Overcoming Barriers to Exercise: No More Excuses
Exercise is good for almost everyone, but there are so many things that can get in the way of staying active. It’s time for some positive thinking. No more excuses!
Here are some tips to help you overcome those barriers and improve your health.
Finding Time to Exercise
Try exercising first thing in the morning. Combine physical activity with a task that’s already part of your day, such as walking the dog or doing household chores. If you don’t have 30 minutes to be active, look for three 10-minute periods. As you progress, add more 10-minute sessions until you hit your goal!
Sticking with Your Exercise Plan
Make exercise interesting and enjoyable. Do things you enjoy, but pick up the pace and try new activities to keep your interest alive. Being creative about your physical activity plans and regularly trying new forms of exercise prevent boredom. If you can stick with it for at least 6 months, it’s a good sign that you’re on your way to making physical activity a regular habit.
Exercising without Spending Money
Being active doesn’t have to cost a thing! All you need for brisk walking is a pair of comfortable, non-skid shoes. For strength training, you can save money by making your own weights using soup cans or water bottles. Check with your local parks and recreation department or senior center about free or low-cost exercise programs in your area.
Increasing Your Energy
Regular, moderate physical activity can help reduce fatigue and even help you manage stress. Exercise can also reduce feelings of depression, while improving your mood and overall emotional well-being. Once you become active, you’re likely to have more energy than before. As you do more, you also may notice that you can do things more easily, faster, and for longer than before.
Here’s another online tool to help you get the recommended amount of endurance and strength activity during a given week. This new interactive Activity Planner from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Move Your Way campaign lets you build a weekly physical activity plan and then print it out. You can choose from a variety of fun and exciting endurance (aerobic) and strength exercises, personalize your activities by location and purpose, and indicate how much of each exercise you will do. Once you create your plan, don’t forget to add in balance and flexibility exercises.