Overcome Your Exercise Barriers
As sunny weather beckons, many Americans dust off their jump ropes, soccer balls and sports equipment. Some prepare for the beach. On the other hand, many others are inactive. If you are one of those who struggle to fit in exercise, know that you can find ways to overcome your barriers to better health.
The Weight-control Information Network (WIN), an information service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), offers tips for overcoming the following barriers:
“I am too busy.” No matter how busy you are, you can find ways to fit activity into your daily life. For example, designate one part of each day for physical activity. You can also schedule exercise in short bouts, such as taking 15-minute walks in the morning, at lunch, in the afternoon and after dinner.
Try performing active chores. Examples include gardening, washing cars, mowing grass and vacuuming. You can also get your family involved by taking family walks around your neighborhood and visiting community parks and recreation centers on weekends.
“I am too tired.” At the end of a long day, doing anything but vegging in front of the television might seem downright Herculean. But here’s a secret: exercise gives you more energy. Going for a jog or brisk walk might help you feel less tired. Exercise also reduces stress, so a gentle walk can help you unwind after work. Finally, make exercise fun! If jogging on a treadmill sounds like torture, turn on your radio or portable music device and dance to your favorite song.
“I don’t like physical activity.” How many times have you said that you just don’t like exercise? To bring more joy to physical activity, ask a friend to be your exercise buddy — you can motivate each other and socialize at the same time. Also, choose an activity that you like, such as walking. You are more likely to stick with it. You can visit with a friend or take in the scenery as you walk.