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Overcoming Barriers to Fitness - Part 1

Sticking to a regular exercise schedule isn't always easy. After all, there are plenty of potential hindrances and distractions in life. Let’s not let these issues stand in the way to a healthier you in 2021.

Lack of time - Setting aside time to exercise can be a challenge. Use a little creativity to get the most out of your valued time.

· Monitor your daily activities for one week. Identify at least five 30-minute time slots you could use for physical activity. Or look at breaking down your activity so you accumulate 30 minutes throughout the day. Select activities, such as walking, jogging, or stair climbing that you can do based on the time that you have available (e.g., 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes).

· Add physical activity to your daily routine. For example, walk or ride your bike to work or shopping, organize school activities around physical activity, walk the dog, take the stairs, exercise while you watch TV, park farther away from your destination, etc.

· Take advantage of work physical activity facilities and/or programs. Hold walking meetings and conference calls. During phone calls try to stand, stretch, or move if possible.

· If your days are packed and the evening hours are busy, set a goal to get up 30 minutes earlier a few times a week. Once you've adjusted to early-morning workouts, add another day or two to the routine.

· Drive less, walk more. Park in the back row of the parking lot or even a few blocks away and walk to your destination.

· Revamp your rituals. Your weekly Saturday matinee with the kids or your best friend could be reborn as your weekly Saturday bike ride, rock-climbing lesson or trip to the pool.

Social support - Remind those close to you of the benefits of regular exercise, and then bring them

along to exercise.

· Explain your interest in physical activity to friends and family. Ask them for their support.

· Invite friends and family members to exercise with you. Plan social activities involving exercise.

· Develop new friendships with physically active people. Join a gym or group or a club that focuses on activity-based outings (ie: hiking club).

· Sign up for a parent-child exercise class. Pack a picnic lunch and take your family to the park for a game of tag or kickball. Splash with the kids in the pool instead of watching from your chair.

· Instead of suggesting a workout at the gym, invite a friend to go to an indoor climbing wall, snowshoeing or rent a tandem bicycle for the weekend.

· Volunteer to drive your teens to the mall, and then walk laps inside while you wait. Try walking around your child's school during lessons, practices or rehearsals.

If necessary, have a heart-to-heart with your loved ones. If they don't share your fitness ambitions, ask them to at least respect your desire to get fit.

Lack of energy - Without exercise, you'll have no energy, it's a cycle. Breaking the cycle with physical activity is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

· Schedule physical activity for times in the day or week when you feel energetic. It’s best to work with your personal “nature” rather than against.

· Convince yourself that if you give it a chance, physical activity will increase your energy level. We know that we will feel better after we exercise!

· Try a morning dose of exercise. Remember the suggestion to get up 30 minutes earlier to exercise? Wake up those endorphins and be energized for the day.

· Keep a pair of walking shoes at your desk and take a brisk walk during your lunch break.

Health and wellness is a lifelong commitment. Be patient, be kind and make sure to

celebrate your successes!


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