Common Barriers to Physical Activity

I find it hard to make myself be active. What can I do?

You’re more likely to keep going if you choose activities you enjoy, if you can fit them into your schedule, if you believe you’ll benefit from them, and if you feel you can do them safely and correctly. Making a contract with a friend or family member also may help you keep your commitment. Setting small, realistic goals, checking your progress, and rewarding yourself when you reach your goal also can help. If you can stick with an exercise routine or physical activity for at least 6 months, it’s a good sign that you’re on your way to making physical activity a regular habit.

How do I find time to be active?

There are a number of ways to fit exercise and physical activity into your schedule. For example, exercise first thing in the morning before your day gets too busy, or combine physical activity with a task that’s already part of your day, such as walking the dog or doing household chores. If you don’t have 30 minutes in your daily routine to be active, look for three 10-minute periods.

What kind of equipment do I need?

For many activities, you don’t need any equipment or special clothing. All you need for brisk walking, for example, is a pair of comfortable, non-skid shoes. For strength training, you can make your own weights from unbreakable household items. Many communities offer free or low-cost programs. Check with your local parks and recreation department or senior center about the facilities and programs in your area.