What is one of the biggest barriers to fitness people face when first getting into fitness? The answer is customer experience.

It is so easy to pose this simple question and leave it unanswered. As if anything could be a big enough obstacle to block us from getting to where we want to, to block us from reaching our goals. Ebben and Brudzynski (2008) mention that the most common reason for not exercising or getting into fitness, when the question was posed in a study, was identified as a lack of time. It is easy give this response because it’s true, it takes time to exercise and more often than not, workloads, and other commitments easily block our paths. However, should you find the motivation to make a change, these issues do not need to stand in your way.

In my own time working with a trainer, time management was also the number one roadblock that came between me and reaching my goals. I had to take time to ask myself how much I was willing to put up with and how long I would wait. I reflected on the differences between my motivation in the past and my motivation now, and the truth is, I feel like a completely different person. In the past I would think about something, look at it, and go after it, often, not taking a single moment to think about how that something may affect other parts of my life. What is different now is my commitments to other parts of my life, my studies, my family, and my dogs to name a few. In reflection I caught myself assigning a stiff connotation to my barriers. I would explain rigidly to my trainer that I just do not have time to work out, even though it was on me to make time to get to the gym. It took time but I was eventually able to actively recognize when my negative mindset would step in, catching myself to change my vocabulary and reevaluate my outlook on various situations. For example, rather than telling myself I must get to the gym I tell myself I get to go to the gym today.

This is just one of the many ways to work to overcome your barriers to fitness. Others may experience different challenges and barriers including self-consciousness, boredom from exercise, lack of energy, fear of failure, financial limitations, and fear of injury (Mayo Clinic, n.d.). Each of these barriers present their own hurdles and no individuals circumstances will be exactly the same as another.

We can overcome these hurdles with practical strategies, including squeezing short walks in throughout the day, getting up earlier, and setting a schedule when it comes to time management issues. These strategies should help us make time for exercise and general fitness in our lives. If one of your barriers is the belief that exercise is boring it will help to choose activities that you enjoy, anything that gets you moving, such as rock climbing, laser tag, group fitness classes, or something as simple as a walk in the park. Another great tip to combat boredom and encourage motivation is to change your routine from time to time, explore new activities, and try exercising with friends, relatives, co-workers, or neighbors (Mayo Clinic, n.d.).

However, you may be more comfortable avoiding the crowd if you are self-conscious about how you look. In this case it is best to focus on the future and remember that you are doing what is best for you and your health. As you continue to exercise you will likely gain confidence in yourself and your body image as you improve. Other general tips include setting realistic expectations, working on your physical activity at times of the day that suit you best, and remembering why you started.

Everyone has days where they feel as if they can’t physically get out of bed, step out of the house for a walk, or get a workout in at the gym. All you can do is what is best for you, focus on your motivators, use every resources around you, try new things, and don’t be afraid to reflect on how or why you may be feeling and acting the ways you do.

Bio: My name is Kayla Dickson and I’m currently a student in the Personal Fitness Trainer Program at NAIT. I absolutely fell in love with fitness 4 years ago, although I’ve been practicing and competing in all-star cheerleading for 11 years. I got my start by teaching group fitness classes in a private studio in my hometown. This is where I realized how much I crave the feeling of putting a smile on my clients faces while leading them to crush their goals. I love the strength fitness gives me to accomplish my goals and just be me.

Social Media Contacts: Instagram – @K1E_PerformanceTraining