Overcoming obstacles to exercising
Sept. 19, 2010 at 4:19 a.m.
More people of all ages are struggling with weight issues than ever before. If you ask them, most of these people will tell you that they do not exercise on a regular basis. Approximately 70 percent will say they are currently on a diet of some kind. So why are Americans losing the battle of the bulge on a regular basis?
My own personal experience with hundreds of clients is that there are four basic obstacles:
Diet OR Exercise. When I talk to clients about their struggles they usually have tried multiple diets and possibly a few exercise routines, none for very long. Many clients want to diet or exercise, not both. My own philosophy is the two are interconnected and cannot be separated. The people who achieve results and keep their weight in check for the long term are the ones who make permanent changes in their diet and exercise habits.
Technology. The very things that make our lives easier also lead to habits that foster over consumption of calories and very little movement. Both our work environments and our leisure activities have become sedentary. Anyone who sits for most of the day is going to struggle to keep their weight under control.
Time. For many of us the daily tasks and responsibilities are so overwhelming that there is simply no time left to do a single extra thing. Knowing that our health depends on it does not add any extra minutes to our day to incorporate exercise in. For these clients I try to help them find ways to combine tasks so that they get exercise in while they are taking care of other responsibilities.
Quick fix. Most of us live on a fast food/microwave diet. This constant eating on the run has us consuming more calories than we realize. We are not mindful of what we are putting in our mouth, just that it must be done in a hurry. This mentality of a quick fix follows us into most areas of our lives including controlling weight. We want to swallow a pill, exercise for 2 minutes a day and see results by tomorrow. Losing weight is like cleaning house; you are never finished. Hitting your goal weight just means you transition to a maintenance routine, not that you can go back to your old ways.
Talk to a trainer and/or a dietician to help you find ways to get your diet on track and your exercise routine in gear. These professionals can help you set and achieve goals, learn new habits and find innovative ways to fit exercise into any lifestyle. Change is never easy, but in this case it is well worth the effort.
Always talk to your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine.
Melissa Bagnall is a certified personal trainer with a Bachelor's degree from Texas A&M in physical education. You can email her questions to: email@example.com.