Recently on a trip to my hometown, I did a very unscientific survey of some of the most common limitations to exercise. I asked people at a street fair some of the biggest barriers that they experienced with physical activity and I came up with the following list:
- I don’t have enough time to exercise
- Exercise is inconvenient
- I don’t have the motivation
- I don’t find exercise enjoyable
- Exercise is boring
- I lack confidence in my ability to be physically active (low self-efficacy)
- I’m scared of getting hurt
- I don’t get encouragement, support, or companionship from family and friends
- I don’t have parks, sidewalks, bicycle trails, or safe and pleasant walking paths.
I thought I knew what I was doing. I thought I was getting a list of silly excuses to write about for a work newsletter. What I didn’t expect was to get such heartfelt, truthful and well thought out answers. These weren’t the answers of a bunch of people who didn’t want to exercise; these were answers that were given to me by people who had failed countless times to implement a good exercise plan, but wanted to succeed with exercise.
It got me to thinking about my own exercise plan, where I was succeeding, and where I was falling short. I started to look at some of the limitations in my life and my list was very similar to the list above. I had to visit my support structure to come up with some good ways to combat my limitations. Things like:
- Planning ahead
- Invite friends to workout with me
- Set new goals
- Download new music playlists
- Pack some exercise equipment, like a jump rope for my work trips
- Join a group or class
It was strange to me how easily my limitations could be eliminated when I let a second set of eyes look over my exercise plan. It was so simple, but it wasn’t something that I was able to do on my own.
We all struggle from time to time with different limitations. When you start to struggle, I welcome you to go to your friends, your support structure, and let them help you. If you need a better support structure, I would also welcome that you give us a call or email anytime. We would love to help you get back on track with your exercise plan and help you find some creative solutions to your limitations.
Each one of us has struggled from time to time with our exercise plan. Please reach out to us if we can be of any help.
– Ethan Opdahl, Fitness Coordinator