Overcoming the barriers to exercise

Ways to get round common blockers that are preventing you from getting more active.

'I don't have time'

This is a common blocker, but it's like anything you want to do: you have to prioritise and manage your schedule so that it fits in. You can break your activity into 10-minute chunks. Try the free Active 10 app. It will help you fit in a daily 10-minute walk.

'I'm too tired'

Exercise might not be top on your list after a hard day's work. But the tiredness you feel may just be mental fatigue, and you may find you feel more energised if you do some exercise.

'I don't have the willpower'

If you need help staying motivated, you could exercise with a friend or family member, so you can encourage each other. It means you've got someone to report to, to explain why you didn't turn up, or someone you can share your lack of motivation with. You can also get the same motivation from joining a club, like a local running club.

If you prefer to train alone, you could use an exercise app, like Couch to 5K, which can monitor and reward your progress. You could also start a diary or a blog.

'I don't like exercise'

There are so many ways of being active – it's just a case of finding something you enjoy. One of the easiest ways to fit more activity into your day is to use walking or cycling as a means of getting about.

'It's hard work'

A common mistake is trying to achieve too much, too soon. If exercising feels too hard, you'll be put off.

Choose an activity you enjoy. Start slowly and build up gradually. You'll still be making progress and will enjoy it more.

'The weather's bad'

It's tempting to skip a session if the weather's bad. But you're less likely to use the weather as an excuse if you've arranged to exercise with a friend or if you're following a training programme.

'I've fallen off the wagon'

Christmas, summer holidays, pregnancy: life has a habit of derailing a well-oiled exercise routine. Getting back on the wagon is never easy, so the key is to find a spark to get you motivated again. It could be: 

  • getting new exercise gear
  • finding a new activity tracker app
  • exercising with a buddy
  • signing up for a sporting event 
  • a structured fitness programme

Page last reviewed: 15/09/2017

Next review due: 15/09/2020

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