Why don’t we exercise? Unexpected obstacles!
So, we know that exercise is good for us, but maybe we still struggle with making it a priority. Why is that?
In my blog post, I’ve shared some reasons why working out is good for us.
We cognitively know that regular exercise creates so many positive outcomes in our health and our lives.
Yet we, still find it challenging to create and maintain a healthy exercise habit.
The key is to identify the unexpected obstacles that stand in the way of that healthy habit.
That’s what I want to talk about next: the unexpected obstacles.
Unexpected obstacle number 1: It’s not convenient.
As humans, we do not do what is not convenient. To overcome unexpected obstacles like this, make exercise easily accessible!
For example, you will have better success when you choose a gym on your way home from work so that you don’t get home and then have to leave again.
The less you have to rely on your discipline, which waxes and wanes, the better success you’ll have!
Make working out convenient!
Unexpected obstacle number 2: You don’t have social support.
This applies to any change you are working on making: if you do not have social support, you’re not going to do it.
We become what our environment supports.
Studies show that convenience and social support are the two most powerful factors determining how successful we are at developing healthy habits.
The support of your family, friends, and community is so important!
If you’re committing to an exercise habit, enlist the support of the people around you. Tell them what you need to feel encouraged and supported, whether that’s an affirming word, or a fist bump acknowledging your hard work.
Community support is the reason why CrossFit, Peloton, running meet-ups, and other group fitness organizations can help people stick to a routine.
Even finding one other person who will work out with you or checking in with a friend every time you workout will make a difference!
My friend Kathleen and I text each other with “Post-workout check-in!” every time we finish a workout.
And I can not even describe how much I value the love and support of my CrossFit family and how much I love being a source of uplifting love and support for them too!
And one last thing, the opposite is true too: if you have someone in your circle who actively does not support your creating and maintaining a healthy habit, that’s a difficult obstacle to overcome. Create boundaries around that time and your efforts. Find people who will and do support you. And consider whether you need that kind of negativity in your life at all.
If you’re struggling to create an exercise habit, make it convenient and get support.
Optimal is possible!
Unexpected obstacle number 3: Subconsciously, you don’t feel like you deserve it.
We know that exercise is good for us, but we may still struggle to create a healthy exercise habit. Why is that?
The reason we don’t exercise number three: subconsciously – or even consciously – you don’t feel like you deserve the positive outcomes you would receive from working out.
Perhaps you believe you do not deserve to have permission to feel healthy, have energy, be strong, fast, or to have a fit-looking body.
Maybe you’re afraid of how you might make others feel. By the way, how someone feels is on them and not your responsibility. If you’re just doing your thing, being your authentically awesome, kind, loving, fitness-committed self, and someone is intimidated by you, that issue is with them, not with you.
Maybe you’re worried about how others will treat you, or you’re nervous about attracting attention to yourself.
Maybe you don’t feel like you are worthy of fitness.
My friends, these are important issues that merit reflection. If you’re struggling to create a healthy exercise habit, the reason could be in your subconscious.
But we can change our mental models! Optimal is possible!
The bullshit story that you are not worthy of is just that – a story. You can tell yourself a different story.
Thoughts are actual physical proteins that make up the structure of the brain.
When you reflect and become aware of subconscious programming that is harmful or false – or both – you can choose to re-wire your brain by thinking different thoughts.
We become what our thoughts are. We are the stories we believe about ourselves.
Believe in yourself that you are worthy of health, energy, fitness, community, and LOVE.
Because you ARE worthy.
Unexpected obstacle number 4: You don’t have a sense of self-efficacy around exercise.
We know that consistently working out is good for us. What’s keeping us from doing it?
The reason you don’t exercise number four: you don’t have a high sense of exercise self-efficacy.
Your sense of self-efficacy is your belief in your capacity to execute behaviors to create an outcome. It’s your belief in your ability to do a thing.
Our self-perception isn’t always accurate. Sometimes we look at something and think, “I could never do that,” when the reality is that we can do it, we’ve just not done it before, and we need to learn how.
If you have a low sense of self-efficacy around working out, you may feel intimidated or nervous. You might procrastinate or avoid.
If this is the case, start with movements that you already know that you know how to do, like walking or riding a bike.
Work with a personal trainer or fitness coach to provide you guidance and a safe space wherein you have the psychological safety that you need to learn something new.
Learning a new thing with a group that will encourage and support you will also be important.
The cool thing is – much like your fitness level, you can take action to improve your sense of self-efficacy!
Unexpected obstacle number 5: You haven’t made it a priority.
We know that steady exercise is good for us. What are the obstacles that keep us from it?
The reason you don’t exercise number five: you just haven’t made it a priority.
There’s a big difference between wishing and goal-setting. When you wish for something, you’d like to experience it. But when you have a goal, you’re COMMITTED to the experience, and you have a PLAN.
Here’s the thing. You could have convenient access, super awesome social support, a belief that you are worthy of fitness, and a high sense of self-efficacy related to exercise.
It still also requires discipline and commitment; to consistently do something that is temporarily uncomfortable.
When you’ve made exercise a priority:
– You’ve scheduled the time for your workout – it’s on your calendar.
– You have a plan for what workout you’re going to do.
– You have a consistent goal to motivate you to do the thing that number of times per week.
– You’ve set the conditions for your success by addressing the obstacles that will keep you from working out.
– And most importantly – you are committed and have got the right mind.
Daily exercise is possible when disciplined and committed. You have to make it a priority to make exercise part of your routine.
If you’re struggling to commit to exercising regularly, what unexpected obstacles are standing in your way?
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