Overcoming Barriers to Exercise

There’s a myth that fitness is only for fit people and it is hard not to believe it when most clothing brands cater workout wear for someone of a fit physique. We all know that we all can benefit from exercise but there are plenty of different reasons why we just don’t do it.

How do you find the motivation, time, and resources to get fit, particularly if you haven’t exercised in a while?

Understanding the effect, a sedentary lifestyle has on your health often hits home only after a serious event such as hearing bad news from your doctor, but you don’t need that to get started.

If you haven’t exercised for several years or haven’t exercised before, it’s a good idea to get a health check with your GP before starting. Once you have the go ahead, keep motivated by tracking your fitness and setting achievable goals.

Finding the time and effort to fit exercise into your daily routine is challenging. We know being “time poor” is a common reason for not exercising.

One way to get around these barriers might be to attend a group exercise session or join a sports club. Having a friend to exercise with or team mates to support you gives a sense of commitment.

You don’t need to join a gym with a lot of fancy equipment to get fit. There are many YouTube videos of safe routines that you can follow and adjust as you get fitter.

Many exercises – including squats, push ups and sit ups – don’t need special equipment. And rather than improving muscle strength with weights at the gym, you can fill milk bottles with water instead.

You might be thinking about starting aerobic exercise like a cardio workout, or walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling. This will increase our heart rate along with our breathing and when we are not used to this type of exercise our body is inefficient at using oxygen and that’s why we huff and puff.

But if we keep exercising regularly, our bodies become more efficient at using oxygen and we become better at generating enough energy for our muscles to work.

A healthy diet you can maintain in the long term is the most important part of any fitness routine. Not only can it help you lose weight, it can also provide the right type of fuel to power your new exercise program.

It’s best to avoid fad diets, which tend to be restrictive and difficult to maintain. They can lead to a yo-yo effect where you lose weight only for it to return.

Once you’ve decided to start exercising, and had a medical check, start slowly, and build your exercise routine up over weeks and months.

Increase the intensity and frequency of your exercise gradually to more intense sessions more often.

Set some achievable goals, try to stick to them and don’t give up if you have a setback.

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