Lack of time, boredom, laziness, and physical pains: There are many reasons that, day after day, can keep us away from regular exercise. “Keeping to a program is not easy – emphasizes Dr. Daniela Lucini, head of exercise medicine at Humanitas – but at the same time it is very important for our health”. Here are some practical tips for overcoming common barriers.
- “I don’t have enough time to practice”
Finding the time to do a bit of motorbikes or a real sporting activity can be a challenge. Use some creativity to get the most out of your time, reminding yourself that spending time on physical activity should be a priority. Nothing should be postponed. Experts point out that regular movement is more important than any other factor. A solution can be to take short walks throughout the day. If you don’t have time for a complete workout, don’t give up completely and set yourself a feasible goal. Walking about 30 minutes on most days of the week (better if every day) is already a good result. Another solution may be to aim for an alarm that rings earlier than usual. If the days are full and the evening hours are just as hectic, getting up 30 minutes earlier a few times a week for exercise can be a solution. Finally, drive less and walk more. Park in the last spot of the car park or even a few blocks away and walk to your destination.
- “I think the exercise is boring”
It is natural to get bored if the training we have chosen is repetitive and especially if we do it by ourselves. The exercise does not have to be boring. Choose the activities you like and you’ll be more likely to train. The important thing is to move around. Joining a group motivates you: involving friends and relatives in the training can help you not to give up as well as draw energy from the group.
- “I feel uncomfortable with my appearance”
Don’t beat yourself down and remind yourself that you do it to improve your cardiovascular health. Focus on the positive sensations you feel after a workout. Avoid the crowds if you feel uncomfortable, or consider investing some money in some equipment that allows you to work out at home. Praise yourself for making a commitment to your health: As you get fit and comfortable in exercise, it is likely that the first benefit will be gaining self-esteem.
- “I’m too tired to exercise after work”
Without exercise, you’ll have no energy. It is a vicious circle that you need to break as soon as possible. And over time, exercise can help improve the quality of sleep and your vitality.
- “I’m too lazy to do sport”
If you’re tired of the simple thought of a morning run, consider different ideas for moving forward and set realistic expectations. If you set your goals too high, you might give up without even trying. Start with a walk around the neighborhood. Don’t give up if you feel tired. Moreover, plan physical activity at times of the day when you tend to feel more energetic. Plan the exercise as you plan an important appointment and make sure your friends and family are aware of your commitment. Ask for their encouragement and support.
- “I’m not athletic”
Natural athletic ability is not necessary in physical activity. Even if you have been inactive for some time, it is not too late to be more active. Start slowly and give your body the chance to get used to the increased activity. Find company. Choose an activity you like and invite friends to participate.
- “I’ve tried to train in the past and I’ve failed”
Do not give up. Evaluate what went wrong and learn from your mistakes. Set realistic goals. Don’t promise yourself that you will work for an hour every day and then knock yourself down if you can’t. Use your personal fitness goals as motivation and reward yourself when you achieve your goals.
- “I can’t afford to pay for the gym”
You don’t need to sign up for a gym to get around. Consider alternatives and exercise at home. You can flex or squat using your body weight. Clear friends, neighbors or work colleagues for regular group walks. Take the stairs and skip the elevator when you can: it’s not like playing sports but it helps you not to lead a sedentary life.
- “I’m afraid I may hurt myself”
If you are nervous, start with a simple walking program. Warm up before training and when you’re done. If you have had an injury or have a particular medical history, you can consult your physician to help you build a fitness program that is appropriate for you.
- “My family does not support my efforts”
Remind those close to you of the benefits of regular exercise. Move with your children. Prepare a packed lunch and take your family to the park to play an outdoor game. Instead of suggesting a workout in the gym, invite a friend to climb or rent a tandem bike for the weekend. If necessary, chat with your loved ones. If they don’t share your fitness ambitions, ask them to at least respect your desire to get fit.