Fitness: Expectations Vs. Reality


Whether you’re a serious athlete or you can barely manage to squeeze in a run or two per year, you know that working out can be interesting at times. We can easily get inspired when we see exercise tips on Pinterest or our Facebook friends boasting about their workout successes.

But sometimes, we find out awfully quickly that working out in real life is a tad different than what we envision when we plan our get fit routine.

Sometimes, anticipating the unknown can create an overwhelming amount of anxiety that stops us from reaching our goals before we’ve even started trying. So let’s take the unknown out of the equation by looking at some of the most common misconceptions about fitness.

Here are our top four:

Commitment Level

The simple truth is that you get out of exercise what you put into it, both in terms of intensity and frequency, so be honest with yourself and your level of commitment and adjust your expectations accordingly. If you can only squeeze in 2 light 30-minute workouts a week, that’s fine. Just don’t expect the results of a hardcore 5-day a week workout program.


Unless you’re training for the Olympics, chances are you can spend less than an hour just a few times a week in the gym and see real results. Not only do you NOT really have to “go hard or go home” but you can actually undo your best efforts by overtraining. The best way to make sure you’re not falling into this trap is to think of exercise as something you can ease into. If you’re starting out as a non-exerciser, anything you do is better than where you started!

Fear of Judgment

There will be a couple of really buff and really in-shape folks in the gym, but the majority of members will be like you – average people exercising because they want to experience the benefits of exercise and weight loss. And as for the idea that people are busy judging you? Everyone is having the exact same thought! Everyone is so worried about themselves, that they rarely notice how much weight you’re lifting or whether you’re doing the same exercises you did yesterday or if your sneakers are this season or last.

Your Diet

Diet is more than half the battle when it comes to getting in shape and staying healthy. If you exercise for an hour and use that to justify eating junk, while you’re not directly cancelling out the health benefit of the workout, you are making it extremely difficult to obtain visible results. While many people can commit to exercise, most aren’t willing or able to make the necessary changes to their diets which make all the difference.

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