Health Topics

Breaking Barriers That Keep You From Exercising

Breaking Barriers That Keep You From Exercising

Sometimes, the hardest part of exercising is simply finding the motivation to do so. We set up mental barriers to give us excuses to not exercise. Overcoming these obstacles can be tricky, but they only serve to prevent you from becoming a better and healthier individual.

How Can You Overcome Your Barriers?

The answer to this is to find something that motivates you. Make exercise personal. Use a chronic health condition, family history or positive outcome (like keeping medication costs down) to help you with motivation. Review the benefits of exercise. Select something that you want to change and find a way to keep track of it. Examples of things that you can keep track of include:

  • Blood pressure
  • Medicine changes
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Weight
  • How many steps you take
  • How many days in a row you exercise

Then, write down your exercise details in a journal.

What to Do?

First, think about exercise as simply increasing your activity level. Structured exercise and increased daily activity are not always the same thing. Taking the steps instead of taking the elevator, taking the least direct path to any destination or just getting up and walking around the office for a few minutes does not constitute exercise. However, these things can help you burn more calories throughout the day.

Accumulate 30 minutes of moderate activity at least five days a week (or get 20 minutes of vigorous activity three days a week). The suggestion of "at least five days a week" means that every day is better, but you can break the activity down into shorter sessions of less intense exercise. The use of the word "accumulate" means that you can get your 30 minutes in however you want to do it, such as getting 10 minutes of exercise three times per day or 15 minutes twice a day.


You may want to keep track of your progress. You can consider first the question of how much you have done lately. When you start exercising, you might only be able to do a certain amount and still be able to carry on a conversation. Increasing time, speed, or frequency will help you along.