6 reasons why you aren't working out
If fear of failure is keeping you from exercising, these tips will help you take that first step.
Starting an exercise program can be difficult for anyone. But if you are among the more than one-third of adults in the United States who are obese, the challenge can be even greater.
In a study done at Temple University's Center for Obesity Research and Education, obese women reported greater challenges to being active than women at a normal weight. These included:
- Fear of failure
- Fear of injury
- Feeling too overweight to exercise
- Believing they are in poor health
- Experiencing minor aches and pains
The more barriers to exercise women identified at the beginning of the study, the less likely they were to be exercising 12 months later. But experts agree that even if you're obese, you can overcome your fears and get to the point where you're comfortably exercising for 30 minutes 3 – 4 times a week. The key to success is to start small and remember that creating a healthy lifestyle is a long-term skill that you will improve upon slowly, one step at a time.
If you're ready to get more active, follow these tips:
- Talk to your doctor. Before starting any type of exercise, it's best to get your doctor's approval.
- Find support. Consider joining a beginner exercise class through a hospital or wellness center or find a friend who also wants to get more active or just wants to help you meet your goals.
- Start small. Begin by committing to a walk around the block each day or even to the mailbox. Every week, set a slightly further goal. You can break your exercise into manageable chunks throughout the day. So if you're not ready to handle a full 30-minute walk, aim to walk for 10 minutes at a time and do it 3 times a day.
- Don't compare yourself to others. No one else's abilities should matter to you. The only thing that affects your health and well-being is what you can do. Everyone else is only focused on themselves and they're not paying attention to you anyway.
- Stay positive and realistic. Be proud of your day-by-day successes and growth. Step by step you're taking actions to become a healthier you.