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Overcoming the barriers to start your fitness program

You’ve been thinking about starting a fitness program at either the gym or with a PT but something is holding you back. What is it? This is a very common problem on the road to taking up fitness, and its called a “barrier to fitness’. This can mean a whole host of problems that are thought of as a reason no to start any physical activity. Excuses such as - not enough time, don’t find exercise enjoyable or find it too boring are brought into the conversation. As a PT I am trained to help my clients find a way past these barriers. So when they tell me they don’t have time to exercise I bounce the idea of them that they could quicken their walk to work into a brisk one, or they could start taking the stairs at work instead of using the lift both of these ideas are doable and doesn’t really make your day any longer. To put that first seed into someone’s mind that yes they can find a way to increase their physical health and well-being is the first step to overcoming that barrier.

Fitness always looks like an attractive idea at first and I have had first hand of this recently after setting up a weekly circuit class. You put the feelers out on social media asking who’d be interested in attending and 30 people press the like button and comment - I will. Then reality starts to kick in and in a week you are asking the people to book and slowly the numbers are falling away, excuses come rolling in such as ‘not enough time’, I have a cold etc. Its all very easy to like the idea of sweating and getting fit but in the cold hard light of day some people find this difficult to physically put into practice. The thing to be aware of is that there will ALWAYS be a reason not to start something, the mental strength to overcome that thought means that you are ready to start your program.

There are reasons that require a bit more help such as the lacking of confidence - this could mean feeling self conscious about their bodyshape or just a lack of confidence in terms of walking into a gym environment and performing exercises for the first time in their lives, a good fitness instructor or PT can help you with both of these, making sure they make you feel comfortable in this environment by giving you their whole attention, showing you how to perform the exercises properly and by praising you and giving out lots of positive feedback, all these will help a person who is lacking in confidence feel more comfortable and help towards forming the habit that will make fitness a way of life for the client.

The words to remember when your thinking about the new year and the new you is I CAN do it, I WILL have time, I WILL make time for ME. The winner in all this after all is you and your long term health and well-being, kidding yourself with poor excuses won’t help you climb out of that rutt. Everyone can make time - even 10-20 mins a day all adds up if its 4-5 times a week. So come on and jump over those barriers that are stopping you from gaining more energy, boosting your confidence and making sure your health later in life will improve with all the work your putting into in the present!

By the way what’s the point of leaving it till January too? Make a change here and now, grab the chance to start feeling good before Christmas, I am sure there are some goals you want to achieve before the end of the year is out!

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