Physical Activity Basics
Barriers to Physical Activity
Getting into a regular exercise routine isn't easy. You may feel defeated before you even start because of perceived barriers like time, boredom, injuries and self-confidence. But these issues don't need to stand in your way. Consider practical solutions for overcoming common barriers to fitness.
Not Enough Time
- Monitor your daily activities for one week. Identify at least three 30-minute time slots you could use for physical activity.
- Add physical activity to your daily routine. For example, walk the dog, exercise while you watch TV, park farther away, pace while talking on the phone, walk in instead of using the drive–thru or hide the remote so you have to get up to change the channel.
- Squeeze in 10-minute bouts of exercise throughout the day. The good news is that you don’t have to fit in your activity all at once. You can break it up and spread it throughout the day or week.
- If your days are packed and the evening hours are just as hectic, get up 30 minutes earlier twice a week to exercise. Once you've adjusted to early-morning workouts, add another day or two to the routine.
- Rethink your rituals. For example, your weekly Saturday matinee with the kids or your best friend’s lunch date could be reborn as your weekly Saturday bike ride, rock-climbing lesson or trip to the pool.
Lack of Energy
- Schedule physical activity for times in the day or week when you feel energetic and refreshed.
- Go to bed earlier. When you are not getting enough sleep it’s hard to find energy to workout.
Lack of Motivation
- Plan ahead and make physical activity a regular part of your daily or weekly schedule and write it on your calendar.
- Exercise with someone. Try group classes or a personal trainer who can help encourage and motivate you.
- Set a goal for yourself and when you reach it reward yourself.
- Set out your workout clothes where you will see them when you wake up or come home from work. Don’t let yourself do anything else until you get in some physical activity.
- Develop a set of regular activities that are always available regardless of the weather, such as indoor cycling, indoor swimming, mall walking or dancing.
- Exercise early in the morning or late in the evening if the weather is hot to avoid the day’s sun.
- Join a gym. No matter what the weather you can always work out at the gym.
- Choose a hotel with a swimming pool or exercise facility.
- Take the stairs or walk the halls in your hotel.
- Go for a run or walk around the hotel.
- Use your legs as transportation instead of renting a car to get around.
Lack of Encouragement or Companionship from Family and Friends
- Explain your interest in physical activity to friends and family. Ask them to support your efforts.
- Invite friends and family members to exercise with you.
- Join a running or hiking club and develop new friendships with physically active people.