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Why You Can't Start Exercising.
Written by Leslie Conzemius on Aug 22nd 2018

We all know we should do it. We know it’s an important part of a healthy lifestyle and contributes greatly to an overall sense of wellbeing. We know it helps protect us from and manage chronic diseases like diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. We even know that exercise can boost mood and energy, increase self-esteem, and aid in sleep.  
  
  
Why then, knowing all of these benefits, do we still have a hard time starting a fitness routine? Below you will find the most common barriers that keep people from exercising that I have found in my time as a nurse and health coach and the ways I have seen people overcome them.    
  
  
   1) Barrier: I don’t have enough time! 
  
     Solution: First of all, this should probably say “I don’t prioritize exercise”. We do what we prioritize. Regardless, many people feel that if they aren’t going to spend 1-2 hours at the gym every day they might as well not even try.   
  
  
This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Every little bit helps. It is the whole sum of your exercise that your body cares about. Once more, You don’t have to exercise all at once! Add more movement throughout the day in 10-minute intervals. Set your alarm just 10 minutes earlier to do some stretching or body weight exercises. Take the stairs when you can, ride your bike to work or the store, go for walks during your lunch breaks, get outside and play with your kids, or do some deep house cleaning.  
  
  
Look for easy ways to get just 10 minutes at a time of movement to add up to the recommended 150 hours of moderate intensity exercise a week. In fact, moderate movement throughout the day has benefits that the 2-hour gym session followed by a day of sitting can’t match.  
    
   2) Barrier: I feel self-conscious.    
  
  
    Solution: While this is understandable, it’s likely that people’s feelings toward the newbie at the gym probably range from admiration for a new person working on getting in shape, to not caring at all because they are too concerned with their own workout.  
  
  
Nonetheless, if this is challenging there are many ways around it. Try at home exercise videos on YouTube. There are thousands to try, ranging from beginner yoga to high intensity interval training, varying in length and intensity. Get comfortable with moves at home before trying a group class or going to the gym.   
  
  
There are also many ways to be active at home or while doing your day-to-day activities. Gardening, sweeping, even scrubbing the floors if done vigorously can help contribute to your movement needs all from the comfort of your own home.
     
   3) Barrier: I just don’t like exercise. 
  
    Solution: Doing something you really enjoy will help you to stay with it. If you don’t love running, don’t run! If you really love to dance, dance! Experiment with different kinds of exercise including sports, dance, yoga, and outdoor activities.   
  
Try different classes at your gym, or use things like Class Pass or Groupon for discounts on different kinds of exercise format classes. Most gyms, yoga studios, or boutique fitness businesses offer free introductory classes, so try them all to see what you like!   
  
For added fun, do these activities with friends or join a club to meet new people. There are several Meet-Up groups or intermural sports clubs to get involved in, plus they will have the added social aspect.   
    
   4) Barrier: I’m worried about my health condition or injury   
  
    Solution: You may feel more comfortable if you consult with your healthcare professional first to discuss your concerns. They may recommend you see a physical therapist or other specialist to start with.  A personal trainer can also help guide you to the exercises that are right for you. Often time your first session is free!  
  
You can start with some gentle movement like walking or stretching and then ease into more vigorous exercise. Be gentle with yourself and learn your limits, and remember even a little something is better than nothing!  
    
   5) Barrier: I can’t stay motivated   
  
    Solution: Even dedicated athletes struggle with this from time to time. Add variety to your routine, try new classes (Class Pass is a great tool), or do activities with friends. You may be the type of person who needs something new every so often to keep it fresh.  
  
When setting fitness goals, make sure they are realistic, enjoy the process, and remember to celebrate your accomplishments! Keep the goal you are striving for in the forefront of your mind to help you through the challenging times. And if you aren’t feeling particularly motivated all the time, that’s ok and very normal! The important part is to “jump back on the horse” even if you fall off.   
    
   6) Barrier: I’m too tired!   
  
    Solution: After about 5-10 minutes of exercise, you’ll actually start to feel more energized than when you first started! One full hour of fitness can seem daunting if you’re fatigued. Commit to doing at least 10 minutes, and you may just end up doing more because you’ll feel an energy boost. It’s also key to plan to exercise at a time when you’re the least tired, like first thing in the morning.   
  
A huge benefit of being more active throughout the day is that it can help you get a better night’s rest, leaving you less fatigued the next day. Often, when I work with someone who feels this way they begin to feel less tired as exercise becomes part of their routine.    
  
  
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If these challenges and solutions speak to you as much as they do to so many of my clients then check out Weight Loss Evolved. The program was built with these areas in mind!  
 
  
 
 

About Author: Leslie Conzemius

Leslie is a Nurse and Integrative Health Coach living in Denver, Colorado. She believes health coaching bridges the gap between knowing what we should do, and actually doing it. She loves to be a facilitator in human transformation through enhanced lifestyle behaviors and cultivating abundance in the day to day. 
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