Posted November 8, 2017 11:13 pm

Overcoming common fitness challenges

There are so many people who wish they could stick to a regular fitness regime, but there are a barrage of excuses and reasons that get in the way. The good news is that these barriers are commonplace, which means just about everyone deals with at least one or two of them. Here are a number of common barriers to fitness and what you can do to get over them.

1. Being injured.

Injuries don’t just make it physically difficult to workout, they also make it psychologically and emotionally tough to get up and get moving. Injury can lead to lethargy and even feelings of depression, and even though it’s tough to workout when you feel like that, fitness is a great way to start feeling better. While you don’t want to injure yourself more, there are almost always ways to workout even if you’re healing. For example, if you have shin splints from running on hard pavement, you can take a few days off from your normal course and focus on upper body workouts or low impact exercise like swimming. 

2. Not having enough time.

Finding time to exercise can be difficult, not just because time is limited and schedules get busy, but also because working out can be daunting and it’s not always a fun, exciting thing to add to your day. To combat this, aim for short spurts of fitness, like a quick walk around the block after lunch or taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work. A good first step to working out regularly is developing a fitness mindset, and you don’t need a ton of free time to do that.

3. Comparing yourself to other people.

The quickest way to back out of an exercise class is to walk in and see a bunch of in-shape pros gearing up for the workout. Remember, though, everyone was a beginner at one point. When you compare yourself to others, you set yourself up for failure because you’ll automatically find ways to feel like you’re less than. Instead of comparing yourself against other people – people you don’t know and who have their own set of fitness challenges and goals – compare yourself to yourself, measuring your progress as you go along. Before you know it, you’ll be one of those people that other newbies are intimidated by. 

4. Not having enough energy.

When you’re feeling tired and sluggish, working out is the last thing you want to do. However, having low energy could mean that you need to workout – light workouts can actually boost your energy instead of zap it more. Start slow to see how your body reacts – an easy one-mile walk won’t make you ready to hit your bed when you get home, and you may even notice a spike in energy afterwards. You can also start planning your workouts for high energy times, like during your lunch hour or first thing in the morning.

5. Being bored by your workouts.

There are definitely certain workouts that some people may find boring. Running on a treadmill or around a track can feel tedious to some people. Joining a fitness class can make some people feel like they’re trapped inside when the sun is shining. Yoga can be way too slow for some people. Working out doesn’t have to be boring, and with so many different fitness and sports options out there, finding one that keeps you entertained is absolutely possible. Instead of forcing yourself to do something you hate, experiment with different types of sports, solo workouts and fitness classes to find the few that you look forward to doing.

6. Feeling burnt out.

If you work out a lot, you may be feeling like you’re motivation is slowing down. It’s possible you’re burnt out. In this case, take some time off! A few days without exercise will help restore your energy and get you ready to get back to it.

There’s no arguing that adhering to a regular workout schedule is tough – it takes time, discipline and energy, three things that a lot of people struggle to maintain. By getting rid of certain barriers before they pose a problem, though, you’ll be more likely to achieve your fitness goals, no matter how challenging the path is.