Every day, people from all over the world promise to turn over a new leaf and spend more time in the gym or at least pay more attention to their health. Every day, people like them choose to cut their health and fitness journeys short. It happens all the time; we sign up for a gym, visit it a couple of times, join a class here and there, and then keep paying membership fees but forget about the gym altogether. A relative might subscribe to a diet plan to lose weight but lose interest in the program halfway through. A friend might have all the best home gym equipment and workout attire but fail actually to use them.

Joining a gym or beginning to work out is most common in the New Year when millions of people write down their New Year resolutions. According to a University of Scranton study, 55% of all New Year’s resolutions have to do with health, including increasing exercise and improving one’s diet. However, 80% of the people who make New Year’s resolutions fail to stick to them. While the lack of motivation may play a significant role in why health and fitness programs fail, it isn’t the only problem. Other factors may come into play, with the following five being the most common.

1. Scheduling and time 

Almost everyone suffers from a lack of time. There’s just so much to get done at work and home, leaving time to oneself almost impossible. Some may view health and fitness as unimportant, making them disposable sections of one’s itinerary. While you may have responsibilities to your company and family, it’s important to remember that you also have a responsibility to take care of your body. 

Sometimes, a lack of time isn’t the issue. Instead, people miscalculate precisely how much time they need to see results from a health or fitness program. Sticking to a schedule for only three days isn’t likely to make a dent in one’s health in the long term. Often, the health or fitness program must be adopted as a disciplined routine. It doesn’t have to take several hours each day. It can even be divided into shorter, more intense programs every other day.

2. False expectations and unrealistic goals

Most people start a program with the illusion that they may lose all their body fat and gain six-pack abs within a month when, in reality, that isn’t likely to happen. When the month passes, and they don’t notice much of a difference in their body, they may feel tempted to ditch exercise and dieting altogether, convinced that they aren’t worth the time or effort. Anyone who joins a health or fitness program should be prepared with the right set of expectations of what may or may not happen.

Making a set of realistic goals at the outset is also worthwhile. If you want to lose 20 pounds by a specific date, calculate just how much you need to exercise and eat. Losing 20 pounds within a few weeks may still be challenging to meet, so it would help start with short-term goals. Break it down into smaller tasks that you can follow every day and tick off your checklist. It’ll also be easier to track your progress this way.

3. The wrong program

The program can be wrong for several reasons. For one, it may not take into account the person’s past injuries or current disabilities. If they experience back pain or once broke their wrist, they may need a program that addresses those issues and doesn’t put too much weight on individual limbs.

The program also might not suit them in terms of age or experience. An application made for a young bodybuilder might not be the best for a grandfather with arthritis. They may overlook cardiovascular exercise, focus too much on resistance training, or go into a program too fast too soon, leading to unnecessary muscle soreness. Workouts that lack warm-ups, cool-downs, and stretching can likewise lead to inefficient exercise and, in turn, decreased enthusiasm.

4. No coach

Having a coach makes a difference. Online training and nutrition plans can help you learn where to start, but you can only do the same thing for so long until you start seeing limited gains. 

A coach can tell you how many times you need to exercise weekly, how long you need to exercise, which exercises can hit which muscle groups, and which workouts are appropriate for any past or present injuries. They can also help you keep track of your goals and progress, ensuring that you do the work correctly and reap the benefits of your program.

If you don’t do these yourself, you’re guaranteed to have a difficult time achieving your health and fitness goals. If you try to change your program without a coach’s advice, you may end up following the wrong type of program. Having to report to a coach is a surefire way to attain any goal fast.

5. Ignoring other aspects of health

A diet program can be sabotaged by what happens off the plate, just as a fitness program can be ruined by what happens outside of the gym. There’s more to health and fitness than just diet and exercise, so it’s advisable to approach one’s health from multiple sides. An hour-long workout can end up fruitless if followed by the consumption of five packs of chips. Other lifestyle behaviors and vices can undoubtedly have a significant impact on one’s health.

Having little to no sleep, for instance, can undermine exercise by depriving the body of the growth hormone necessary to build lean muscle and repair the body after hard workouts. It not only aids in athletic recovery but helps the body conserve energy, allowing for even better workouts in the future. Nutrition is also a crucial part of fitness because it is through food that the body’s energy can increase, paving the way for exercises of higher intensity.

There are many exercise deterrents; prepare for them to prevent them.

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