Barriers to Being Active
Don't let time constraints or fears about what others may think get in the way of a regular routine
Your well-being comes first
There are many roadblocks that keep people from being physically active. Extra weight can make it hard to exercise. People who have been overweight most of their lives may have little experience with regular exercise; when they have had to exercise, it may not have been pleasant. Teasing from others or being the last person chosen for sports or team activities may bring up painful memories. Some people may worry about what others will think when they see a heavy person jogging or riding a bicycle.
Put these feelings aside right now! Your weight loss and health are more important than feeling ashamed or embarrassed. Losing weight is a long process and can take even longer if you wait to trim down before starting to exercise. Don’t worry about what others think. You might feel better to know that most people don’t think that way; they give heavy people a lot of credit and respect for being active and making positive changes. Here’s an example:
Don't worry about what other people think
Ellen was walking at the local high school track one evening when the track team ran past her. She turned to the coach and said, “I must look pretty silly out here, walking so slowly, with all the kids running past me.” Without missing a beat, the coach replied, “No, ma’am, the people who look silly are the ones who are at home sitting on the couch!”
Time can be another big barrier. Many people feel they don’t have time to exercise. Work, household chores, family responsibilities—many of us hardly have time to sleep! But physical activity is vital to your health and well-being, and it’s important to make it a priority. There are 2 ways to fit physical activity into a crowded schedule. First, try to combine physical activity with things you already do in your daily life. Second, try to find time to focus on physical activity. Here are 2 examples:
Look for any opportunity to get active
Nick’s healthcare provider recommended that he add physical activity to his day twice a week. So, Nick sat down and looked at his schedule. On Saturdays, he takes his children to soccer practice. Instead of sitting, he and some of the other parents started walking laps around the field. On laundry days, he made up a “laundry workout.” Instead of making one trip to the basement to carry down the clothes, he tries to make at least 5 up-and-down trips, and while he folds, he does knee bends and squats. These are 2 ways he added activity to what he was already doing.
Make a schedule
Jane really enjoyed the quiet time she found in walking. She was very busy and found it hard to find time when she wasn’t working, taking care of her children, or doing household chores. To make sure she follows the walking program she developed with her healthcare provider, Jane looked at her calendar each week and set aside 4 half-hour blocks of time to walk. Some days she woke up early and walked, other days she walked during the half-hour between her errands and appointments. She scheduled walking time in her calendar and treated it like any other appointment. By keeping her walking shoes in the car, she was always ready to walk. Scheduling time for activity really worked for Jane.