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Breaking down barriers to fitness

Breaking down barriers to fitness

We live in a frenetic age where there are always calls on your time. Work, family, school. college – all pose demands on you that can eat away at every hour you are awake. And then there are the additional distractions, all of which can present barriers to fitness training.

Identify your barriers to fitness

If you are trying to commit to a physical fitness routine, it is worth taking a moment to identify your own personal barriers to fitness. By knowing your enemy, you are better prepared to deal with the barriers as they pop up.

The most common of the barriers to fitness is a lack of time. And it doesn’t help stress levels if you are desperate to get to the gym and just can’t fit a visit in.

One way of overcoming this is to monitor your activities for a week. Identify three 30 minute periods of time during which, even if all your other commitments are taking over, you can still get at least those three sessions in. Try to make them home based so you don’t have to spend time getting to and from the activity. HITT circuits or a home-weights session would fit the bill.

Add fitness to your schedule

Second among common barriers to fitness is a lack of energy. This can be caused by a heavy week at work, some late nights or simply a lack of motivation to get the trainers on.

The best way to counter this is to schedule physical activity into your week. See it as a ‘must do’ to be ticked off the list. The sense of fulfilment when you have completed the schedule will far outweigh the feeling of lethargy as you struggled to get going.

If it is a still a struggle, then buddy up with someone else. You will be far less likely to back out of a fitness session if you feel you are letting someone else down.

If you are a frequent traveler then this too can be one of the barriers to fitness. Hotel living is not conducive to keeping fit. Many hotels have none or very few fitness facilities and if you are in an unfamiliar city, you may not feel comfortable seeking out a gym.

Pack for a fitness-friendly trip

The easiest way to overcome this is to pack resistance bands and a skipping rope. That way you can devise your own circuit. Try a workout in your room or in a quiet corner of the hotel grounds. Running around city or town streets is also a great way to explore the area and stay fit.

Similar to the point above, a lack of resources can provide barriers to fitness activities. If you simply do not have access to fitness facilities, then look for activities that require minimal equipment. Running, power-walking, circuits that use bodyweight only, skipping – there are a myriad of ways to get your daily exercise without the need for expensive equipment.

Keeping fitness in the family

One of the most potent barriers to fitness is the balance between family commitments and exercise. If you have a young family you will know how difficult it is to fit exercise sessions into a child-caring agenda. One way you can achieve both is to exercise with the kids. Play tag or other running activities. Carrying a tired child home is a great workout for the muscles! Alternatively, many gyms run children’s activities or have childminding facilities you can take your child to the gym with you. You will be encouraging the little one into the gym culture from an early age!