How to Beat Exercise Barriers and Track Your Success
Despite the fact that exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health, many people still don’t exercise on a regular basis. Even minimal exercise can reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. Exercise can also improve your brain health and mental wellbeing, and it significantly increases your overall energy level.
Studies have proven the positive effects associated with exercise, but many people remain inactive. Why?
There are actually four very common exercise barriers that the majority of people cite as the reasons they don’t exercise. Let’s take a look at those barriers and ways to beat them!
Barrier #1: Exercise is boring to you.
If you think exercise is boring, then you can make it more fun and enjoyable. Consider exercising with a friend or relative. Attend an exercise class together or go alone and meet new people. When you have one or more people to exercise with, you’ll have something more to look forward to, and you’re more likely to stick with your exercise commitment.
Barrier #2: You’re too tired to exercise.
We all feel too tired to do things sometimes, but don’t let this barrier stop you from getting the healthy exercise you need for your physical and mental wellbeing. Instead, identify the time (or times) during the day when you feel the most energetic. Can you fit some exercise into that time? Even a short walk before work or during your lunch hour has health benefits. Also, keep in mind that once you start exercising, you might discover that your energy levels actually increase and it gets easier.
Barrier #3: You think you’re out of shape and exercising is too hard.
Remember, some exercise is better than no exercise. That means you don’t have to do exercises that are overly challenging. Instead, start with a walking program, or try biking or another activity that you enjoy. Go at your own pace and increase the time and intensity of your exercise as your fitness level improves.
Remember, if you’re too out of breath to hold a conversation comfortably while you’re exercising, then you’re working too hard. Slow down. And if you don’t break a mild sweat when you’re exercising, you’re not working hard enough. Increase your speed or intensity.
Barrier #4: You’re too busy to exercise.
We live in a time when most people are completely overwhelmed with work, family, and a long list of commitments that leave us with very little time to ourselves. Unfortunately, that means we don’t have a lot of time to exercise. If that sounds like you, try to find small amounts of time to fit in a walk or another short activity. Take your kids, spouse, or a friend with you to make it a fun activity.
In addition, make small changes in your daily life like parking farther away from your destination so your walk is longer, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or marching in place or walking on a treadmill while watching television.
Tracking Your Success
If your goal is to lose weight, then tracking how much weight you lose or how many inches you trim will be important to you. However, if you’re already a healthy weight and your goal is to boost your fitness level in order to improve your overall physical and mental health, then tracking weight loss won’t tell you if you’re making the progress you want.
To measure your overall fitness, you can track your resting heart rate. This is your pulse rate when you’re least active. Typically, the lower your resting heart rate is, the better shape your heart is in. Here’s how to measure your resting heart rate:
- Take your pulse first thing when you wake up in the morning before you get out of bed.
- Count the number of heart beats for 10 seconds and multiply that number by six. This tells you your pulse in beats per minute.
- Repeat the next morning and take the average of the two numbers (add them together and divide by two). This is your resting heart rate for fitness tracking purposes.
You should calculate your resting heart rate using the three steps above every three months. If you’ve been exercising, you should see your resting heart rate improve (that means it will get lower) over time.
Do You Need Help?
If you need help getting started with an exercise routine or you need help staying motivated to continue exercising, a wellness coach or health coach can help! Follow the link to schedule a free Talk to a Coach session now and get on a path to improving your health and happiness!
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All information contained on this website are for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to be taken as medical or other health advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or a qualified medical professional. IN THE CASE OF A MEDICAL EMERGENCY OR SUICIDAL THOUGHTS, IMMEDIATELY CALL 911.
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