Beat the Barriers to Exercise

Tired of your exercise program getting sabotaged? Planning ahead with a can-do and positive attitude can help you to overcome the obstacles to success. Take your problem-solving skills and apply them to your personal health and fitness.

No Time

  • Exercise first thing in the a.m. Extracurricular activities are less likely to get in the way.
  • Go for a short, brisk walk on your lunch break.
  • Get off your subway or bus stop several blocks early and combine your commute with exercise.
  • Combine activities: Have "walking meetings" with business colleagues.
  • Walk on the treadmill while watching the news or your "show."
  • Delegate. Let your spouse and children share the workload. Think of it as your duty to teach responsibility, teamwork and a strong work ethic to your loved ones.
  • Prioritize. Don't let errands and workload sidetrack you. You'll get more done after you're energized with exercise anyway!


Too Tired

  • Exercise as early in the day as possible. As the day rolls on, mental fatigue makes it easier to talk yourself out of it.
  • Recruit an exercise buddy. The two of you can keep each other going.
  • Don't stay up and "zone out" during the Late Show. Turn off the tube and get your sleep.
  • Modify your intake of high sugar foods. They give you a quick high, followed by a real low.
  • If you're planning on exercising after work, have a late afternoon snack to give you energy.
  • Find activities you enjoy or which provide you with the stress release, stimulation or social time you need. You'll look forward to being more active.

Bad Weather

  • Choose appropriate exercise clothes. The right choices can keep you warm and dry in the cold, cool in the heat. High-tech fabrics and new garment designs make it easier to handle weather extremes.
  • Find indoor options: fitness club, home equipment, exercise videos or t.v. shows.
  • Walk around the shopping mall, but leave your wallet at home!
  • If nothing else, stretch or do some abdominal strengtheners while watching television.

Child Care

  • Working moms generally have better success if they exercise during lunch or around the workday when child care is already in place.
  • Do a babysitting exchange with neighborhood parents. One of you watches the kids while the others go for a walk or play tennis.
  • Teach your kids to enjoy physical activity by doing it with them! Street games, bicycling, hiking...
  • Swap workout time with your spouse.
  • Choose at-home options that could be done when kids are napping - yoga, fitness video, indoor bicycle.

Published Jun 20, 2011
By Women's Sports Foundation

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