No one ever said getting fit was going to be easy. But, the Mayo Clinic examines some common exercise roadblocks, and offers some suggestions to get beyond them.
1. I don’t have enough time to exercise, especially true for truckers.
- Squeeze in short walks throughout the day. If you don’t have time for a full workout, don’t sweat it. Shorter spurts of exercise, such as 10 minutes of walking spaced throughout the day, offer benefits too.
- Get up earlier. If your days are packed and the evening hours are just as hectic, get up 30 minutes earlier twice a week to exercise.
- Drive less, walk more. Park in the back row of the parking lot or even a few blocks away and walk to your destination.
2. I think exercise is boring.
- Choose activities you enjoy. You’ll be more likely to stay interested. Remember, anything that gets you moving counts.
- Vary the routine. Rotate among several activities — such as walking, swimming and cycling.
- Join forces. Exercise with friends, relatives, neighbors or co-workers.
3. I’m self-conscious about how I look
- Avoid the crowd. If you’re uncomfortable exercising around others, go solo at first.
- Focus on the future. Praise yourself for making a commitment to your health.
4. I’m too tired to exercise after work
- Try a morning dose of exercise. Start the day with a brisk walk.
- Make mealtime count. Keep a pair of walking shoes with you, and take a brisk walk during your meal break.
- Be prepared. Make sure you have comfortable shoes and loose-fitting clothes for exercising when you drive.
5. I’m too lazy to exercise
- Set realistic expectations. Start with a walk around the block. Don’t give up if you feel worn out. Take another walk around the block tomorrow.
- Work with your nature, not against it. Plan physical activity for times of the day when you tend to feel more energetic.
- Schedule exercise as you would schedule an important appointment.
6. I’m not athletic
- Keep it simple. Start slowly and give your body a chance to get used to the increased activity.
- Find company. Pick an activity you like, such as dancing or gardening, and invite friends to join in.
- Forget the competition. Don’t worry about becoming a superstar athlete or joining the hard-bodied athletes at the fitness club.
7. I’ve tried to exercise in the past and failed
- Set realistic goals. Don’t promise yourself you’re going to work out for an hour every day, and then get down on yourself when you fall short. Stick with goals you can more easily achieve.
- Remember why you’re exercising. Use your personal fitness goals as motivation, and reward yourself as you meet your goals.
8. I can’t afford health club fees
- Do strengthening exercises at home or while on the road. Use inexpensive resistance bands — lengths of elastic tubing that come in varying strengths — in place of weights. Do pushups or squats using your body weight.
- Try your community center. Exercise classes offered through a local recreation department or community education group might fit your budget.
9. I’m afraid I’ll hurt myself if I exercise
- Take it slow. Start with a simple walking program. As you become more confident in your abilities, add new activities to your routine.
- Try an exercise class for beginners. You’ll learn the basics by starting from scratch.