Overcoming Barriers to Exercise

Overcoming Barriers to ExerciseSticking to a regular exercise program isn’t easy.  After all there are plenty of potential hindrances – time, boredom, injuries, self-confidence.  As personal trainers we hear them all!
But these issues don’t need to stand in the way.  Consider practical strategies for overcoming common barriers to exercise.

Barrier: I don’t have enough time to exercise
Setting aside time to exercise can be a challenge.  Use a little creativity to get the most out of your time.
Squeeze in a few 10 min walks throughout the day.  If you don’t have time for a full work out don’t sweat it.  Shorter spurts of exercise spaced throughout the day offer benefits too.
Get Up Earlier.  If your days are packed, and the evening hours just as hectic, get up 30 mins earlier twice a week to exercise.  Once you’ve adjusted to early morning training, add another day or two to the routine.
Claim the furthest park from the office as you own.  Or park a few blocks away and walk quickly to your destination.
Rethink your rituals.  Your weekly Saturday movie with the kids or your best friend could be reborn as your weekly Saturday bike ride, rock-climbing lession or swim at the pools.
Barrier: Exercise is Boring
It’s natural to grow tried of repetitive training day after day, especially when you’re training alone.  But exercise doesn’t have to be boring.
Think of it as an activity.  If you choose activities you enjoy, you’re more likely to stay interested.  Remember, anything that gets you moving and your heart rate up counts.
Vary the routine.  Rotate through several activities – such as walking, swimming, cycling and jogging – to keep you interested whilst also conditioning different muscles and energy systems.
Join forces with friends, neighbors or co-workers.  Enjoy the team bonding with fellow employees, and the and the developing sense of community when with neighbors.  It helps a lot when the going gets tough to have someone help pull you through the tough times.
Do an extra session with your trainer.  Personal Trainers are all about variety.  If you want additional variety set up a session once a week with your trainer specifically focusing around variety.  You’ll be amazed by what they will come up with!  After all… It’s all part of the job!
Barrier:  I’m self-conscious about how I look when I exercise
Don’t get down on yourself!  Remind yourself of what a great favor you’re doing for you health, focus on how much stronger you feel after a session.  Pat yourself on the back for improving your stamina and making a commitment to lifelong health and fitness.
If your still uncomfortable about exercising in front of others, train by yourself at first.  Consider getting an exercise bike at home, a treadmill, stair climber or another piece of exercise equipment.  As you become fitter and more confident your self conciousness will fade into the background.  Remember everybody else out there is doing the same thing as you!

Barrier: I’m too tired to exercise after working all day
No energy to exercise?  Without exercise, you’ll have no energy.  It’s a viciuos cycle.  But breaking the cycle is the key.  Once you have gotten through the first few sessions and created a habit you will wonder how you have evey lived with out it!
Try a morning does of exercise.  Remember the suggestion to get up 30 minutes earlier to exercise?  Head out for a walk or jump on your bike or have a walk on the treadmill while watching the morning news.
Make lunchtime count.  Keep a pair of walking shoes at your desk, and take a brisk walk during your lunch break.
Be prepared.  Put training clothes in your car, socks and all.  Keep a full water bottle in their as well.  You never know when you may get a call from your doctor/dentist or hair dresser with a cancelled appointment because they would rather play golf or go shopping!
Hit the hay earlier.  Running on empty is no way to face a full day.  Go to bed earlier to make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
Barrier:  I’m too lazy to exercise
If the mere thought of a morning jog makes you tired, try these:
Set realistic expectations.  If your mantal bar is too high, you might give up without even trying.  Start with a walk around the block.  Dont give up if you feel worn out.  That’s the point!  To tire you body out to force it into change.  Take another walk tomorrow, eventually you will feel the change.  Each time it gets easier is a proven increase in you fitness.
Work with your nature, not against it.  Plan physical activity for timre of the day when you tend to feel more energetic – or at least not as lazy!
Schedule exercise as you would schedule an important meeting and don’t let anything get in the way.  After all its you lifelong health we are talking about.  You can’t work if your not here!
Barrier:  I’m not athletic
Natural athletic ability isn’t a prerequisit to being physicall active.  Try something simple, such as a daily walk.  Better yet, team up with friends who are in the same boat as yourself.  Don’t worry about becoming a superstar athlete.  Just worry about getting moving.

Barrier:  I’ve tried to exercise in the past and failed
Don’t throw in the towel!  You can’t see it when you lower your cholesterol or reduce your risk of diabetes, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t doing your self a great servies.  Re-eveluate what went wrong last time and learn from your mistakes.  Stop the blame game and take responsibility for your actions and your condition.
Pace yourself.  Start small and build up to mire intense workouts later, when your body is ready.
Set realistic goals.  Dont promise yourself too much too quickly.  It has take your body a while to get into its current condition so it very well may take your body a while to get out of it!
Remember why your’re exercising.  Use your personal fitness goals as motivation – and reward yourself as you meet your goals…  Not with a mud cake or a slab of beer however.
Barrier:  My family and friends don’t support my efforts to exercise.
Be their inspiration.  Seeing you sticking with something that means a lot to you with inspire those around you.  Remind those close to you of the benefits of regular exercise, and bring them along for the ride.
Propose a new adventure.  Instead of suggestion a training session at the gym, invite a friend to go a bike ride on the weekend, or for a bush walk, or walk around the bay.
If necessary, have a heart to heart with your loved ones.  At the end of they day they will want what is best for you.  And exercise is!

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