Are you trying to move more in your daily life? Research suggests you’ve got the right idea – and not just because it helps you maintain a healthy weight. Exercise has wide-ranging benefits from better heart health, to lower blood pressure or cholesterol levels, to improving your mood, and more. The American Heart Association recommends about 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise at least 5 days a week totaling 150 minutes.
You probably already do some of these types of exercises throughout your normal daily routine, but the key is to consistently and deliberately increase the amount of physical activity in your day. If this seems daunting, don’t worry, we’re here to break down the top 3 barriers to exercising for weight loss, and share our tips to overcome these barriers.
Overcoming Unrealistic Expectations:
When thinking about physical fitness, many people tend to think of running, long bike rides, or high-intensity activities as the primary means of achieving weight loss. These activities may burn a lot of calories, but if you are not used to exercising, beginning too aggressively can burn you out. A good first step: Figure out where you stand. Health Advisors will ask what you can and will realistically do, and suggest you start there. We help members set realistic, attainable goals, to allow them to get the feel for exercise. What small thing can you do every day this week? Check out our 7 strategies to move more for a few ideas on where to start.
Overcoming Anxiety and Lack of Motivation:
A number of our members who are struggling to lose weight have shared that their anxiety de-motivates them. It is important to remember that you are a person with strengths and weaknesses, just like everybody else. You can start losing weight by changing some of your not-so-healthy daily habits. This will not be easy but with time and effort, you will see a difference. If you were planting a garden, building a house, or learning a new language, you’d start with a plan, and then put significant effort into completing the project, day by day, step by step, over time. You might take a day off, but you come back and pick up where you left off because you started the project and you don’t want that effort to be wasted. Exercising for weight loss is the same way! A good first step: We encourage our members to start small and celebrate the little successes. Staying positive and motivated can have a large impact on your short and long-term results when embarking on the journey to a healthier lifestyle. Set achievable goals, and reward yourself when you succeed. If you stumble, get up and keep going. Everyone will have a day that they did not meet their exercise requirement or they just fall short, and that is okay. A healthier lifestyle is not defined by the one week you exercised every day, but by the things you do on a daily basis, it’s the sum of all the steps you take towards a healthier life.
Overcoming Logistical Barriers, Such as Expense and Time:
Many of our members have struggled to prioritize healthy behaviors because they’re simply too busy. Balancing a hectic schedule with work, family, school, social events, and more can make your head spin. This is where your motivation has to outweigh your excuses. Like we said earlier, exercise is more than just weight loss it can help relieve the daily stressors in your life!
A good first step: We work with our members to weave low-impact physical activity in every part of the day: parking further from the entrance of the grocery store, doing chair exercises at work, standing to take phone calls. These are just a few of the ways to get more active in areas of everyday life. For more ideas, talk to your Health Advisor.