How to Overcome the Biggest Barriers to a Consistent Workout Schedule
Have you ever heard the sentiment, “if it was easy, everyone would do it.”? That applies here. Now, before you get defensive and list off your very real and difficult barriers to exercise, we want to recognize that we know and we get it! Many people do have legitimate barriers to working out, but if it’s a priority in your life, you can make it happen.
The most important part about overcoming barriers is determining if it’s something you truly want no matter what it takes. If you’re ready to drop the excuses and find alternative ways to prioritize your work out schedule, read on.
Not Enough Time in the Day
We can all relate to this one. Unfortunately, there are only 24 hours in the day, and between the million other things going on, it can often be difficult to squeeze in a workout.
Thankfully, time doesn’t have to be a barrier anymore when you consider a few key things:
How much time do I need to work out?
What are my goals?
What is a realistic time I can dedicate to exercise per week?
Studies show you don’t need to be in the gym or on a run 7 days a week to get the benefits of working out. In fact, it can be much less. One study showed that those who worked out three days a week saw the same strength-building results as those who exercised six days per week (1).
To overcome the barrier of time, it helps to know your goals and be realistic about how much time you are able to dedicate to working out. Find workouts you love, and allot a short amount of time regularly. Working out a little is much better than not at all!
Lack of Resources
No gym? No problem! It can appear “easier” to make the most of your workout at a fully stocked gym, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a great workout without a gym. Don’t fall victim to the misconception that results can only come from a gym membership or a trainer. Studies show great results from body-weight workouts (2). For many people, cutting out the complexity of learning machines and complex workouts can actually simplify the exercise process.
Once you settle on your goals, you can find exercises to do at home to get where you want to be. Your at-home work out can be successful with or without the equipment.
Body Weight Exercise
Your body weight is enough to get you an effective workout (3)! The key here is to do bodyweight exercises for as long as you feel difficulty, and then you can make changes or add weight to continue seeing results.
One example of an effective at-home body weight workout is push-ups. There are plenty of ways to get a variety by changing hand placements, adding a heavy backpack to your back for weight, or using a chair (4). Get creative!
Walking doesn’t require any equipment and can be done while you multi-task on a work call or listening to your audiobook. Studies show the benefits of “walking with a purpose,” citing those who walked more had higher self-reported health assessments (5).
Don’t worry about that 10,000 step “rule,” studies show great benefits starting at as low as 4,400 steps per day. Stay consistent and walk when you can to see the pay off from this free and easy exercise (6).
Walking is the simplest and easiest way to improve your lung capacity, strengthen your heart, and fight off many morbidities.
Some low-cost equipment to level up your at-home workout
Motivation is key in working out consistently. A common barrier to working out, is a lack of motivation, so how can you overcome this?
You may have noticed a pattern of goal setting. That’s because, without goals, you’re going to be lost and lack motivation. We recommend setting small goals to show yourself the results you’re looking for, and provide motivation to keep going.
Oftentimes, motivation follows action. This means that once you get moving, you will have a greater drive to keep moving. Set goals to just workout for a few minutes, or just do a few push ups and you’ll find yourself motivated to do more in no time!
Focus on one goal at a time
Make it measurable
Record your progress!
It’s hard to find motivation when your track record for exercise is starting and quitting every few weeks. By creating a workout schedule that is realistic, and you enjoy doing, you won’t be as tempted to give up. Focus on creating a workout regimen you look forward to and adheres to your goals.
Don’t do it Alone
Motivation can feel contagious! Call on your spouse, friend, or work-out buddy to stay accountable
Is Your Barrier Just an Excuse?
Sometimes it’s hard to hear we can be doing the things we want to be if we stopped throwing around excuses. There are very real and legitimate barriers to exercise, but we promise you with goal setting and commitment, you can push through the barriers and find ways to make the success in your fitness journey. Get started working out today!