Breaking Down Barriers to an Active Lifestyle

Carla Cox, CDE can help you identify and break down the barriers holding you back from a more active lifestyle. 

So what excuse do you have?

It’s time to exercise – you know it is healthy and makes you feel better, but you just cannot get out the door. Why is it that SO MANY people find the “doing it” such a hurdle?

I have written before about the benefits of activity – reducing the risks of heart disease and some cancers, lowering glucose values, improving mobility, reducing blood pressure and depressive symptoms, etc. So, knowing all the benefits of activity – why is the television so much more compelling? Did anyone ever suggest that watching more television or spending more time on the computer improved your overall health? Americans spend an average of 4 hours per day watching television and 12 hours per day on total screen time!

Breaking Down the Barriers to Activity

It’s time to take this CDC quiz to determine what your barriers are to being active and enhancing your health!

When you review your results, think about how you can break down your identified barriers. 

Would it help to exercise with a friend? Statistics show repeatedly that having a partner or class helps to create bonding that improves rates of activity. 

Get a pedometer and check it each evening. Set goals to increase your steps each week. By seeing your results daily in real-time, you can make a plan to extend the number of steps and set goals week by week to improve time on your feet.

If your legs are too tired after a day of standing – teaching, cash register, housework, or whatever you may do – consider a recumbent bike or a swim at the local gym. You may actually find you have MORE energy doing this rather than slumping in front of a screen.

Sign up for a fun run or walk to encourage movement. You may find others in the crowd you are moving with that would like to meet up once per week for activity and conversation.

Some of us are blessed with good examples – my mother walked two miles each day through her 95th year. Some are lucky to really enjoy activity, making it an easy choice. However, if you have not had a great role model, or find you are not energized by activity, approach it as you would brushing your teeth or taking a shower. It needs to be part of almost every day! Lace up your shoes, open the door and take the steps you need to enhance your health! You truly will be glad you did. 

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