I think it may be the influence of the Biggest Loser, but I worry that we focus too much on the "no pain, no gain" approach to exercise. People want to go from couch potato to marathon runner inside a year. P90x. Insanity. If we're not going full throttle, apparently we feel we're not getting the full benefits of exercise.
Stop! There is a better way!
Of course, it all depends on what your fitness goals are. If you want to look like a "fit model" then by all means, shred away. But if you want to be slimmer, more attractive, more energetic? Why, a lovely walk in the park can get you that. I've lost 45 pounds walking, swimming and dancing, three things I LOVE to do.
Sure, I've tried my hand at the heavy, hard panting, INSANE workouts, too. But for over a year, I have stuck with the things I love, been continually motivated, made friends, had fun and had great results.
Now, if you are passionate about distance running, HIIT, and maximum intensity workouts, by all means, carry on. If you love it, you'll do it and consistency is the most important part. But I feel many people are trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. There are so many great ways to exercise and have fun, too. The other day I came across an archer on Spark. An archer! How cool is that? Part hobby, part workout! I don't know, maybe you'd enjoy fly fishing.
The point is to find something you enjoy, that gets your heart racing, that you'll want to do day after day. And if that thing is not P90X, I totally understand.