How to Breeze Past Barriers to Fitness Success
TIME: This is the NUMBER ONE reason people give for not exercising. But a careful look at your schedule can usually reveal 30 minutes, 3-4 times per week, that can be devoted to physical fitness. Try keeping a time journal for a week to assess how you can better manage your time. Then commit to exchanging sedentary activities like surfing the web, playing video games, watching television, and even sitting in traffic for exercising. Be creative — you can exercise while watching television or go for a walk before you leave work for home (or vice verse). If you leave later there may be less traffic, and you could arrive at your destination on time but with a workout already done. Another option is to wake up 30 minutes earlier each day or go for a walk at lunchtime.
UNREALISTIC GOALS: Setting your goals too high can set you up for failure. Remember SMART goals? Setting reasonable goals and gradually increasing your level of fitness will help you stay on track. Start modest (even just five minutes a day) and gradually increase the length or intensity of your work out. You’ve got to walk before you run — literally!
LACK OF SOCIAL SUPPORT: It is very difficult to adhere to an exercise program if your family and friends don’t help you. Seek out friends who want you to reach your goals, and avoid spending time with those who might discourage or sabotage your efforts. Family members who have certain expectations of you and your time might not understand your shift in priorities. Be clear with your loved ones why getting healthy and in shape is important to you – particularly as it relates to preparing your body for pregnancy. Family and friends who care about you will understand and support your fitness success.
ACCESS: Cost, lack of access to a gym, and inconvenience are reasons many hold up to avoid exercising. These are just excuses; exercising at home is affordable or free (i.e., a walk around the block) and easy to do. Many parks have outdoor exercise equipment, and their recreation centers often offer low cost exercise classes. If you have physical limitations or handicaps, your doctor can make suggestions about low-cost, accessible fitness programs. Be creative and find activities you enjoy and can do in a way that’s accessible and affordable for you.
SOCIAL ANXIETY: Many people choose not to exercise because of embarrassment or fear of fitting in. Maybe you don’t like how you look in gym clothes, or you remember being teased in elementary school about your physical ability. These are psychological barriers, not concrete obstacles. The memory of grade school bullies hurts you only if you allow yourself to remember their taunts. Drown out those old voices with new, positive affirmations. If you don’t want others to watch you exercise, then work out at home — there is a whole world of fitness classes online that you can stream, watch on television, or view on DVD. If you don’t like sweating in front of the opposite sex, consider a women-only gym.
All of these barriers can all melt away when you keep in mind that you are on a very special journey – the path to pregnancy. And your health and fitness is not just for your own good, but also for the good of your family.
While you breeze past the barriers, keep in mind this Fun Fitness for Fertility Affirmation:
You Can FOCUS, You can MOVE, You can FEEL GOOD, You can STICK WITH IT. You can be ENERGETIC.
YOU CAN DO IT!