Barriers to Weight Loss and Exercise | How to Get Motivated

Thursday, November 4 2021 2:27 PM
By Ellen Healy

We've all been there. One week you're in the gym five times a week, you're eating right, going to sleep at a decent time, and taking walks just to meditate. The following week, you're tired, you don't wanna, you just don't feel like it - you'd rather watch movies, wear PJs and binge eat an entire tube of cookie dough by yourself. It's normal to get bored of a routine or find an excuse not to continue healthy habits. It's especially easy to have an excuse when weight loss, muscle gain, whatever your goal may be, takes time, effort, and consistency.

trying to find motivation

Have you heard these excuses before?

"I don't have time."

"I'm too tired."

"Exercise is too hard."

"Exercise is boring."

"Everyone will judge or look at me because I don't know what I am doing."

"I've tried in the past and failed."

We know these sound familiar because, again, we've all been there! At one time or another, we've all said some version of the above. Why? Well, frankly, there's some merit to a few of them. Sometimes you just don't want to workout, and that's okay, but it's important to remember it's ultimately an excuse. When excuses come about, it's time to ask yourself, is this the truth or just a feeling? A fact or insecurity? Yes, exercise sometimes feels too hard or too boring, but maybe it's how you're working out or the exercises you're choosing that's making it feel that way.

Today, let's get realistic about all the excuses we make. Let's break down some common barriers to exercise and overcome them together so you can succeed on your fitness journey.

Overcoming Barriers in Exercise & Weight Loss | 7 Ways to Push Past Excuses

Barrier/Excuse #1: "I don't have time."

How to Overcome: Break workouts down and fit exercise into your schedule!

schedule your fitness routine

One of the best parts of exercise is that you can break it down into sessions as little as 10 minutes long. You just want to accumulate at least 30 minutes of exercise each day to live a healthy lifestyle.

So, go for a walk during your lunch break, get up 10 minutes earlier and do a little workout, do a 10-minute workout right before bed, or get out on the weekend and go for a hike. There are 24 hours in every day. We know you can squeeze in 30 minutes.

If you use a planner or organizer, schedule in workouts so your colleagues and family know you're unavailable during that time. Not only will scheduling active time keep you from being distracted during workouts, but it will also keep you accountable.

Give HIIT a Try!

If you're looking for an intense workout great for weight loss but within a short amount of time, look to High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which can last anywhere from 10-60 minutes. During HIIT, participants alternate between high-intensity intervals and low-intensity intervals or complete rests and stopping periods. HIIT is effective because you increase your aerobic and anaerobic endurance, leading to improved caloric afterburn, a healthier heart, fat loss, and muscle building. Arguably, the most incredible perk to HITT is that it's quick! 10 minutes of intensity? No problem! Take a twenty-minute walk to cool down after HIIT, and make that 30-minutes-a-day workout goal.

New to HIIT workouts and don't know where to begin? Try this HIIT Workout with variations – beginner, intermediate, and advanced. If you want to learn more about HIIT benefits, read this article on HIIT vs. Cardio, which takes a deep dive into all the perks of shorter-timed exercise versus steady-state cardio.

Heard of Tabata Training, a form of HIIT? We know you have! If you want a workout plan designed by a Genesis personal trainer, check out the following blog:

Tabata Training 101 & Workout Plan for Fat Loss

Barrier/Excuse #2: "I'm too tired."

How to Overcome: Be disciplined when it comes to sleep.

As we get older, this phrase becomes a favorite. We know you're tired, but everyone is! How do you overcome feeling tired? The answer is obvious, get more sleep or get better/more profound sleep.

For some of us, this might be more difficult. Having kids, working the night shift, wanting that social life can sometimes come at a price. That price being, a lack of sleep. Although it might be challenging to get a full 8 hours, there are ways you can improve your sleep so that when you do hit the pillow, you wake up feeling well-rested. Read the following articles on sleep, and start feeling better each morning, ready to hit the gym, ready to reach fitness success.

How to Get Better Sleep
Become the Morning Person You Want to Be

Barrier/Excuse #3: "Exercise is too hard."

How to Overcome: Keep going! Just Move!

Exercise is hard. There is no denying it. If it were easy, we'd all look like Ryan Reynolds. Exercise can be uncomfortable. But the pros outweigh the cons. Instead of focusing on the difficulty, focus on why you're working out at all. Instead of making an excuse, focus on your goals instead, you achieving them, you proud of yourself, and the feeling you get when you succeed.

Yes, exercise itself is physically hard outside the feelings, but it doesn't always have to feel physically demanding. The most important thing to remember is just to move and get active. Do the things you enjoy. Do activities where you forget you're sweating or do them with friends, so it feels like time spent seeing friends rather than sweating alone. Chances are, if you enjoy something, you'll do it again. So if you don't like kickboxing and prefer yoga, do yoga! If you like weights over walking, go ahead and lift. How you want to exercise is between you and you. It's your business, so do whatever exercise you love, just be sure to move.

Barrier/Excuse #4: "Exercise is boring."

How to Overcome: Switch Up Your Routine

surprise yourself

Humans get bored quickly. Duh, right? Every fall, we get super pumped about pumpkin spice everything being back on the shelves at every grocery store. But if pumpkin spice lattes were available every day, would you get just as excited? 

Exercise doesn't have to be the same thing every time. Exercise doesn't have to be repetitive or boring. It can be spaced out, renewed, or changed. If you're feeling bored while you exercise, change your workout routine! Try a new group fitness class at Genesis and see why group exercise delivers results faster. If you want something more personalized, try a free personal training session with one of our certified trainers. At Genesis Health Clubs, we offer new members a free fitness assessment and orientation to go through the machines, to make you feel more confident. With so many ways to switch it up, we don't see how you could be bored.

Barrier/Excuse #5: "Everyone will judge or look at me because I don't know what I am doing/ I am self-conscious about how I look."

How to Overcome: Pick the best times to go. Realize you're not alone.

Although we want you to know you're always welcome no matter what level you're at and that we uphold a no-judgment atmosphere at Genesis Health Clubs, we also know that you might need time to trust us. Beginning something new is always a bit scary, so if you don't want to be around tons of people, ask someone at the front desk or any Genesis staff member what the slowest times are at your club's location. If you want time to yourself to get used to the machines and weights, avoid the early 6:00 am rush, the noontime rush, or anytime after 5:00 pm. Giving yourself more space initially might give you more confidence to workout with others later on. When you're ready and start to establish a routine, coming to the club at the same time every day or going to the same classes, Genesis employees and our other members will start to recognize your face. This will help establish community and accountability in your life, creating new friendships and workout buddies.

Remember, all of us begin somewhere. Not all workout junkies knew how to use every machine when they began. Not everyone feels cute or knowledgeable when they workout. It's so important to remember that every person is on their own journey to optimal health, whatever that may be. Having empathy for others and having grace for yourself will allow you to feel more comfortable at the club, surrounded by people just like you trying their best to better themselves. In other words, you are not alone.

Barrier/Excuse #6: "I've tried in the past and failed."

How to Overcome: Get back up after "failing" and try again. Set a Realistic Goal and Stick to It.

Failure is just a part of life. It's what you do after failing that counts. Do you think Olympic athletes win every time? Nope! We are often disappointed by outcomes, where we feel like we "failed" ourselves in life. What matters most is your reaction to failure. If you decide to stand back up and try again, you will set yourself up for success.

Success is not linear, especially when it comes to fitness. There will be many ups and downs in your health and wellness journey - days where you eat an entire pie by yourself and days where you climb a mountain. During "the downs," don't be so hard on yourself. During "the ups," reward yourself in a healthy and gratifying way.

Set Small Goals & Keep Going!

The most successful people are the ones who set small, realistic goals, goals they can achieve. So instead of saying, "I'm going to wake up at 4 am every day, make myself a healthy breakfast and run three miles before work," start smaller. Instead, set a more realistic goal to wake up an hour earlier every day until you build up to that 4 am wake-up call. Try making breakfast in the morning or start prepping breakfast the night before. Work your way up to three miles of running every day by starting with one mile this week, two miles the next week, and so on. When it comes to goals, if they're too hard right from the get-go, you might give up on them before giving yourself a real chance to form a habit and achieve.

Reward Yourself For Doing the Dang Thing!

When you achieve small, realistic goals, they might feel small, but they're not! A completed goal is an achieved goal, and you so deserve to be proud and to award yourself in a healthy way, whether it be by buying a new exercise outfit for yourself or getting a massage.

Tell a Friend to Help Hold Yourself Accountable!

Healthy rewards can help motivate you to stick to your goals and continue setting them. Other ways to stick to something include telling a friend or family member your goals and having them help you keep accountable. When you feel like you've failed, lean on your support system. The more people are aware of your goals, the more likely you will compete and succeed, feeling supported and not alone.

Barrier/Excuse #7: "I don't feel like it."

How to Overcome: Remember your "Why"

family is everything

Okay, so you don't feel like working out... You're too sore, too tired, too annoyed with the slow progress you've made, whatever the "I don't wanna" feeling.

When you don't feel like working out, it's best to focus on the positives that exercise brings you and the long-term effects on your health. Focus on your "why" when you question why you're working out. A few good examples of the many benefits to exercise are decreasing your cholesterol or blood pressure, making you feel stronger, or the thought of being around longer for your children or grandchildren. Remember your why when you feel like giving up. Allow your reasons for exercise to help motivate you to continue on the fitness track.

No Excuses! You can do it!

We hope these solutions to some of the most common exercise barriers help you see them more clearly for what they are... Excuses. If you know what to look out for, you're more likely to identify barriers and excuses when they arise, acknowledging them and surpassing them using this blog as a guide to fight the good fight.
We believe in you. You can and will do it. No excuses!



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