Ha! Move Over, Women. Men Feel It, Too.

So it's not just us.  Men feel it, too.

Guilt and shame are what motivate many of us to go to the gym.  Men feel embarrassed about their body fat, too, a new study has found, and it's fueling a rush to the gym.

According to newswise.com, psychology researchers from the UK and Australia discovered that while male attitudes towards muscle or body mass index (BMI) did not predict how frequently they would attend the gym, their perceptions of body fat did.

The researchers found that men worried about body fat were more likely than others to undertake spontaneous, unplanned work-outs - and warned that these "sporadic" exercise patterns tend to be difficult to sustain over time.

The findings raise questions over the effect portrayals of the 'ideal body' online and in the media have on healthy exercise behaviors in an era of  "selfies." This has important real-life implications for health and exercise professionals and their intervention programs, the researchers suggest.

"Coaches, trainers, and even 'gym buddies' need to be aware of individuals' motivations and reasons for attending a gym," say researchers. Spontaneous gym-goers are more likely to be motivated by guilt, shame or pressure, newswise reports.

"Anyone can be affected by what they see online, the social cues images can give, and the popular conceptions of an 'ideal body image,' says Dr David Keatley from the School of Psychology at the University of Lincoln, UK, and Kim Caudwell from Curtin University, Australia.  He adds that, with the recent growth of "selfies" and the return of muscle-bound Hollywood hero icons like Vin Diesel and Hugh Jackman, there's a real risk that males may be more influenced to attend the gym more regularly and workout to a point where it becomes dangerous or detracts from their well-being.

"This study is important in showing that while they may be more unlikely to admit it, body dissatisfaction and dysmorphia can and do affect males as well as females," he concludes.
 And on another reason to feel guilty, abandoned your FitBit?  You're not alone.  Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) studied those who gave up their FitBits, and found that people abandon self-tracking for different reasons. Some don’t like what their Fitbit or financial tracking tools reveal, others find collecting data a hassle, don’t quite know how to use the information or simply learn what they need to know about their habits and move on.

“We got curious about what it’s like for people after they stop using self-tracking tools,” says Sean Munson, a UW assistant professor of human centered design and engineering. “Do they feel great, do they feel guilty, do they feel like they’ve gotten everything they need?”

Guess what? Most people tracked experienced no real difference in their lives. Other emotions, however, ranged from guilt over not being able to keep it up to relief from the tyranny of self-tracking.

I had a type of fitness device that I used for about six months, running and swimming.  But I kept losing it in the pool so that's why I abandoned mine.


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