NEW YORK — No pain, no gain, no thanks. A new study finds half of Americans find no joy in physical exercise.
The poll of 2,000 people who frequently exercise sought to find the best and worst parts of exercising and found 50 percent don’t work out as much as they’d like because they just don’t enjoy it. In fact, they hate it so much that 25 percent would be willing to text their ex and even cancel Netflix for a year to get out of working out for the rest of their lives.
Three in 10 respondents would even reconnect with their high school bully if it meant never picking up weights again. One in three would spend a long weekend with the in-laws. Another 34 percent say they’d be willing to hand wash all their dishes for the rest of their lives to avoid breaking a sweat ever again.
Why are people so keen to throw in the towel?
Forty-three percent of respondents say they just get so bored during their workouts, that they’d rather not do them at all.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of AI-based fitness and lifestyle coaching app Freeletics, the survey also found that 54 percent of Americans mentally check out of their workouts because they’re so bored. Another 18 percent claim their body is simply on autopilot during their routines.
When asked why they don’t enjoy working out, 38 percent say it’s because they do the same routines over and over again and 28 percent don’t know how to find new exercises or routines so they can mix it up.
Three in 10 also seem to play it safe with these boring routines because they worry about injuring themselves. More than one in four (27%) worry about using improper form. The top hurdles to working out include lack of time and a lack of motivation (43%), followed by a lack of space to effectively do at-home workouts (37%).
Home gym headaches
When it comes to exercising at home, respondents struggled most to do strength training (51%) and cardio (45%). Another 36 percent even have a hard time doing yoga and Pilates (34%) at home.
“Over the past year and a half, it has become increasingly clear that workout enjoyment – especially at home – is at an all-time low,” says Dr. Kianoush Missaghi, Senior Training Experience Manager at Freeletics, in a statement. “People love the results, but getting there couldn’t be more mundane and time-consuming. Our current routines are demotivating and, simply put, are not setting us up for long-term success.”
Three in five respondents are desperate to get back the spark they once had when it comes to working out. To solve this, 73 percent say they’d likely find it more enjoyable if their routines felt like playing a game.
If they felt like they were competing with their friends while hitting the gym, two in three believe their workouts would be more successful. If respondents worked out more frequently, 63 percent believe they’d have more energy, 56 percent feel their attitude would improve, and 46 percent think they’d actually have a better sex life.
“Even though the physical and mental benefits of regular exercise are huge, it is clear that fitness is seen by many as the ultimate chore and the industry has done little to change this in the last few decades. It’s a huge challenge and one that we are trying to solve,” adds Daniel Sobhani, CEO of Freeletics.