Tips for overcoming the barriers to exercise


Overcoming the barriers to exercise

“I know I should go to the gym, but I just don’t have the time.”

“I know exercising is good for me, but I just don’t see results fast enough.”

“I need to go to the gym, but I’m just so tired.” 

Have you ever said any of these or similar statements before? You’re not alone! Keep reading to get tips on how to overcome these and other barriers to exercise.

When it comes to making changes in our lifestyle, such as starting an exercise routine, one of the key elements of motivation for change is importance. We have to believe that exercise is worthwhile and that it will really make a difference in our lives.

We need to focus on why we want to exercise in order to overcome our barriers.

I won’t write one sentence about the benefits of exercise—because you already know them! When we are talking about the importance of exercise, I want to know what is important and meaningful to you. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is most important to you, deep in your heart?
  • What sort of person do you want to be?
  • What is significant and meaningful to you?
  • What do you want to stand for in this life?

Perhaps your children, your spouse, or your friends are important to you. Perhaps your job, your intellect or your self-worth is important to you. Write down your answers and then ask yourself:

  • How does avoiding exercise impact these values?
  • How might becoming more active impact these values?

When we make something personal and meaningful, it becomes important. When we connect what is important to us to a behavior change, then we become more motivated to do that behavior.

I would love to hear what is important and meaningful to you. What is your why when it comes to being more active?

Nick Frye, LCPC, NCC, DCC

Author: Nick Frye, LCPC, NCC, DCC

Medifast’s resident Behavioral Specialist, Nick, is a licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor and Distance Credentialed Counselor specializing in addictions, disordered eating, motivation, and health behavior change. He develops behavior modification content for training programs, educational materials and support tools for all divisions of Medifast. Nick is a comic book and fantasy geek through-and-through, boasting that he has a far greater knowledge of the fictional Marvel Comics Universe than of his own family’s genealogy.

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  1. Nick…As a health coach, I feel hypocritical. I just don’t get out to exercise. Don’t like it but know I must. Know my Why! Content not to. Need to figure out why I don’t.

  2. Exercise is a tough one for me. It started back in 8th grade. I don’t understand why I allowed it to be my stumbling block, but I put exercise on the back burner when I got teased by my “friends” for the way I ran. (Like an Ape was one of the comments)

    I have always been heavy chested so that has always been an issue for me as well. They truly do hurt when I jog/run and no those sports bras don’t do anything.

    For the most part, when I am active, I fall, making me feel like a klutz. Not just once, but lots of times. Fortunately, I’ve never broken anything but sure have had LOTS of sprained ankles!

    And now, I live in a rural area, where the gym isn’t an option for me. I can walk without onlookers, but getting past all that mental junk is certainly a challenge.

    Any ideas?

    Thank you in advance!

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