Most people know that physical activity should be part of their lives but the statistics tell us that most American adults and children are not meeting the recommended levels of daily activity. Adults 18 and older should get at least 30 minutes of physical activity on five or more days per week. Children and teens need at least 60 minutes a day to be healthy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 3 out of 10 adults get the recommended amount of daily physical activity and 37% of adults report not doing any physical activity.
What stops the majority of adults from being more active? According to the United States Department of Health & Human Services, the major barriers most people face when trying to increase physical activity are time, access to convenient facilities, and safe environments. Some other barriers people face are a lack of knowledge about proper exercise, having to take care of children and family, expensive gym memberships, and not liking exercise.
What can people do to overcome the barriers that prevent them from regular physical activity? We will explore each of these barriers and provide suggestions and ideas on how to overcome the barriers and get moving.
Lack of Time
A lack of time is probably the most common reason given for not being physically active. Getting 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day can seem challenging. Going to a gym can increase the time needed to work out by another 30 to 60 minutes.
We are busy teaching our children and taking care of our families. Where do we find the time to exercise? You may need to spend a couple of days tracking your activities. Tracking where you spend your time may show some gaps in the day when it may be possible to exercise. Tracking your activities may show that you are already getting some physical activity without even knowing it. You may be doing physical activities like gardening, cleaning, or playing with your children.
30 to 60 minutes of exercise does not all have to be done at once. Health benefits are possible even from 10 minutes of physical activity. There may be a couple of times during the day where you have 10 minutes to exercise. Add some physical activity to these open times. Go for a walk, dance with your kids, or do body weight squats and push-ups. The Fitness 4 Homeschool Physical Education Curriculum from Family Time Fitness provides a variety of activities that will get you moving.
Exercise can also be done while watching TV. If a person exercises during the commercial breaks she can get 10-15 minutes of exercise in 1 hour. This may also be a good time to do stretching exercises or other low impact movements.
It may be difficult at first but most of us have 10 minutes in our day to do something active. Try starting with 10 minutes and build from there.
Access to Convenient Facilities
Getting to a gym can be inconvenient. Traveling to the gym adds extra time to our exercise sessions. We may not live close to an exercise facility. Even if the facilities are close to our homes, they may not provide child care during the times we can exercise. This may mean sacrificing precious family time or one on one time with your spouse to go to the gym.
Exercise can be done at home. It is very easy and convenient to exercise at home. The Fitness 4 Homeschool Physical Education Curriculum is designed for K-8th grade but it can be done by everyone. The program provides daily lessons that will get everyone moving and active. Parents can increase the intensity or repetitions to increase difficulty. It is almost like having your own personal trainer in your home.
There are many other ways to exercise at home. There are a variety of exercise DVDs that can be purchased. You can also purchase exercise equipment like stationary bikes, treadmills, resistance bands, and weights. You can also go walk, jog, or ride your bike through your neighborhood. It is not necessary to go to a gym. There are many ways to get fit at home.
Some people live in places where it may not be safe to exercise outside or maybe have a health condition like asthma that limits what they can do outside. Maybe their neighborhood is not safe. Others may live in places where there are extreme weather conditions. It may be too cold or too hot to spend long periods of time outside.
It is possible to exercise in your home in limited space. There are many exercises that can be done in limited space. The Fitness 4 Homeschool Physical Education Curriculum is designed to be done in limited space. There are many different body weight exercises that can be done. You can shuffle, skip, hop, and jump in limited space. The main thing is to plan a time, find a program that works for you and your family and start moving.
Caring for Family
Many moms sacrifice time for themselves in order to take care of their husband and children. Many dads work hard to provide for their family’s needs. Parents do these things and neglect to take care of themselves. This can lead to long term health problems that can be quite costly. When parents fail to take the time to take care of themselves, they potentially have made a choice that will shorten their lives. Parents may miss important events in their children’s lives. They might miss out on the joy of being a grandparent.
Parents need to take 20-30 minutes a day to do some physical activity. This can be done in many different ways. Exercise is enjoyable if it is done with other people. Husband and wives can go for walks together or take the family for a walk. Families can play active games together. Start with a few minutes a day and slowly add more time. Schedule this time into your day. Make it a priority. You will notice a difference in a few weeks. Your children will encourage you and ask you to play with them. Moms and dads will feel better as well.
Exercise is Expensive
Gym memberships are expensive. Boot camps and personal trainers cost a lot as well. These costs can prevent people from exercising. Exercise does not have to be expensive. There are many benefits to walking 20-30 minutes 3-5 times per week. It does not cost much to play games with your children. Family Time Fitness’ Fitness 4 Homeschool Physical Education Core Curriculum is a cost effective way to exercise with your children. The Fitness 4 Homeschool Physical Education Curriculum provides 250 lessons that help get children and parents moving. This program is designed to be done at home. You do not need to spend money and travel time on going to the gym. Exercise can be done at home inexpensively.
Lack of Knowledge
People do not know how to start an exercise program. They may not know how to progress or build a program. The important part is to start moving and being active. Once again, walking is a great physical activity and is a great place to start. Many resources are available to help people begin an exercise program. The Fitness 4 Homeschool Physical Education Curriculum was specifically designed to make physical education easy for families. The lessons provide written instruction and video demonstrations to make implementation easy.
I Do Not Like Exercise
People stop exercising or do not exercise because they had a bad experience as a child or just do not like many common forms of exercise. A person needs to find activities that are enjoyable. This is what helps people stay with a program and continue to be physically active. If exercise is not fun it will not become part of a person’s lifestyle. Explore a variety of activities. Encourage your children to do physical activities they enjoy. If you want your children to enjoy an activity, you may need to make a type of game. For example, if a parent wants to encourage their children to jog or run, it may take a game of tag to get them running. Children can play tag for a long time. They will not even realize they are running.
Parents are role models to their children. If parents do not value physical activity, there is a good chance the children will not value it either. If exercise is important, parents will make sure that their children are active.
There are times when it may be easier to have your children watch TV or play video games but as parents we need to make the time to be active with our children. This investment in physical activity will pay big dividends in the short and long term. You will be spending quality time with your children. You will be engaged with your children and strengthen the parent child bond. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of becoming overweight or developing type II diabetes. Regular physical activity greatly increases your child’s chances of becoming a healthy, independent adult. No parent wants their children to be unhealthy. Making exercise an important part of your family’s lifestyle is a step towards building a healthy family.