Many of us would like to improve our overall health and fitness, but without trying to sound harsh, there are a number of perceived barriers or ‘excuses’ that you can probably think of as to why you cannot achieve your goals.
This ranges from ‘not enough time’, ‘too costly’, or even, ‘too old’. Sound familiar?
But the fact is, a lot of these reasons can be changed. Wanting and wishing is no substitute for doing.
So if you’re passionate about wanting to create real change, we’ve revealed the most common barriers people face, and how you can get over them and put yourself on a path to a fitter and healthier you.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase ‘You’re never too old’. And when it comes to age, exercise can do some pretty amazing things. You can’t stop getting older but you can do it healthily.
Exercise will help not only preserve lean body mass but also decreases fat deposits, and reduces age related decline in overall fitness and health. This includes reducing blood pressure, increasing bone density, metabolic rate and muscle strength – and let’s not forget, staying active keeps your brain young.
This doesn’t mean age should not be considered. Sarcopenia is age related muscle loss which can be mostly avoided. With resistance training, you can continue to build muscle even in older age.
Admittedly we cannot turn back the clock on our age, or reverse the effects that have begun, but through a health and fitness plan, you can begin to improve your body and ensure that even during older age you are in the best shape possible.
Don’t be misled by your thoughts that health and fitness is only for the young. The benefits that can be reaped even in older age, outway doing nothing at all.
We all have the same amount of time in a day so ‘not enough time’ is not a reason. But a very common excuse.
What you mean is, you want to use your time elsewhere. That is totally fine but you may need to realign your goals and see what can be achieved with the time you are willing to spend. People regularly track their calories so they can see how much of what they are eating. People rarely track how they really spend their time.
It doesn’t have to be any more complicated than either a sheet of paper with a note of the time and each activity, as it happens. At the end of a few days (ideally a week) you will see where you are willing to reduce or stop certain activities to save time.
Using time wisely can lead to us finding spaces of time that we didn’t realise we had.
From looking at how you’re spending your mornings and evenings, to even looking at your afternoons. Analyse what you’re doing every week and work out if that time is serving you in the best possible way.
We all have enough time for 20 or 30 minutes of exercise each day, the trouble is we don’t see it as a priority and often talk ourselves out of it.
Lack of Knowledge
You are a special case indeed if you can simply google how to achieve your goal, follow the advice and succeed with no other help needed.
If you really are serious about a fitness goal, self-education is not just reading articles you like and cherry picking what you think would work. You need to learn where this information came from and understand the boring seemingly irrelevant theory behind the practical.
You will almost certainly need to be willing to find good help (not convenient help) to teach you, and for you to understand. It is often far easier, and there is a more immediate reward to simply learn something entirely new instead of attaining a deeper knowledge on a subject you think you already know. Don’t be tempted just to hop from fad to fad.
Unfortunately, it is easy to slip into using methods that are being promoted through magazines or from celebrities, but as each body type is different, these methods could prove useless for your desired goals.
Remember that in many of these circumstances, these celebrities have had personal trainers providing them with specific, tailored guidance to help them achieve their goals, so this doesn’t mean the workouts they do will have the same effects on you.
Fads are also highly misleading, as again, they take a very broad approach to fitness and health, and while there may be some small changes to your body this doesn’t mean that they are good for your health, or helping you towards your goal.
Traditionally, fads are created for those who just want a ‘quick fix’ and something that is easy to follow. It’s convenient but doesn’t bring with it the longevity required to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
A good diet does not have to be expensive. Actually, even if you have a bad diet, simply eating less of it is cheaper!
Exercise does not have to be expensive, there are many cheap or free ways to keep active. But be careful, doing everything on the cheap can be a false economy. Sometimes spending money on good training saves you from an injury that can take you away from work (costing more), you could see better results which will motivate you to keep going, and you will see more time efficient ways of exercising.
If your budget is extremely tight, spend the funds you can have got on getting advice from a personal trainer or fitness instructor who can give you the guidance you need to create a plan for your goal.
From then on, even spending limited funds on checking in with a personal trainer, can far out way the benefits of not seeking advice at all.
Having a disability or an illness is not an excuse to give up on your goals of being healthy and fit.
There are many examples out there of those that are living with disabilities who are making the most out their time. Just simply look at the incredible athletes in the Paralympics.
To remove the barrier of yourself from this situation, we would highly recommend that you find activities that you not only enjoy, but that help you towards your fitness goal.
Talking about your goals to a fitness instructor can dramatically help, as they can offer ideas and guidance on the best activities and exercises. They’re the professionals and will know what to recommend to get you moving towards your goal.
Often when it comes to an injury or a disability, it is often a mental barrier, of feeling like you can’t do something or don’t know where to start.
This is understandable, but in order to help yourself achieve your goal, you need to get out of your own way.
To spur you on your fitness goal and keep you motivated, discuss these barriers with your fitness instructor, as they will be able to give you some solid, realistic advice about what you can achieve.
Let them be your motivator, as well as your instructor, and you will find that your goal not only feels achievable but you will feel supported and mentally strong.
People can feel guilty about trying to achieve a goal as though it is selfish. You may worry about improving yourself in case you become a party pooper or because you may leave people behind (or at least stop them holding you back).
But just because you want to improve yourself, shouldn’t mean that you should think less of yourself for doing so.
The greatest thing we can do for others is to look after ourselves. As without being fit and healthy, we are unable to help others. As the saying goes, “fill your cup so you may help to fill others.” If your cup is empty, how are you going to support the other people in your life?
Whether you’re a mother, a career, a partner or a great friend. You will still be able to make time for those who matter in your life, but you will be less focused on those who do not have your best interests at heart.
Many changes occur when you become focused on your health and fitness. You become aware of bad habits, negative thoughts, and toxic people. All of which you’ll begin to remove, because you’re focused on living a healthy and happier life.
Don’t see your goals as a bad thing, see them as an extraordinary opportunity to live your best life.
If you need support in helping to establish realistic goals, and idea of how you can achieve them, visit our team of instructors at RP Fitness who can give you the guidance and help you need.
A fitter and healthier you, is achievable when you have the best support.
At RP fitness, we make sure that your workout works for you!