Solutions To Overcome Common Obstacles That Prevent You from Exercising Regularly


By: Charles Lascano, MD, CAQSM, DABFM. Sports Medicine Physician. Sanitas Medical Centers.

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It is well known that regular exercise has many benefits, including reduced all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, reduced disability, reduced blood pressure, improved bone health, reduced type 2 diabetes, reduced mortality from several site-specific cancers, improved cholesterol, improved mental health in the elderly, and helping prevent cognitive decline. However, many people express many obstacles for which they cannot exercise regularly so they miss all these potential benefits. This article will give some tips to overcome some of the most common obstacles for not exercising regularly.

Obstacle #1: Lack of time. Solution: Incorporate exercising to your daily routine. Examples of this include parking your car far away from the entrance of your job, grocery store, etc., going to the grocery store walking instead of using the car, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and/or walking during lunch break at work after eating your food.

Obstacle #2: Cannot afford a gym membership. Solution: Run, jog, or walk in your neighborhood or a nearby park, or try exercises on a park bench. In your home, use the stairs for step-ups, practice yoga in your room, or use household items such as tins of beans as small weights.

Obstacle # 3: Weather conditions. Solution: Develop a set of regular activities that are always available regardless of whether (aerobic dance, indoor swimming, stair climbing, rope skipping, mall walking, dancing, or home activities, including indoor cycling, calisthenics, exercise videos, etc.).

Obstacle # 4: Fear of injury. Solution: Choose activities you feel you can do safely and increase the amount you do gradually as your confidence and abilities grow. Learn how to warm up and cool down to prevent injury. Talk to a doctor or physical therapist about specific stretches or exercises. If there is pain when walking or running, try non-impact exercises such as cycling, elliptical machine, or walking in a swimming pool to prevent pain triggered by impact while walking or running.

Obstacle # 5: Exercising is boring. Solution: Find something different to exercise that you may enjoy, such as dancing, mall walking, biking, or walking your dog. There’s an exercise for everyone. Find an exercise buddy, and you’ll be spurred to work harder, not to mention motivated to simply show up.


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