Obstacles with Suggested Solutions

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What will prevent you from exercising regularly?


I don't know how I'm going to find the time to exercise.

  • Break your exercise up throughout the day (eg: morning walk and evening weight training)
  • Take planned breaks to exercise
    • Short walk, run stairs, etc.
  • Commit to a specific amount of time and stick to it
    • Consider exercising in the morning before you start your day
    • Consider exercising during your lunch break, eat something immediately afterwards
    • Establish a set routine after work that allows more time for exercise
  • Pack your workout bag and have it ready before the next day
    • place it in your car or by the door
  • Get things done during physical activity in schedule
    • Bike for transportation
    • Park further away and walk
    • Walk to store
    • On cardio machines (eg cycling)
      • prepare to do lists, make phone calls, do work on your handheld PDA, etc.
  • Exercise instead of watching TV
    • Better yet, watch TV or listen to the radio while you are exercising
  • Consult a trainer to assist you in purchasing a home gym
  • If you get so busy, you may forget to exercise, set reoccurring alarms or notices to exercise during your scheduled time
    • handheld PDA, computer, or watch
  • Understand "I don't have enough time to exercise" is just another excuse
    • even the busiest professionals such as doctors and lawyers (even those with families) find time to exercise and eat right
    • make exercise and eating right a priority!
    • Understand you will more productive if you exercise regularly

Exercise is not enjoyable or fun for me.

  • Combine exercise with other activities that you enjoy
    • basketball, racquetball, walking briskly in the mall, etc.
    • group aerobics, swimming, walking or cycling club, etc.
    • walking in park, jogging on the beach, going for a hike, etc.
  • Establish small performance goals for each workout and praise yourself upon accomplishing them
  • Play close attention to things that seem pleasurable before, during, or after exercise
  • Watch television or read during exercise to take your mind away from the activity
  • Experiment with other activities that you may find enjoyable
    • e.g.: group aerobics, swimming, rock climbing, running, walking or cycling club, etc.
  • Find a reliable training partner
    • Do not become dependent upon your training partner though
    • Exercise even if they miss the workout, take the lead

I get bored easily when I exercise.

  • Try new routes when walking, hiking, jogging, or cycling
  • Use Mental Imagery to create an enjoyable setting for exercise
  • Set challenging but realistic goals for each workout
  • Try new exercises and physical activities each week
    • Try group exercise, recreational activities, and new exercises
  • Change exercise program every month (particularly your weight training program: see Restimulating Progress by Changing Exercises)
  • Join a training group (walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, martial arts, etc.)
  • Implement exercise into everyday activities
    • Bike for transportation
    • Park further away and walk
    • Walk to store
    • On cardio machines (eg cycling)
      • prepare to do lists, make phone calls, do work on your handheld PDA, etc.
  • Use diversions
    • Listen to inspirational music during your workout, watch TV or a video, listen to the radio, or read

I might get frustrated if I don't see results right away.

  • Concentrate on your behavioral goals; adhere to your program
  • Continue to monitor your progress and make adjustments to keep moving forward
    • Take girths, or circumference measurements monthly
    • Find someone that can take your body composition monthly
      • monitor fat and lean weight
    • if no progress, make changes in your program for entire month then retest
  • Use positive affirmations to keep your enthusiasm high
    • Give yourself positive feedback each time you complete a goal related task
    • Share your exercise goals with those that will encourage you

It's hard for me to exercise when I'm tired or fatigued.

  • Exercise around the same time each day so your body will become accustom to gearing up during this time each day
    • Realize you will start feeling more energetic as you continue to exercise at the same time each day
  • Likewise, go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day; even on weekends
  • Rate your level of fatigue before and after an exercise session to see if it increases your energy level
  • Plan on "exercising light" or at least minutes on days that you're feeling fatigued
    • Most often, once you just show up and have warmed up, you will likely find it is not much more effort to continue exercising
  • During your aerobic exercise, adopt a "rest-exercise-rest-exercise" system to balance your rest and exercise needs
  • Identify whether your fatigue is physical, or simply a "mental fog" and adopt ways to get through the haze, and exercise
  • Follow mentioned dietary guidelines to improve your energy
    • Eat a snack or meal 1-2 hours before you exercise
    • Eat immediately after strenuous exercise to enhance recovery (see Rationale)
  • Talk to your doctor if you feel your fatigue is medically related

I feel intimidated or embarrassed in an exercise setting.

  • Find a time of day when less people are in your gym
  • Find a workout partner so that you can encourage each other
  • Keep your mind open, use power of thought and creative planning to overcome self defeating thoughts
    • Even Lou Ferrigno felt very intimidated when he first began working out with weights
  • In the weight room, be assertive in asking others if you can work in between their sets while they are resting
    • The more intimidating individuals are usually more compliant since they are more aware of proper gym etiquette
  • Understand many people are so self absorbed in how they appear to others while exercising
    • they will most likely not be paying much attention to what you do or how you look

I don't enjoy exercising in bad weather (rainy, hot, humid, cold, snow).

  • Dress appropriately in accordance to the weather
  • Exercise at the fitness facility or to an exercise video when weather is terrible
  • Find a mall or facility you can walk indoors during bad weather
  • Exercise in the evening or early morning when it is cooler
  • Try to overcome the initial misery of exercising in uncomfortable climate
    • Understand your body and mind may take a week or two to acclimate to the environment
      • Progressively increase exercise durations and intensities
      • Maintain regular exposures if possible
    • In hot weather, drink plenty of fluids and protect yourself from the sun
    • Think of yourself as a dedicated exerciser.
    • Observe wind chill factors and heat advisories

Work demands may make it difficult to exercise.

  • Plan your workouts around your work schedule
  • Get up earlier and exercise before work or find a regular convenient time to exercise
    • Make it routine: every weekday at the same time is a great goal!
  • Plan a backup schedule
    • Use it only when necessary and not because you feel tired
  • Get support from those close to you
    • Let them know when you will be exercising and how important it is to you
    • Ask your spouse or someone close to you to ask you if you've exercised or how many times you've exercised every week
  • Take planned breaks to exercise while working
    • Short walk, run stairs, etc.
  • Pack your workout bag and have it ready before the next day
    • place it in your car or by the door
  • If you miss your workouts, forgive yourself and move on
    • Immediately pick up where you left off if you must miss a day or two
    • Start back gradually if you miss more than several days.

Planned vacations, business trips, or holidays may make it difficult to exercise consistently.

  • Do not let travel or holidays get the best of you. Plan ahead and continue with your exercise program
  • Plan for exercise on your vacation
  • Book a hotel that has a fitness center and/or pool
  • Ask the hotel if they have an arrangement for their guests with a local fitness center
  • If no fitness center is available, consider following exercises:
    • Cardio
      • if safe, walk outside around hotel neighborhood
      • walk hotel hallways and stairs
    • For anaerobic (HIIT) fit participants
      • warm up briskly walking hallways and stairs for a few minutes
      • sprint 15-30 seconds on stairs
      • walk hallways for 4-5 minutes between sprints
  • Realizing that alone time might be tight during holidays or vacation. Try to incorporate family/social time into your exercise plans
  • Do not get discouraged if you are unable to find enough time for a complete or "perfect workout" while on vacation or holiday
  • When you arrive back from your vacation or trip, start back where you left off
    • Short breaks from exercise can hasten recovery & prevent over training
    • Short breaks also make it challenging to continue a regular exercise

Family obligations may make it difficult to exercise.

  • Share your goals with your family
    • Ask them for their support
    • Having explained that you have set aside a particular time to exercise can potentially minimize future conflicts or misunderstandings
    • Those close to you will have the opportunity to understand the importance of your goals and the time you have set aside for them
  • Participate in physical activities with your family. Be creative
  • Make a special effort to support family members in non-exercise activities
    • Allow each family member to take turns each week to select a special activity the whole family will participate in.
    • When it comes your turn, select a physical activity (walk, cycling, hike, swim, etc.) the whole family may enjoy
  • Find other activities your family members can participate in while you exercise
  • Consider joining a family friendly fitness facility
  • Invite your wife or kids to exercise with you
  • Pull your younger kids in a sled or wagon
  • Have the older kid(s) ride their bicycle
  • Talk to your family about improving time management
    • Set firm boundaries on time you give yourself to exercise
  • Make time for yourself!
    • Understand regular exercise will make you a better parent or caregiver
    • Wake up before the family and exercise

My family or friends may not support my attempts to exercise.

  • Meet with your family and explain your goals for exercising
    • Express how important it is for you to exercise regularly
    • Ask for their support - give them permission to nag you if you miss your workouts
  • Invite family members to exercise with you in ways that you all enjoy
  • Make a special effort to support family members in non-exercise activities
    • Allow each family member to take turns each week to select a special activity the whole family will participate in.
    • When it comes your turn, select a physical activity (walk, cycling, hike, swim, etc.) the whole family may enjoy
  • Find other support networks
    • Join exercise groups (walking, running, cycling club, etc.)
    • Share your goals with someone at work
    • Find an exercise partner

I may have to exercise alone.

  • Consider finding an exercise partner similar to your goals and fitness level
  • Make friends with those who exercise at your gym at the same time you exercise
  • Join or start training club (e.g.: walking, hiking, running, cycling, swimming, martial arts, etc.)
  • If you prefer to make exercise time a time for yourself, find diversions
    • listen to your favorite music while you exercise
    • experiment with different routes when you walk, run, or cycle
  • Weight training
    • Only workout until one repetition short of failure
      • particularly on exercise such as squat and bench press
      • Keep track of resistance and repetitions performed on each exercise
    • Learn proper technique and self spotting techniques from a qualified trainer

I may forget or lose track of my goal.

  • Write your goal down and post it where you will see it each day
  • Tell a workout partner and/or those close to you about your goal and ask for their encouragement
  • Hire a personal trainer or meet with an exercise consultant periodically
  • Train for an event (fund raiser, competition, adventure vacation)
  • Continue to monitor your progress and make adjustments to keep moving forward
    • Determine the best way to assess your progress toward the goal
      • Sign up for periodic fitness testing by certified of degree trainers
      • Medical examinations
    • Write assessment date on your calender
    • Perform assessment regularly (e.g.: every 1 to 3 months)
    • Redesign program or strategy if adequate progress if not observed
  • See Goals

The exercise setting available to me does not meet my needs.

  • Schedule a time to visit various exercise facilities
    • Try to find a facility that allows you to pay month to month with no long term contract
    • If a pay as you go agreement is not available, sign up for the shortest possible contract
      • Find an alternative facility if you find it does not meet your standards later.
    • If budget is an issue, consider applying for a part time job at the facility if they offer free membership to employees
    • A facility within 15 minutes will more likely be used regularly
  • Consult a trainer to assist you in purchasing appropriate equipment within your budget
  • Join a training or recreation club (e.g.: walking, hiking, running, cycling, swimming, martial arts, etc.)
  • Join a sports league
  • Purchase quality exercise videos
    • Explore community programs your town or church may offer

 


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