• Most Common Reasons People Stop Exercising (And What You Can Do About Them!)

     
     
     
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    It is not easy sticking to a regular physical activity routine. There are many barriers that creep up when you least expect them—time, money, weather, self-consciousness, boredom and fatigue, to name a few. Don’t let your plans for a lifestyle of more physical activity be derailed one more time! SecondsCount has outlined a few practical solutions for some of the most common barriers to being physically active.

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    1.    You’re short on time (and have many work or family commitments.)

     

    In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it is easy to cast aside physical activity.  But with exercise’s many health benefits, among them stress relief, you really can’t afford not to exercise, even if you’re busy.

     

    • When you “don’t have time,” the best strategy is to build shorter but more frequent periods of physical activity into your day—10 minutes two to three times a day.
    • Schedule your time to be physically active on a daily basis. Honor it as if it was any other important appointment.
    • Try getting up 20 to 30 minutes earlier. Even if you exercise later in the day, it will allow you to build more time in your day for physical activity.
    • Walk whenever you can. Take a short brisk walk around the block at lunch or during a break at work. Walk the dog once or twice a day; you both deserve it. Walk around the field at your children’s sporting events. Park the car at the farthest end of a parking lot.
    • Take the stairs instead of escalators or elevators at the mall or office.
    • Reduce television and idle computer time. Or let yourself watch TV if you’re walking on the treadmill or doing floor exercises such as sit-ups and push-ups, which may make you want to be more active.
    • Do more housework, like scrubbing, mopping, vacuuming, etc. When things need to go upstairs or downstairs, don’t pile them to be more “efficient” and bring them all at once…take them one at a time and call it exercise (if it takes you at least 10 minutes).
    • Trade babysitting time with friends if you have small children, or bring them along for a walk or jog using a jogging stroller. Several gyms also have babysitting services, often included in the membership prices.

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    2.    You’re short on money (and gym access.)

     

    You don’t need to join a gym, take classes, or buy a treadmill, hand weights or exercise DVDs to improve your fitness. It’s true those items can make it easier to exercise because they are planned for you. But with a little bit of creativity and planning, you have everything you need and it’s mostly free!

     

    • Enjoy the fresh—and free—outdoors: walk, hike, run, play tag with your kids, kick a soccer ball around.
    • Check out an exercise video from the library. This is free, plus you can keep changing up your routine by checking out different videos.
    • Use stairs (inside or outside) and hills to increase intensity.
    • You don’t need special equipment; use your body as its own resistance. Do push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, squats, leg lunges, arm dips, etc. in the privacy of your own home.
    • Use low-cost and versatile exercise balls, resistance bands, or household items such as bottles or cans of food as weights.

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    3.    You’re stuck inside (due to inclement weather.)

     

    Not everyone enjoys going outside to exercise when it’s cold and rainy. But there’s plenty to do inside, whether you belong to a gym or not.

    • Go to the mall and walk laps.
    • Take an exercise class at the gym. Or check out exercise DVDS from the library or use a video rental service such as Netflix, through which they can even be watched instantly on the Internet.
    • Use the stairs in your house; you only need one or two to use repeatedly to get your heart rate up.
    • Again, you can use your body as its own resistance and do indoor activities such as push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, squats, leg lunges, arm dips, etc.
    • Jump rope or just jump in place in the comfort of your own home.
    • Consider several high-tech, fun options:
      • Try the video game system Wii Fit or Wii Fit Plus, which combines fitness activities such as aerobic activities, strength training, balance activities, with fun!
      • Try the “Dance Dance Revolution” video game, which comes in versions for several popular video gaming systems, such as Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360.
      • If you have an iPod and are able to walk briskly or jog on a treadmill, consider downloading the application “Couch-to-5K” which teaches you how to walk and jog with interval training to eventually completely jog 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) at the end of 9 weeks.

     

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    4. You feel self-conscious and intimidated.

     

    Maybe you are unfamiliar with the equipment, worried you won’t be able to keep up in an exercise class, or you’re put off by the fitness levels of gym-goers.

     

    Try not to be hard on yourself! And remember your health and fitness does not depend on anyone else, so don’t worry about anyone else.  Choose activities where you feel comfortable enough to get moving. And as you improve your fitness and health, you will feel more confident than ever.

    • If you’re self-conscious, try avoiding the crowds when exercising. If you belong to a gym, go during off-peak hours. Or avoid gyms altogether and be active in your own home or blend into the great outdoors.
    • Consider getting a personal trainer to help you. Even one session can show you how to be more self-sufficient in performing activities.
    • If you are interested in taking classes, look for introductory classes. Also consider other factors that may be important in picking an exercise class that’s right for you, such as your goals, limitations, and concerns.

     

     

     

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    5.    You’re bored with the same old activities.

     

    It happens to all of us. Boredom can rear its ugly head. But don’t let it derail you on your path to a more active lifestyle! If you do a few simple things to keep things interesting, you will keep being physically active and improve your fitness and health.

    • Be social. Get a family member or a friend to join you in your efforts to be physically active. The conversation will be a positive reward that makes you want to keep it up.
    • Choose activities you enjoy. If you don’t like to run, then don’t do it! Pick something else you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, bowling, gardening, etc.
    • Change it up and try new things. Don’t be afraid to vary from your usual routine and try new things. Plan regular family events to get everyone physically active in a weekly hike, bike ride, or another new tradition.
    • Try a month of these fun physical activity suggestions to keep you motivated to continue living an active lifestyle! Keep Boredom at Bay: One Month of Fun Physical Activities

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    6.    You’re tired and lack energy.

     

    It’s not uncommon to be tired at the end of the busy day. And most of our days are busy!  But ironically, if you find time for physical activity on a regular basis, your energy level usually improves after you adjust to the new routine!

     

     

    • Fit in physical activity in the morning, before the day tires you out.Or use your lunch break to get in a burst of activity. Schedule it on your calendar and hold yourself to the appointment!
    • Adjust the intensity and simply walk more slowly if you feel you can’t muster enough energy for your usual pace. Once you get going, you may surprise yourself and pick up the pace.
    • Go to bed 30 minutes earlier if you can. It may be that you are not getting enough sleep to handle all that the days have in store for you.
    • Prepare in advance to be active. Get your comfortable clothes and a filled water bottle ready the night before. Or pack the clothes and water to bring them to work, and get changed before you get home.

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