Search

Barriers to exercise...

When you set about on your fitness journey, we can often feel confident that we are going to exercise 3-5 times a week because we've decided so. We go in with the best intentions aiming for perfect consistency.


What we don't prepare for is that life doesn't care about our intentions and it will get in the way.


Any of these ring a bell?


  • Your train is delayed/you're stuck in traffic so miss the class/arrive home late and tired. Or (best one I've ever had) your helmet is trapped in someone else's locker so you won't make it in time for the class

  • You've got family/friends visiting or you're going out for dinner

  • You've had a rubbish night sleep

  • You're ill/injured

  • You've got period pain

  • You're on holiday

  • You missed Monday so might as well start again the following week

  • You forgot to pack part of your workout gear so can't workout when you'd planned

  • You've got friends/family staying over for an entire week!

  • You want to workout at home but it's too loud for the people living beneath you

  • Class has been cancelled/your instructor is on holiday

  • You've done a consecutive run of really long work shifts etc. etc.


Often these barriers come up and you find your progress completely derailed. You feel like you've failed. You lose motivation. You stop the habits you've been working to create.


The thing to realise is it happens! Barriers WILL come up, I guarantee it. To every single one of us. It's how we prepare for them that makes the difference to long term progress.


So, my advice when starting a new fitness regime is to preempt the potential barriers that you might come up against. Plan in advance what the solution will be. Write it down to help keep you accountable.


Here are a few examples but you'll need to make it work for you.


Barrier

Your train is delayed/you're stuck in traffic/your helmet is trapped so miss the class/arrive home late and tired

Solution

Try a short 10 minute YouTube video at home or go for a quick walk instead


Barrier

You've got family/friends visiting or you're going out for dinner

Solution

Workout in the morning/lunch instead/go for a walk at lunch instead/plan ahead an make sure that day will be your rest day and workout a different day


Barrier

You've had a rubbish night sleep

Solution

Sometimes it's better for your health to get a good night sleep. Maybe don't exercise but go straight to bed. Or switch for a walk/yoga instead. (NB: exercise can help you sleep so if it's a one off maybe skip the workout. If you regularly feel tired then it might help to workout.)


Barrier

You're ill/injured

Solution

Rest. But not forever. Plan in the diary exactly when you will start again. Assuming you're better make sure you do it - maybe tell a friend and you can do it together to help keep you accountable


Barrier

You've got period pain

Solution

Go for walks instead and shift the workouts around (NB: sometimes you can actually have your best workouts on your period because there's more testosterone in the body. So, unless you're experiencing horrendous cramps try not to use it as a barrier and go kick ass!)


Barrier

You're on holiday

Solution

Body weight workouts instead. Or stick with swimming/walks. Or maybe just allow yourself a holiday but plan when you'll workout when you get home


Barrier

You missed Monday so might as well start again the following week

Solution

Learn to start any day of the week and not be ruled by Monday's!


Barrier

You forgot to pack part of your workout gear so can't workout when you'd planned

Solution

Been here!! First thing - is it integral? I've done workouts with no socks before or in a work top. But if you forget trousers/top/spin shoes/trainers it can mean you can't go ahead. If this ever happens go for a walk instead. Or try a home workout when you get home.


Barrier

You've got friends/family staying over for an entire week!

Solution

So what? Tell them when you'll be exercising - you can even get them involved. They don't need to be with you 24/7


Barrier

You want to workout at home but it's too loud for the people living beneath you

Solution

Keep all your exercises low impact/switch out noisy exercises for alternatives


Barrier

Class has been cancelled/your instructor is on holiday

Solution

Go to a different class/go to the gym. Try a YouTube workout. Go for a walk/run instead. Definitely the instructor being on holiday doesn't mean you can't do anything at all


Barrier

You've done a consecutive run of really long work shifts and you're exhausted and just want bed

Solution

Focus on healthy eating and getting good sleep in if this happens it will probably be more beneficial. Walks during lunch breaks/after work instead and then plan in your diary for when you've got more time instead.



I hope this helps. One more small point. Missing one workout/one week isn't the be all and end all. It doesn't mean you'll fail in the long term, it simply means it will take a little bit longer to reach your goals.


Good luck!







40 views