Overcoming 6 Common Obstacles in the Way of Your Fitness Goals
Overcoming Barriers to Exercise: What are these Obstacles?
Barriers to Exercise: What Are They? In order to achieve your goals, you need motivation and determination. You need energy and enthusiasm. You need a positive attitude. And above all, you need discipline! If you don’t have any of those things, then it’s not going to matter if you do or don’t succeed at achieving your goal(s).
You might think that there are no obstacles in your way because you’re already doing something right. But that’s not necessarily true. There are plenty of things out there which could hinder your progress towards reaching your fitness goals. So let’s take a look at some of the most common ones:
1) Lack of Time – The problem with having too much time is that you’ll waste it on activities which aren’t really necessary for your fitness goals.
You might spend hours working out on the treadmill instead of actually training. Or you might spend hours watching TV instead of focusing on your workout routine.
2) Lack of Equipment – Another thing which could cause you to waste time is lack of equipment.
For example, if you don’t have a gym membership, then you won’t be able to train properly because it will be very difficult for you to perform certain exercises correctly without proper equipment.
3) Lack of Knowledge – If you lack the proper knowledge about fitness and exercise, then you could very well be doing more harm than good.
For example, if you don’t know how to perform an exercise without getting hurt, then you could be causing lasting damage to your bones, muscles and joints.
4) Lack of Motivation – No one can motivate you in any way if you aren’t motivated enough yourself.
If you need outside sources to push you towards your goals then you’re doomed to fail from the start.
5) Lack of Discipline – This is sort of like a subcategory of lack of motivation, but it’s not exactly the same thing.
Basically, if you don’t have enough discipline to keep yourself on track, then you won’t achieve your goals regardless of your level of motivation.
These are just some of the most common barriers that people encounter. In order to overcome these, you need to find a way to cope with them. Create your own plan of action and stick to it.
Overcoming 6 Common Obstacles in the Way of Your Fitness Goals
Obstacle 1 – Lack of Time
The Problem: You don’t have enough time to work out. Maybe you’re in a busy university, and you have a lot of projects due. Maybe you have a busy job, and you have a lot of work to do. Whatever the reason, you just don’t have the time to exercise properly, and that’s causing you to put on excess weight and reduce the quality of your life.
What You Can Do: The first thing you need to do is GET OVER IT. I understand that it can be very difficult to find time to work out, especially when you have several responsibilities pulling at your time. School, work, family, friends…there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to get it all done.
However, if you’re serious about losing weight and getting into shape, then you’re going to have to sacrifice something.
What is the least important thing in your life? Is it watching TV? Is it sleeping in until noon on weekends? Is it playing video games?
Whatever it is, you need to cut back.
What you’re probably going to find though, is that once you start working out on a regular basis, you’re going to have more energy and feel more alive. In fact, you might even have more time as opposed to spending an hour on the couch feeling lethargic and staring at a boob tube.
So what can you do to work out if you’re busy?
There are a few options that you could explore. First of all, you could go to a gym and work out there. Gyms are usually open early in the morning, or late at night. These are the times when most people don’t want to work out, so they’re perfect for you since you’re unlikely to run into too many people that you know.
The other option is to create your own home gym. Many people are against working out at home, but it’s convenient if you stick to it. Set up a small area in your home just for exercise. If you have the space, you could even install a home gym, which would give you more exercise options.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you place as many restrictions on yourself as possible. The more you have to sacrifice, the more likely you’re going to follow through with your goals. If you want to drink alcohol, then you probably shouldn’t buy it at the liquor store – instead, have a friend buy it and give it to you in limited quantities. If you want to go out with your friends on the weekend, then you should only do so if you’re going to the movies, or somewhere that doesn’t have a bar.
If there isn’t alcohol at the bar or club that you want to attend, then you’ll be less likely to drink. If you can’t go out, then you’re going to be more inclined to stay in. This is what’s known as setting boundaries for yourself. By placing restrictions on yourself, you’re more likely to follow through with your goals.
There’s no time like the present. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll achieve your goals. The longer you wait, the longer you have to wait before seeing results.
Lose Weight Now By Setting Concrete Goals
One of the best ways to lose weight is to set a goal for yourself. A lot of people don’t do this because they don’t think that it will work. They think that they’ll set their goals, and when they fail to achieve them they’ll feel bad about themselves, hence setting up a vicious cycle.
Is this likely?
Sure. It can happen. But as long as you keep this in mind when setting your goals, it shouldn’t be a problem.
The other thing that you need to do is make sure that your goals are concrete. “Losing weight” isn’t a good goal. “Losing two pounds a week” is much better.
Any time that you’re trying to lose weight, you’re always going to be battling with your brain that tells you that you can have just a little bit of something. When you’ve got a concrete goal in mind, it makes it easier to say no.
For example, let’s say that your goal is to lose two pounds a week. One week, you come in at three pounds. A lot of people would think, “Well, I blew my goal. I might as well go hog wild the rest of the week.”
Is this what you should do?
No, of course not. If you stick to your goal and eat properly for the rest of the week, then you should be able to make up the one pound – and then some.
Goals are an important part of weight loss because they give you something to work towards. If you just let yourself float along, you’re never going to get anywhere. It’s also important to re-evaluate your goals every once in awhile.
Are you still shooting for two pounds a week? Have you adjusted down to one?
It’s important to keep in mind that weight loss is a never-ending process. You don’t just lose weight and then stop.
As long as you keep this in mind, you’ll reach your goals in no time at all.
The best way to increase weight loss is to increase your overall calorie burn. The more calories you burn, the more weight you will lose, even if you eat the same. There are several ways to do this.
The most common way is to increase the amount of aerobic exercise that you do. Jogging, cycling, swimming and dancing are all great aerobic exercises. These activities increase your heart rate and make you breathe heavier. Do them long enough and you’ll start to burn fat.
The caveat is that you don’t want to do any more than an hour a day of this stuff or you’ll start to burn muscle as well. If you’re really pushing it, you might only be burning fat but you still don’t want to do this for too long a period of time.
An easier way of increasing your calorie burn is to bump up the intensity of your normal daily activities. For example, if you walk around a lot during the day, try walking faster. If you stand a lot, move around more often. The trick here is to move more without really noticing it.
If you do something like power walk for an hour and then go back to sitting down for 10 hours a day, the only thing you’re doing is hurting yourself. You’ll burn a lot of calories in the process but you won’t be able to keep it up for very long.
The next tip is to eat a high calorie diet. This one isn’t for everyone but if you don’t mind eating more food then it’s an effective way of burning more fat. Again, don’t overdo it or you’ll just end up hurting yourself.
The more fat you burn in a day, the more weight you lose. It’s as simple as that. The best way to increase your fat burn is to increase your muscle mass. Muscle burns a lot more calories than fat does so the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn all the time.
Of course, this means you have to exercise in order to build this muscle and that takes time.
For most people, this isn’t an option. They either don’t have the time to exercise properly or they just don’t have the genetic disposition to build a lot of muscle mass. The good news is that you can increase your fat burn without building muscle. Fasting helps burn fat and it also gives your body a break from having to process food all the time.
It’s easier than it sounds if you deprive yourself of only carbohydrates.
After a few days, your body switches over into a state of ketosis where it starts to burn fat for energy. It’s not as good as having muscle built up to burn the fat, but it’ll do in a pinch and you don’t have to starve yourself either. The only thing that sucks about this process is that all of your urine turns a deep pink color which can be pretty embarrassing at times.
After a few weeks of this, your weight loss should be pretty noticeable.
You can repeat this process every month or so until you reach your ideal weight. By then, you should have developed some level of muscle mass which will keep you from having to do this anymore. If you want to speed up the process, then exercise is again the answer. It’ll take longer than just dieting but if you really push yourself, then you’ll see results relatively quickly.
You can hit the gym if you want but that doesn’t really help you all that much. You’re better off doing actual exercise that mimics the things you do in real life. For example, if you’re a messenger, then biking or running will build your legs more effectively than lifting weights would. The same can be said for just about any other physical labor job or sport.
This sort of exercise works the largest muscles in the body and is great for burning fat and building up your lungs. Jogging outside is best because it gives you more room to breathe and you get the added bonus of fresh air. If you can’t run outside for whatever reason, then find the nearest treadmill at your local gym. You can also ride a bike instead of running if you don’t like running or you’re injured.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Confidence: How to overcome your limiting beliefs and achieve your goals (R Harris – 2013 – New Harbinger Publications)
- Overcoming Obstacles and Taking Action (T Lowe – 2009 – Currency)
- Exercise for mood and anxiety: Proven strategies for overcoming depression and enhancing well-being (M Gerrish – 1999 – Macmillan)
- Why people fail: The 16 obstacles to success and how you can overcome them (J De Sena – 2014 – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
- ‘There aren’t any buses and the swimming pool is always cold!’: obstacles and opportunities in the provision of sport for disabled people (M Hagan – 2008 – Penguin Canada)