There can be many barriers to being active, but what we commonly don’t think about is what we are gaining from regular activity.
Activity is essential to your well being, and extends far past your physical physique and strength. Let us show you just how you are benefiting from activity, and what you can do to overcome these barriers.
Benefits of Regular Physical Activity
- Lowers your blood glucose within one hour.
- Gives you more energy and strength during the day.
- Decreases stress, anxiety, and fatigue.
- Improves relaxation and sleep.
- Improves confidence and well-being.
- Lets you have fun and involve family and friends.
- Improved blood glucose (sugar) control.
- Helps to maintain or lose weight.
- Lowered blood pressure.
- Stronger bones and muscles.
- Lower risk of diabetes complications such as eye, heart, and kidney disease.
- Improved quality of life.
Obstacles to Being Physically Active
- Safety considerations
- Child care
- Uneasiness with change
- Unsuitable programs
How to Overcome the Barriers
Situation 1: Lack of time
- Identify available time slots. Monitor your daily activities for one week. Identify at least three 30-minute time slots you could use for physical activity.
- Add physical activity to your daily routine. For example, walk or ride your bike to work or shopping, organize school activities around physical activity, walk the dog, exercise while you watch TV, park farther away from your destination, etc.
- Make time for physical activity. For example, walk, jog, or swim during your lunch hour, or take fitness breaks instead of coffee breaks.
- Select activities requiring minimal time, such as walking, jogging, or stair climbing.
Situation 2: Social influence
- Explain your interest in physical activity to friends and family. Ask them to support your efforts
- Invite friends and family members to exercise with you. Plan social activities involving exercise
- Develop new friendships with physically active people. Join a group such as a hiking club!
Situation 3: Lack of energy
- Schedule physical activity for times in the day or week when you feel energetic.
- Convince yourself that if you give it a chance, physical activity will increase your energy level; then, try it.
Situation 4: Lack of motivation
- Plan ahead. Make physical activity a regular part of your daily or weekly schedule and write it on your calendar.
- Invite a friend to exercise with you on a regular basis and write it on both your calendars
- Join an exercise group or class
Situation 5: Weather conditions
- Develop a set of regular activities that are always available regardless of weather (indoor cycling, aerobic dance, indoor swimming, calisthenics, stair climbing, rope skipping, mall walking, dancing, gymnasium games, etc.)
- Look on outdoor activities that depend on weather conditions (cross-country skiing, outdoor swimming, outdoor tennis, etc.) as “bonuses”-extra activities possible when weather and circumstances permit
Situation 6: Travel
- Put a jump rope in your suitcase.
- Walk the halls and climb the stairs in hotels.
- Stay in places with swimming pools or exercise facilities.
- Join the YMCA or YWCA (ask about reciprocal membership agreement).
- Visit the local shopping mall and walk for half an hour or more.
- Bring a small tape recorder and your favorite aerobic exercise tape.
Situation 7: Retirement years
- Look upon your retirement as an opportunity to become more active instead of less. Spend more time gardening, walking the dog, and playing with your grandchildren. Children with short legs and grandparents with slower gaits are often great walking partners.
- Learn a new skill you’ve always been interested in, such as ballroom dancing, square dancing, or swimming
- Now that you have the time, make regular physical activity a part of every day. Go for a walk every morning or every evening before dinner. Treat yourself to a stationary bike and ride every day while reading a favorite book or magazine.
Our Physiotherapist John Igbiki has a passion in this area and can help you in many ways!
Nose Creek Sport Physiotherapy Thorncliffe Clinic
Blair balances his busy professional life by staying active. He enjoys cycling, swimming, working out, hiking, camping and snowboarding, depending on the season. Blair shares his free time with his wife, son and daughter outside on the weekends. He has learned to enjoy the journey, as life really is too short.
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