• Emma Cooke

How to Break Down Your Barriers to Fitness


How to Break Down Your Barriers to Fitness

Do you feel like every time you start a new fitness routine or healthy eating plan that no matter how hard you try it never quite works out?


Have you ever looked at the barriers you have towards exercise and healthy eating?


Do you know what those barriers look like?


Being able to identify and break down these barriers is an important process to go through when we are looking to change our habits and behaviours as these are things that might be holding you back without you realising.

Ask yourself:


Q. What has stopped you from changing your eating and exercise habits in the past?


Q. What do you think might stop you in the future?


If you identify your barriers early on, and put a plan in place to help you get past them you stand a much better chance of being able to create good habits and reach your goals.

It is important that if you hit a barrier or a bump in the road that you get some support, slip ups are normal and you should expect them and have a plan for how to get back on track.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common barriers I come across when working with clients both online and in person.


“I’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO CHANGE HOW I EAT OR THE WAY MY BODY LOOKS.”


Sound familiar?


Not believing you can do something is often a fear of failure. You put off making changes in your life because of this fear. This kind of barrier can keep you from starting to make a lifestyle change. It can also crop up on days when you feel most demotivated.


How can we fix this?


Try and define success and failure to you. If your goal is to improve your food choices, exercise consistently and as a result lose an achievable amount of weight, you stand a very good chance of being successful.


If you want to eat perfectly, exercise every day and lose unrealistic amounts of weight over a short period of time, this may very well lead to failure. This is also a reason why strict diet plans are only ever successful in the short term as they cannot be sustained long term.


Set small, measurable goals. For example, drinking an extra glass of water each morning.

Giving up too much and changing too many things at one time will make the process harder for you to manage and keep up with and mean you are more likely to not even try in the first place.



“I DON’T HAVE TIME.”


Sound familiar?


This is a very common reason not to eat well and exercise. Either your life is too busy or you have more important (and more fun) things to do. Time is by far one of the biggest barriers for anybody in a world where we are always on the go.


How can we fix this?


Look at how you can manage your time better, find a structure or routine that works well for you. If you know you prefer to exercise in the morning, don’t schedule it in for after work when you’re not in the mood.


Make small changes that over time add up and get you the results you want.

Incorporating too many new habits and behaviors in an already busy lifestyle will feel overwhelming.


People often think that having a routine will be too strict and make life more and not less stressful.


However, if you keep it simple, make time for the important stuff and allow yourself the chance to adapt when things have to change, it can be really helpful to make better use of the time you do have.


“I’LL BE JUDGED IF I WANT TO EAT HEALTHY OR EXERCISE.”


Sound familiar?


Hands up who doesn’t tell their friends when they’re exercising or on a diet? – I have definitely been guilty of this in the past.


Maybe because we know the inevitable questions/grilling will happen, what are you doing that for? You don’t need a diet; I need a diet. Isn’t that boring? You feel the need to explain and validate yourself and it makes you feel uncomfortable admitting to people you want to feel fitter and good about yourself.


So many people are put off from changing their eating and exercise habits because of how they think it will look to others and their reactions and attitudes towards it. It can be hard to stick to healthy eating and exercise if you don’t want people to find out and are embarrassed or if you have family or friends who don’t want to join or support you.

How can we fix this?


Find a support network that also want to make these positive changes with you.

There are more people out there struggling with the exact same things than you think.


Be willing to ask and seek out the help and support of others. You don’t have to go it alone and you don’t need to feel embarrassed that you’re investing some time and effort into yourself and your health.


I’M NOT GOOD AT MAKING CHANGES.”


Sound familiar?


Often our lack of self-esteem and self-belief prevents us from believing that we are in a position to change in the ways we want. We feel set in our ways. We’re too old, too lazy or too unfit to change.


How many times have you tried a diet or exercise plan in the past, lost interest or fallen off the wagon and thought to yourself that you’re just not capable of changing and reaching your goals?


How can we fix this?


If self-esteem and confidence is something you feel you struggle with then you need to make this a priority.


In my experience going week by week, staying on track with exercise and feeling good about what you eat will begin to change the way you see yourself and your ability to change.


Start small with your changes so that they are easier to make and come with less risk of failure. For example, swap one cuppa for a glass of water every day.


To wrap up.


You see there are a lot of barriers that stand in between where we are right now and where we would like to be when it comes to our nutrition and exercise.


Starting to understand these and break them down for yourself into small and simple steps of positive action will help you get results over time.


Try not to rush this. Changing behaviours and beliefs we have held about ourselves for, often years, will take you time. But it is so worth it.

Need some support?


My next 12 week group coaching will be taking on clients in September. You can be the first to grab your spot by registering here.

How to Break Down Your Barriers to Fitness

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