Break the barriers to fitness!

We all know the benefits of staying healthy and fit, barely a day goes by when we aren’t reminded of how important it is to get 'out there' and 'get active'.

But for a lot of us that simply isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Lets face it most of us live pretty busy lives, wether its going work, ferrying the kids around, family commitments or just getting the chores done, it seems like we barely have time to ourselves.

So is there time to exercise? Well we think so and here are some of the most commonly sited barriers for not being able to exercise and our SOLUTIONS for breaking them down. Not all of them will suit you but even if you can change a few then your on the right path, give it a go and see how you get on.

1. TIME: Or lack of it! probably the most common reason people use for not taking part in some form of daily activity.

SOLUTION: Finding time is more about a change in mindset and perspective as it is about rushing around trying to cram everything in.

A good place to start is to sit down and think about your daily routine and account for each hour (you can even break it down further into half hours and quarters!).

Once you've done this you will be more able to see clearly where you can make some changes and indeed find time in your schedule.

Getting up just half an hour earlier can be enough to fit in a quick exercise activity such as a run or home workout routine.

Diarise and priorities to exercise! A lot of the time we become disorganised in our daily lives, make use of a diary or wall planner to pencil in times when you can exercise, once you've written them down your more likely to achieve them. Schedule in blocks of exercise at weekends when time is a little more flexible.

Just combining these simple methods can set you on the path to change and success.

Most people find once they've done this and made a few changes to they're usual routines that they have a spare hour a day they can use to exercise.

2. GUILT: Recent research carried out by Sport England revealed that 81% of mums with children under 15 prioritise spending time with their family over getting fit and 44% say they feel guilty if they spend time on themselves. Combine this with other commitments and you can see why some people site guilt as a major barrier to exercise.

SOLUTION: You really have no need to feel guilty, we all need and deserve a little 'me time'. Finding the support of family and friends can help. when you have support you are more likely and able to take time to exercise 'guilt free'. Ask your spouse, friend or parent to watch the kids while you attend a local bootcamp or class and return the favour when you can, its a win win! We have all said to someone we know who stays fit "how do you do it? where do you find the time”? Ask them! They may have ideas you've never thought of.

And lets be honest you've no need to feel guilty or selfish, you are at the end of the day investing in your future ability to support the ones you love and be their for them, healthy, strong and capable.

3. SELF­ CONSCIOUS: Ok this can be a big one, fear of how you look, your ability, being judged are all common barriers that can prevent you getting out there and staying healthy.

It can be daunting for anyone taking up a new exercise programme but everyone has to start somewhere and the truth is even people use to exercise can feel the same way when trying something new, so you are not alone.

SOLUTION: Joining a class of like minded people is a great starting point e.g a local beginners run club Or making a commitment with a friend (or trusted person) to exercise together.

Being with like minded people or people you know can help enormously with your self confidence and belief, the social side of fitness is a huge motivator. Be strong remember why your doing this and stay focused, you have nothing to fear.

You will soon find you are 'better' than you thought and actually the majority of people will admire you for getting out there and doing it. If your still not sure start an exercise program at home or book a couple of PT sessions to get you started, this will build your confidence in the comfort of your own home.

4. MONEY: For a lot of us exercise just seems too expensive, the cost of joining a gym, buying expensive equipment and clothing etc The truth is exercise needn’t cost the earth.

SOLUTION: Ok so most exercise activities will cost you something (if only in sweat!) but you don’t need to spend a small fortune. Running is one of the most cost effective and convenient forms of exercise around. For the cost of a good pair of trainers (and sports bra if your a lady) you can look forward to years of FREE exercise, just out your door.

Pay as you go schemes (PAYG) can make exercise very cost effective, with no membership fees or contracts to pay up front, activities such as Bootcamps and Circuit classes can be a great cost effective option that you can use when you are able.

A home work out can be done for free just using a range cardio and body weight exercises. But even setting up a little home gym kit needn’t cost lots. A skipping rope and some hand held weights can be bought for less than a meal out. Shops like Decathlon, TK Max, Tescos (as well as online retailers) sell a range of inexpensive equipment options. You don’t need a fully kitted out garage gym!!

5. PAST EXPERIENCES: Lets be honest we have probably all had one or more of these, wether its an injury picked up on a first run, being bored or failing to lift a weight at the gym. But we shouldn’t let our past experiences impact on our future goals. The harsh truth is you were probably doing something wrong! we all make mistakes that can lead to a bad experience or cause us to lose interest or ditch our good intentions.

SOLUTION: If your trying something new for the first time, take it slow! you wouldn’t start a new job and immediately change the way a place is run (would you?) So don’t expect to start a new exercise program at an intense pace/effort and expect immediate results. Our bodies need time to adapt to changes and the pressures we put on them. A common mistake most people make when they start running is to run too fast, too far, too soon ( in the wrong gear) which can lead to a sense dissatisfaction or worse an injury. Give yourself time to adapt, its not a race, making long term beneficial changes takes time, BUT its WORTH IT. Start slow and build with experience.

Talk to someone who you know is an experienced athlete or participates in exercise regularly and ask them for any tips (most people are more than happy to pass on little nuggets of info) Seek the advice of a PT or club coach they will be able to offer you a wealth of advice and support.

Try new activities, exercise with a group or friends to counter the feeling of boredom. Learn new skills to improve performance. Mix it up try multi sports such as Triathlon or simply do different exercises on different days e.g swim on Monday, run on Wednesday, bootcamp Friday. Be honest with yourself and if you really aren’t enjoying a particular activity stop and find something new that suits you better 9you will be more likely to maintain it long term).

Whatever your current barriers are BREAK THEM DOWN and start on the path to a fitter and healthier you.

Want to make a start and get your fitness back on track?

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