Barriers to Exercising! Why can’t I JUST do it?

Hi everyone,

This may be a subject that has be talk about to death, but its importance will never cease to be relevant to people across the globe. The reasons why we exer
cise are vast and, they EVOLVE! The reason you started to train, may not be the same now and you may have picked up other reasons and goals along the way. Just as with life, we change through experiences and challenges, human beings need REASON to carry on.

Look at religion, love, or even just getting out of bed in the morning – we need a reason to push us forward, to stop us falling back, to keep us focused on what is important to us!

I may be getting very deep here, but I want to talk about why, even though someone may have the desire to exercise, they cannot seem to get off the starting block, or the days we just can’t be bothered. Why do we create our own barriers? What are the most common barriers? And how do we overcome them?

To some, I know I may make it look easy, but even I find it difficult to get my ass off the sofa (or computer chair) to go and just do a workout! It’s easy to understand why I make it look easy, as I post workouts and tutorials here each week and clearly these are the times when I have had the motivation, but so many times I have NOT. The rest of the time can be a battle with my naturally lazy bones to NOT let my hard work fall by the wayside.

I want to be a rolemodel for people. But one that is on a level playing field, and not on a pedestal! A pedestal is unattainable, a rolemodel should be advocating the doable! And if I can do it – YOU CAN DO IT!

Unless we are obsessed with exercise, we will suffer from wavering motivation, so let’s start there:

Lack of Motivation

Do you ever notice there are days when your motivation is sky high? Well, likewise I am sure you notice the days when you want to do some exercise and you know you should, but for some reason you just can’t get started. You may have many reasons for wanting to exercise, but motivation is different, it comes from a different place. You can easily have goals, but attaining them needs motivation. Motivation is like a driving force behind achievement, so what happens to it?

Having motivation is great, but it wains with mood, tiredness, slow results, lack of time, distractions, priorities and plan old life, so what can we do to help overcome that pesky lack of motivation? Well, here’s a few ideas:

  • Get a diary and schedule your workouts – if it’s written down it looks more like an agreement with yourself, so you are more likely to do it. I write down on my calender what I want to achieve each day, and it really helps.
  • Make training part of your daily life – don’t be intimidated by it, treat it like nothing special, then it will be part of the routine (don’t treat it like a chore mind you LOL)
  • Get competitive, with yourself or, others – which ever works best. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do better than someone else, it’s natural.
  • Train with a friend. You will motivate each other, having that moral support. Just be careful your friend doesn’t start holding you back.
  • Take up a challenge – 100 rep push up challenge, a 10,000 Kettlebell swing challenge maybe, whatever gets you EXCITED.
  • Set realistic goals including short, medium and long term goals. No point in only having short term goals for this week and nothing beyond it. Also if you have a goal for way next year, how will you get from day to day? Remember it is a long haul, so be prepared.
  • Join a community of like-minded people who will share their experiences and their strategies for staying on top. This support is priceless!
  • Join a class, working out with others can help make you work harder than if you’re alone – again competition comes into play, or not wanting to fail.
  • Talk about your plans – if you’re enthusiastic when talking to others, motivation will grow inside. Plus if everyone knows your plans, you would want to fail 🙂
  • Expect and accept that plans will fall through from time to time, don’t let it get to you though. Brush it off as a bad day and get back to it the next.

If you find that everyday you tell yourself “I’ll start tomorrow” and it never happens, this is normal. Getting starting is the most difficult stage but, once you start it gets easier. You don’t need to start full pelt into 5 days a week, start at two, or even one – this will get you used organising the time and you will love the feeling of satisfaction after the workout is done.

What motivates me now has changed a lot from this time last year; Now, I want to teach, I want to be the best I can be, I want others to see what is possible and attainable, I don’t want to let people down on here, I want to eat what I want and not get overweight again, I love to feel strong, and I want to keep feeling great about myself 80% of the time 🙂

What drives you, what kicks your ass in gear when all else has failed? Can you add to the list above, of what can be done to help others out of that rut?

Motivation is a major barrier, but it can be overcome. There are many others that are not – this is the first in a series of discussions about barriers to exercising.

Look forward to your comments.



  • January 6, 2011

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