Updated Jan. 17, 2007 – Like any new habit, keeping to an exercise commitment can be challenging. Here are some of the most common obstacles that stop people from sticking to their exercise goals – and simple strategies to get back on track.
“I’m too tired.”
It may seem like a contradiction, but the more you move, the more energetic you’ll feel. Try taking a short walk to jump-start your exercise energy. Schedule your workouts for the time of day you feel most energetic.
“I’m self-conscious about exercising in public.”
Try an exercise DVD so you can work out in the privacy of your home. Consider investing in some home exercise equipment, like a stationary bike. Some inexpensive hand and leg weights can help round out your workout.
“Exercise is boring.”
Work out with a friend whenever you can; the conversation will keep you motivated. Or, check out a fitness class at your local community center or YMCA. Shake up your routine: Try walking in a different neighborhood or a favorite park, and vary your workouts with other activities you love; have you tried swimming, dancing or kick-boxing?
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“I don’t have time.”
Make exercise a permanent part of your daily schedule. Set aside a “non-negotiable” half-hour for exercise at the same time each day, so it’s easier to plan around. If you can’t manage a 30-minute workout all in one go, try breaking it into smaller segments – perhaps a 15-minute walk after breakfast and 15 minutes on an exercise bike after work. Here are five more easy ways to put fitness in your life.
“I’ve tried exercise before and it didn’t work for me.” To look at it another way, you’ve already laid some groundwork on finding out what will work. Perhaps the exercise routine wasn’t enjoyable enough to keep you interested – or you didn’t vary the activities enough. To start, consider adding activities that sneak fitness into your day without feeling like “exercise,” such as walking while you talk on the phone, or walking to do nearby errands instead of driving. Don’t forget to set goals and reward yourself for achieving them; that motivation may be all you need to get you going on the right path this time.
For more fitness tips, go to A Healthy BET. Also, call 1-866-3-LOSE-IT for your "A Healthy BET" healthy living brochure.