What are some of the main reasons people don’t exercise?
In my experience a combination of stress, work and family commitments mean that people find little or no time for exercise as part of their daily routine. There is also the perception that having not exercised for some time will make them unable to do so. This is just a perceived view rather than something that is actually true, as anyone can exercise. I also find that sometimes those willing to start often don’t due to lack of confidence, knowledge and direction.
What are the best ways to overcome these barriers?
Time management is key, putting aside some time each day that is convenient to adhere to and fits in with your daily routine is the best way to keep focused. This does not always need to be a long session. It’s very easy to talk yourself out of training, especially if you don’t think you can put in the time to make it a productive session. But you can get great results from short 20-30 minute sessions as long as the intensity is there.
Whether your time spent exercising is done at home, with a personal trainer, attending fitness classes or joining a competitive team, all can be used to help achieve maximum results from the limited time available.
Before or after work, it really makes no difference just find a time that suits you best. There is no right or wrong. Create a goal, know what you are trying to achieve and what your incentive is. By knowing where you are going, you will know when you arrive.
How do you encourage people who don’t actually like exercise to embark on a fitness programme?
Give them a clear goal to work towards; a holiday, fitness challenge or wedding can help focus even those who hate to exercise.
If they are money driven then I simply remind them that an unhealthy lifestyle filled with lack of sleep, lack of exercises, stress and a un- healthy diet can have a huge impact on productivity in the work place. Ultimately it’s about reminding them that it’s in their best interest to invest time and effort to improve their health.
Non-exercisers are often encouraged to start small – what kind of baby steps would you suggest to someone who hasn’t exercised before?
Ideally set small targets in the first few weeks, these can be as simple as walking to work. Monitor your progress so psychologically you can see improvements week on week. Plan your exercise sessions each week, put them in your diary and put a weekly schedule on your fridge. Tick off each session as you do it and track your progress. It is very motivating to see it there in front of you every day.