DISCLAIMER: Individuals depicted are models, for illustrative purposes only.

Fitness & Activity

Overcome Exercise Obstacles


Overcoming Exercise Obstacles


DISCLAIMER: Individuals depicted are models, for illustrative purposes only.

Talk to your doctor before starting or changing an exercise routine. 

I don't have time. 

  • Find activities that fit into your home or work routine. Walk or do a workout during your lunch break.
  • Schedule physical activity in your calendar and plan around it. 
  • If you can, wake up 30 min earlier to get in a quick morning workout.

I don't know how to start. 

  • Start with walking around your neighborhood. Use a pedometer to track your steps and set a daily step goal.
  • Try an exercise class for beginners to learn the basics. 
  • Hire a personal trainer to provide advice and instruction. 

I can't afford to join a gym. 

  • Select activities that require little or no equipment such as walking, jogging, and dancing.
  • Search online for free instructional videos that you can do at home. 
  • Explore your community. Find out what low-cost programs or free classes your local recreation center offers. 

I'm afraid I'll get an injury. 

  • Start slowly. Warm up and cool down with small movements and stretching. 
  • Listen to your body and establish your own comfort zone. 
  • Talk to your doctor about how to exercise safely. 

I'm embarrassed. 

  • Work on changing your negating thinking. Focus on your personal strengths and health goals rather than comparing yourself with others. 
  • Have a supportive friend or family member exercise with you. Over time you may start to feel more comfortable about working out on your own. 

I lose motivation. 

  • Sign up for a fitness group or exercise class. There are a lot of classes to choose from. Everything from kickboxing and boot camp style classes to dance, yoga, barre, cycling, and even cardio drumming. Branch out and try something new. You might just surprise yourself.  
  • Make physical activity fun. Engage in something you enjoy. Research shows that you’re more likely to stick to an exercise that you enjoy doing. 
  • Redefine exercise. Exercise doesn’t have to be done in a gym. You can get a workout in at the park with your kids or even doing housework or yardwork.   
  • Get competitive. Some people enjoy an activity more when there's something to gain…or lose. If you’re a competitive person, think about joining a sports league. You could also sign up for a race, or challenge your friends, coworkers, or family to a step challenge.  

I'm too tired. 

  • Schedule physical activity for times of the day when you have the most energy. 
  • Examine your sleep habits. Aim for at least 7 hours each night to feel rested. 
  • Start small with a 10-minute activity, like walking. You may find that physical activity will give you energy to finish a stronger workout. 

What keeps you from being active? What are some solutions you will use to overcome your barriers?    Remember that persistence is important. Working through your barriers, and exercising despite them, can help you live into your values even more.