Fear of Exercise: Why Is Getting Fit Scary?

Getting Fit Can Be Scary

Fitness is an essential part of health that people often set aside in order to focus on other aspects of their lives. Sometimes other tasks take priority. Sometimes people are simply not up for the task of focusing more on their fitness.

Many people fear the process of getting fit. They think that eating healthy and being active are big chores with a high risk of failure. They are comfortable where they are and don’t know how to adjust to the changes. However, we’re here to tell you that it’s not as scary as you think and you definitely can make it work!

Why it can be scary to get fit

Fitness can be a simple vision or goal that seems unattainable. You’ve made some attempts, but gave up quickly and fell back into your old sedentary lifestyle. There is no pain or discomfort here that is required from strenuous activity. Let’s look at the common reasons people feel fear when trying to get fit.

Sedentary Is Easy

The main reasons people often fail to adapt to a more active lifestyle are that it is uncomfortable, takes time, and requires a lot of effort — and these things can be scary! Your couch is more comfortable than running. Exercise leaves you sore and tired. You’re busy and it will only increase your stress to take the time to workout.


Living a sedentary lifestyle (a way of life with minimal physical activity) can be harmful to your overall well-being. This can impact your physical, emotional, and mental health in more than one way. Lifespan Fitness reports that an inactive lifestyle increases your risk of developing some cancers, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and increased cholesterol levels.

Depression and anxiety are also more prevalent among those who are physically inactive.

NHS Choices reports that an adult should ideally participate in a minimum of 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week. The aerobic activity should be of moderate intensity and includes fast walking, cycling, or similar activities. In addition to the recommendation on aerobic activities, weekly strength training exercises are also suggested. Ideally, a person should complete strength training activities two or more days per week.

According to Lifespan Fitness, however, only around 6.5% of American adults meet these minimum recommendations. They also report that at least 20% of all mortality rates among people who are older than 35 years of age account for conditions that were the result of a sedentary lifestyle.


Fear of Not Achieving Resultslifestlye, motivation, fitness

Going from inactive to being fit does not happen overnight. This is a factor that has proven itself true again and again. This is also a factor that is discouraging a lot of people. Yes, it is true that you may not notice results the same day that you are starting new physical activities, but, if you keep at it, you will slowly see positive changes in your life.

You will notice some brain-boosting benefits after just a few days, more energy after the first week, and at the one-month milestone, you should notice that your body is building more muscle tissue.

In just around six months, you will have built larger muscles, and you will also feel more energetic and overall much healthier. Your risk of having a heart attack and developing many other diseases is also significantly reduced at this time.

Remember to combine your workout routines with some of the best anti-inflammatory foods to fight possible inflammation in your muscle tissue, especially when you are getting started.

The Fear of Being the “Newbie”

Everyone has to start somewhere when it comes to fitness. Some people started at a young age and upheld their performance, and others began later in life. Others were active at a young age, but stopped and have only recently restarted. Many people fear learning (or relearning) activities.

Not knowing how or where to start can be scary — but this is something that everyone has to overcome at some point in their lives. Nerd Fitness reports that it is rather common for people, especially new exercisers, to feel like others are laughing at their performance and always judging them.

However, this feeling of being ridiculed is all in our heads — it’s simply fear setting in.

In reality, everyone around you is busy with their own activities and they don’t have time to judge you. In time, you will get more experience and this feeling will go away.

The Fear of Not Succeeding

Of course, we also have to mention the fear of not succeeding. This is the most common concern that people have to overcome if they want to become fit and live a healthier life. When the time draws closer to start a physical training session, you may begin to question yourself.

You may think that they will not be able to perform the particular types of exercises that are included in their training schedule and, to avoid feeling like a failure, they would rather not do anything than fail while trying.

Mark’s Daily Apple explains that the process of questions yourself and then ending up not doing what you wanted to do is often referred to as “self-handicapping,” a process where your thoughts discourage an activity because you do not believe that you can perform that particular activity successfully.


People often tend to skip their workouts and justify it by attending more to other things like work or family concerns. These are important but are not necessarily geared toward increasing your level of fitness. Unfortunately, being too inactive is bad for the overall well-being of the human body — not only physiologically, but also psychologically.

If you’re used to a more sedentary lifestyle, it is normal to feel nervous (and maybe even afraid!) when you start to make changes. Just remember that you’re not alone in this. By recognizing these fears, you can put things in place to overcome them. Work step by step to get more fit today! You may even surprise yourself by enjoying your workouts.