Don’t Like to Exercise? Discover the Scientific Explanation Behind Why We Don’t All Enjoy Working Out

Don't Like to Exercise? Discover the Scientific Explanation Behind Why We Don't All Enjoy Working Out

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Exercise is a central part of many people’s life, providing not only physical and mental benefits but also an optimal way to relieve stress, increase energy, and stay in shape. However, not everyone enjoys working out and this can be partially attributed to psychological and physiological reasons. While there is no single cause for why some people don’t like to exercise, there are a few factors that have been studied to better understand this phenomenon.

Unpacking the Psychological Reasons We Avoid Exercise

Psychologically speaking, many people are put off from exercise because they associate it with a lack of pleasure and/or a “have-to-do” mentality. This could range from perceiving a certain type of exercise as boring or unpleasant, to having a negative attitude toward physical activity in general. People who feel this way might be less likely to stick with a workout routine, as they will struggle to find the motivation to get started.

Some people also find it difficult to commit to a consistent routine and focus on their long-term fitness goals, since exercise can be, at times, a tedious or monotonous activity. This can be especially true for those who have no prior experience of exercise and might find it intimidating to start working out in a new environment. Additionally, certain personality traits such as being a perfectionist or having a need for control, can also stand in the way of achieving fitness goals, as they will prevent you from being open to trying new things without worrying about the outcome.

What Science Tells Us About Why Not Everyone Loves Working Out

Studies conducted by scientists have found that our brains may be hardwired to avoid activities that could potentially be seen as unpleasant. This could explain why some people would rather stay in their comfort zone than explore new forms of exercise. In addition, it could lead to an aversion to exercise for those who have had a negative experience in the past, such as being forced to partake in physical activities they don’t enjoy.

Researchers have also proposed that our attitudes toward exercise are largely shaped by our upbringing. This can be especially true for those who have been raised by parents who didn’t support physical activity, or those who were discouraged from participating in any form of sport or exercise. This could lead to a reluctance to engage in any form of physical activity as an adult, even if the person wants to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Uncovering the Reasons Behind Our Dislike of Exercise

As previously mentioned, a range of psychological and physiological factors can influence how we view exercise and our motivations for working out. For some people, it could be a lack of motivation or an aversion to the idea of strenuous physical activity. Others may simply not have the time to dedicate to a regular fitness routine, while some may struggle to make the commitment to exercise due to their busy schedules.

It is also important to note that can play a role in our attitude towards exercise, as research has found that some people are genetically predisposed to dislike physical activity. Additionally, there are some psychological disorders, such as anxiety or depression, that can make it difficult to stick to a fitness routine, as the person may be dealing with more pressing issues.

Exploring the Physiological Reasons We Don’t Enjoy Exercise

On a physiological level, some people may struggle to enjoy exercise due to a lack of energy or physical capabilities. This could be because they are more prone to , or because they have an underlying medical condition, such as , that can make it difficult to participate in physical activity. Furthermore, those who are overweight or obese may experience feelings of self-consciousness when exercising, which can lead to a reluctance to engage in any form of physical activity.

In addition, some people may find themselves in a vicious cycle, where they don’t enjoy exercising and therefore don’t engage in any form of physical activity. This can ultimately lead to feelings of low and a lack of motivation to exercise, further perpetuating the cycle.

Examining the Role of Genetics in Our Attitude Toward Working Out

While genetics can play a role in our attitude towards exercise, it is important to note that our environment and upbringing can also influence our view of physical activity. For instance, those who were raised by parents who embrace an active lifestyle are more likely to have a positive attitude towards exercise than those who were raised by parents who didn’t participate in any form of physical activity. Furthermore, it is important to remember that our attitude towards exercise can also be influenced by our peers and the media, which can shape our opinions and beliefs about physical activity.

Overall, there is no single reason why some people don’t enjoy working out and it is important to recognize and understand the various factors that can influence our attitude towards exercise. It is also essential to remember that exercise is not just about getting in shape, it is also about feeling energized, releasing stress, and connecting with one’s body. By taking the time to explore different types of exercise and focusing on the positive aspects of physical activity, we can all develop a love for exercise and reap the benefits of an active lifestyle.


Exercise is beneficial for both our physical and mental wellbeing, however, not everyone enjoys working out. This can be attributed to a combination of psychological and physiological factors, such as a lack of motivation, a negative experience in the past, or even genetic predispositions. It is important to understand the various factors that can influence our attitude towards exercise, so that we can find an activity that we can enjoy and gain the full benefits of an active lifestyle.


  • Lamotte, S. (2020). Here’s Why You Don’t Like To Exercise. Here’s What To Do About It. Harvard Business Review.
  • Messing, S. (2019). The Psychology Behind Why Some People Dislike Exercise. .
  • Razaghi, E. (2019). Uncovering the Reasons Why Some of Us Don’t Enjoy Exercise. Psychology Today.

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