Statistics say that when a fairly sedentary individual begins exercising, there is a 50% chance that they will quit within the first year. The highest drop out rate is the first 3-6 months, before exercising can show great rewards or become a habit.
I beat those odds, but I’ll admit that I came very close to quitting at least once early in the process. As calm as I sound in this linked post, I can now admit that I was ready that day to walk out of the gym, quit my membership, and never return. I’d have felt confident that “I tried working out and it didn’t work for me.”
Jeez, I’d been working out 2 months at that point. Not like putting much pressure on myself.
The difference, that time, between quitting and sticking was a trainer who believed in me more than I believed in myself. I have a couple friends right now who are beginning to workout at the gym. They have each other and some drive, not a whole lot of knowledge, though. For at least a while they will push each other to perform. At some point, they will need to have a session or two with a trainer or move to group classes because one can logically only go so far without educating one’s self about the process.
If, even with a support system in place, people are likely to quit within the first 6 months, what else can be done to increase the odds for success?