Updated: Aug 31, 2021
It’s estimated that 20% of the UK population are members of a gym or attend a fitness class (pre-lockdown). Congratulations to them, but it makes me think... what about the other 80% of people? Why are they not getting the wonderful benefits of regular exercise?
There are many barriers to exercising; the top three are time, energy and motivation. We all use these reasons (excuses) at times in our lives but there comes a time when your favourite jeans won’t zip up or you’re breathless from going upstairs or your joints are aching after a walk around the supermarket – then the lightbulb goes on and it’s time to make changes.
It’s important to understand why you don’t exercise. Some people have got out of the habit, perhaps after having a baby or caring for a relative or changing jobs and it can feel like a dauntingly huge task to get back on track. A busy life can seem like an insurmountable barrier but there are ways to hurdle that barrier when you identify what’s stopping you.
Here are my top tips for tackling those three main barriers to exercise:
1. Keep a diary for a week of everything you do and identify where there are 30-60 minute gaps. You could fit a walk round the block or a Zumba class in there.
2. Add activity to other things you do like exercising while watching TV, parking further away from school or walking the dog for a bit longer.
3. Choose exercise that you know takes a shorter time – a home workout or a run at the park.
1. Try to do exercise when you feel more energised, like in the morning.
2. Create a self-fulfilling prophesy – convince yourself that exercising will give you more energy and it’s more likely to succeed.
3. Share your plans with friends and family to keep you on track and ask them to join you, it’s more fun with others and the shared energy will give you both a boost.
1. Plan exercise into your weekly schedule like it’s as important as a doctor’s appointment or catching up with an old friend.
2. Block book a series of classes or join an online group to make a financial and personal commitment to yourself.
3. Keep your exercise routine varied, try out different types of workouts to see which one suits you best.
Many, many of our Gemma Pearce Fitness members would say that they struggled with all of these barriers and also lacked the confidence to start or return to exercise at first. We can feel unprepared for the effort and think we’ll look silly but those same Gemma Pearce Fitness members will tell you that there is no judgement here, only support and laughter. Once you take that first step, you won’t look back!
So if you haven’t exercised since school or since an injury, you’ll find a friendly, supportive group of people just like you at Gemma Pearce Fitness.