-old trainer said, “A lot of people, you know, they wanna change, they wanna be healthier it’s just that they have to change a lot of things, and they see how much work they have to put in.” Burr said it takes 21 days for anyone to create a habit but during that time, he said it’s easier to relapse back into the bad habits of eating improperly and not exercising.
Burr, who’s been training people for seven years, said while high school and middle school children find it the easiest to stick with an exercise routine, adults find it the hardest to continue with their exercise routine. He said this is because, unlike high school and middle school children, adults have work and family commitments as well as generally busier schedules.
But Burr, who likes to see people get good results and to positively change people’s lives, said adults can stick with their exercise routines if they have a fitness buddy. He said this could be a friend or family. He said, “If you don’t show up one day, your friends and your family members are gonna get on ya.” He said this also helps them to push each other harder. He said, “That helps people a lot, and it seems a little more enjoyable for the clients.”
Retired marine and engineer, Jeff Martinez, 52, exercises at Olympus Gym. He said he’s been working out since he was 12 years old. He said, “It’s been steady ever since, so I haven’t had any breaks, and normally five or six days a week.” He said of when he was 12 years old, “I was the smallest of my friends and so I wanted to get stronger and make up for my small stature, I guess.”
This, however, changed. He said, “It changed as I got into college and into the military after that, it was more about just getting stronger for athletics and then for military service. So in military, I needed to stay fit for my job and my mission and so that carried me into my early 40s.”
Martinez said wanting to stay fit motivates him to exercise and to keep his weight in check and to stay healthy. He said, “I think being a part of a gym, gives me something to look forward to and there’s other people here to motivate me and it’s sort of stress relief as well and so that’s a big part of my motivation.” He said, “I think you need someplace to go that’s just for that one thing, that will keep you motivated, being in an environment where other like-minded people are doing the same thing.” He said he spends a lot of time doing cardiovascular exercises for his heart, as he’s getting older, but he still does weight training because he said, “It gives you good balance.”
Victor Garcia, 39, said he started exercising five years ago. He said he’s been exercising at Olympus Gym for a year. He said, “I just lost weight, and then joined a gym after and then been hooked, I guess, ever since. Once you start, I guess it’s kinda addicting.” He now goes to the gym thrice a week. The X-ray tech said, although booking the gym is good, that’s not what motivates him. He said, “Just keep going, I mean, you just push yourself, I guess, it’s how bad you want it, I guess.” He said, “The cost is important, but most people book and don’t go, anyway.” He said the desire to want to exercise should be enough to make people commit to their exercise routine.
If we want to overcome the challenge of lacking motivation so we can stick with our exercise routine, we need to find a friend or family member to be our fitness buddy, know our health goals and the purpose for which we are exercising, book a gym, where like-minded people are, and commit to it.