So listen, pretty much everyone knows that we need exercise, right? We know that we should be moving our bodies on the regular in order to keep them functioning well. But knowing you should exercise and wanting to exercise are two very different things.
If you're in the group of people who'd much rather stay home all weekend and rewatch an entire season of Grey's Anatomy than hit the gym, then rest assured that you're not alone. According to a survey of more than 1,000 Americans, commissioned by fitness equipment review company Fit Rated, lots of people need a pretty strong incentive to workout — and especially to do the workouts they find most difficult.
Of the people surveyed, the majority (26% of women and 25% of men) said that running outside was the most difficult exercise, regardless of their fitness level. People who considered themselves "very fit" also said running on the treadmill was hard, while people who reported being "not very fit" found body weight exercises the most difficult after running outside.
And although there are plenty of great motivations people use to workout — like, you know, just wanting to feel strong, and healthy, and happy — this survey asked people only about food motivators. At Refinery29, we're totally against the idea that food is a reward for exercising, or that someone has to work off whatever calories they put into their body (in fact, we'd rather not talk about calories at all). But food is what this study asked about, and the sad reality is that people do still use it as a motivator, specifically, most of the people polled for this survey said they sometimes worked out for the promise of beer or pizza or ice cream later.
Still, there were other motivators the researchers found, which they've instead called "benefits," that are much better than food. These include having better self-esteem, sexual satisfaction, and job success. People took the survey and reported exercising more hours during the week also said that they were more satisfied with all three areas of their lives. That doesn't necessarily mean that more exercise creates better overall happiness, of course. It could be that the people who have the time and the means to exercise six hours every week also have other advantages that lead to more satisfying sex lives and more job success.
Even though it's not necessarily a direct link, though, there's no denying that there are some serious benefits to getting in some exercise every week. So even though it can feel like torture to drag yourself off the couch and into the gym, maybe it's worth it.
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