If the prospect of exercising has you conjuring up any excuse to get out of it, you’re not alone. Even though many day-to-day reasons for putting off exercise are legit, finding ways to overcome obstacles is a healthier approach in the long run. Here’s how to get past six common barriers to exercise.
You're Too Busy at Work
Being too busy is hard to hurdle without proper planning. The solution is to reimagine what each day’s workout might look like. When an hour at the gym is positively out of the question (perhaps that’s true every day), you might still find that a 20-minute brisk walk as you leave work or a half-hour fitness class on your lunch break is surprisingly doable. Physical activity can always be done in short bouts.
You’re Too Busy With Family Responsibilities
When family takes priority, your best bet might be to weave exercise into everyday parenting duties or weekend family time (e.g., bike riding, walking in your neighborhood or playing in the park).
If you prefer to go solo, size up your schedule for potential openings—early mornings are usually a good choice, before other errands and duties take over the day. Worried you’ll hit snooze on the alarm clock? Hire a personal trainer who’ll be expecting you in the a.m.—and pre-pay for the sessions.
You’re Not Going Out in That Heat (Rain, Cold, etc.)
You can’t control the weather, but you can keep an eye on the forecast and plan accordingly. Staying on track might mean a change in exercise environment, such as working out in an air-conditioned gym or your living room; creative rescheduling, such as an early-morning hike to beat the heat; or a shopping trip for better performance gear so you can run in the rain.
You’re Confused About What You Should Be Doing
It can be overwhelming to know where to start or which exercises are best for your goals (or even what goals are best!). Simple fix: Hire a personal trainer. He or she can walk you through personalized programming. Having a pro on your side helps you exercise with purpose, which also keeps you motivated.
You’re Too Shy to Go to the Gym
Not all gyms are created equal. There are ones out there—sometimes it’s a community center or small studio—that provide a less-intimidating vibe. Google what’s in your area and ask like-minded friends or coworkers where they go. Then take a tour at a few prospective gyms, observing each facility’s energy, style, staff and clientele.
If you still can’t find a good fit, set up a home gym instead with a set of dumbbells and a subscription to a workout-streaming service or fitness app.
You Can’t Afford a Personal Trainer or Gym Membership
Activities such as walking or running outdoors and doing push-ups and squats in your living room are free.
All the excuses for why you can’t exercise will become less prevalent when you start focusing on all the ways you can integrate exercise into your lifestyle.