How to Overcome Obstacles Towards an Active LifeStyle

  • Added:
    Nov 09, 2013
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How to Overcome Obstacles Towards an Active LifeStyle Photo by Josee  Smith

Regular physical activity helps you improve your mood, feel more energetic and give you the energy you need to get through your busy day. Being active helps to reduce stress, calm the mind, and improve your sense of wellbeing.  

Physical activity also makes every part of you work better and feel better. It helps you to strengthen your cardiovascular system and to increase your muscle strength, flexibility and balance. To be active every day is a step towards better health and a healthy body weight. Even though there are numerous benefits to being active, overcoming obstacles to an active lifestyle can be a challenge. The most common barriers to staying motivated and committed are:

  • lack of the time
  • “all or nothing” mindset
  • inconvenience
  • having unrealistic goals
  • feeling too out of shape to get started
  • doing too much too quickly
  • not making exercise a priority
  • viewing exercise as drudgery
  • giving in to excuses such as “I’m too tired,” “I can skip today,” or “I’ll start next week”

Living an active lifestyle takes time to incorporate into your daily routines. Three sure ways to get you started and to keep you motivated are: to get your body in motion, to change things up and to write down your goals. Applying these strategies is guaranteed to get you started and to keep you going towards living an active lifestyle.

1  Get your body in motion!

Look for simple ways to fit more physical activity into your life, without using a lot of time such as: 

  • Stretch for a few minutes while brushing your teeth
  • Run up and down the stairs several times a day just for the fun of it
  • Dance 10 minutes to your favorite music
  • Do side leg lifts while washing dishes
  • Spend 15 minutes in your garden each day
  • Take breaks every 30-60 minutes to stand up, stretch your legs, neck and arms
  • Visit your co-worker at their desk instead of sending an email
  • Spend less time being inactive such as watching TV or on your computer
  • Make one night of the week family activity night

 Keeping your body in movement will give you bursts of energy to get you through your day. Keep in mind that exercise does not necessarily have to be 30-60 minutes all at once. It is certainly OK to do intervals, and most often that is the only way that we can fit exercise in. So if you feel crunched for time, try breaking up your physical activity into smaller intervals. Three 10 minute routines are just as good as one 30 minute routine. You can probably find 10 minutes for exercise a few times a day. Look for little ways to build more exercise into every day. Small changes really do add up.

Something is always better than nothing! 2  Change things up!

Changing up activities on a regular basis will keep you interested and motivated. Mixing up your physical activity will improve your balance and posture. Set up a variety of routines at different times on different days. Here are a few options for you to include in your exercise program:

Build stretching into your exercise routine. Stretching is a vital part of any exercise routine. Stretching improves your flexibility and range in motion, reduces stiffness, and decreases susceptibility of injury. It increases blood flow to joints and lubricates them. You could take a regular yoga class, stretch for a few minutes each morning, or even learn some stretches you can do at your desk during a quick break.

Build strength training into your exercise routine. Regular strength training assists in reducing body fat, increases lean muscle mass and burns calories. Weight-strengthening exercises build strong bones and muscles, which are crucial for good health. Resistance machines, free weights, resistance bands or homemade weights can be used to strengthen your muscles.

Exercise while watching TV. Do sit-ups, push-ups, leg lifts, strength endurance exercises or stretches during the commercials of your favorite shows. You can easily get in 10 minutes of exercise while watching an hour-long TV show.

Walk whenever you can. The cheapest, easiest and most easily accessible exercise is walking. Walking is a great start to getting into an exercise routine. Take a 10-20 minute walk in the morning, during lunch, when you come home from work, after dinner, while your kids are playing sports, or even with your dog, family and friends. Walk whenever you can – get off the bus early, use the stairs, park a distance from your destination and walk the rest of the way.

Every Step Counts!

Choose a variety of activities that you enjoy. This will make it easier for you to stick with it. And be sure to choose activities that are fun.

3  Write down your Goals

A goal is a well defined target that gives you clarity, direction, motivation and focus. Goals help you transform your vision of the future into reality and help you to create the results that YOU desire.

Write down your exercise goals to stay motivated. Writing stimulates the mind to open to possibilities and intensifies your desires. Putting your plan on paper will help you commit and will give you something to turn to every week or month to keep you focused and on track.

Post your goals someplace where you can see them often like the bathroom mirror, the refrigerator, by your computer or in your office. This will keep you motivated and help you to stick to your exercise program.

A guaranteed way to reach your goals is to apply the SMARTER goals technique.

SMARTER stands for: Specify, Measure, Action, Relevant, Time, Envision and Reflection:

Specify: be clear on what your starting point is and what YOU truly desire
Measure: what you measure improves and keep your eyes on the prize 
Action: define a step by step action plan and prepare yourself for challenges and obstacles
Relevant: no “shoulds”; choose goals aligned with your desires that will challenge YOU
Time: no more “someday”; decide how often, how long and eliminate distractions Envision: why you want this goal, believe it is possible and enjoy the journey
Reflection: read your goals, adjust where necessary, and celebrate your achievements

These 3 simple strategies: get your body in motion, change things up and write your goals down are sure to get you started towards living an active lifestyle.

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You can find out how to apply these powerful techniques along with other tips on how to enjoy an active lifestyle to boost your energy in the Boost Your Energy Starting NOW kit at

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