Today is the day to ask yourself, what is keeping you from exercising?
When we talk to people about their fitness journeys, many express a desire to exercise, but they cite a variety of reasons for putting it off. One of the most common excuses for postponing fitness, however, is one’s current weight, and we use the word excuse for a reason here.
Claiming that your weight is keeping you from exercising is, in almost every case, a way of avoiding accountability for your own health and wellness. Unless your doctor has explicitly told you to avoid physical activity due to medical issues, there is no weight limit on physical fitness.
If you’ve been avoiding getting moving, Demetz Online Personal Training is here to provide some of the accountability that has been missing from your life so far and, most importantly, to help you get moving safely.
Stop waiting to lose weight before you start exercising. We can help you explore how.
Barriers To Fitness
Before we explore specific exercises, it’s important to talk about barriers to exercise. More realistically, barriers to health or fitness are real sociological phenomena, but the ease with which they can be overcome varies widely.
For example, many low-income individuals live in “food deserts” where it is hard to get fresh, nutritious foods and where what food is available is disproportionately expensive. Such a barrier to healthy behavior is deeply structural and requires change beyond the individual. For many people who are clinically overweight or obese, however, many of the barriers to activity are internal forces, not external ones.
In a study of Australian adults, 4.4% of all respondents identified themselves as “too fat” to exercise, with such beliefs more common among women and those with a BMI classed as obese. For these individuals, though, “too fat” is functionally a stand-in for embarrassment, laziness, or fear of injury, whereas there was actually no link between describing oneself as “too fat” and actual poor health.
Movement At Every Size
At the end of the day, few people are actually too heavy to exercise safely, and one of the advantages of working with a personal trainer is that you can find ways to move that suit your body – there’s no need to push yourself through a one size, fits all approach that feels too difficult. When working with clients who are anxious about exercising because of their weight, then, we use a number of strategies to support you on your health journey. These include:
- Starting Slow: Regardless of weight, people who have previously been quite sedentary benefit from slowly building up their degree of physical fitness. That’s because, when exercise feels too difficult, people feel frustrated and they give up. We want to make physical fitness a sustainable part of your life, and in order to do that, we start out slowly. This will help you build stamina and gain strength before moving on to higher intensity or more difficult activities.
- Breaking Down Misconceptions: Especially among those who are clinically overweight or obese, there is a widespread belief that exercise will inevitably lead to injury. The reality, though, is that anyone can get hurt while exercising – professional athletes in peak condition get hurt all the time – and as trainers, we know what activities will be riskiest. So, for example, at a certain point, excess weight will increase strain and torque on joints like the ankles and knees, which is why we wouldn’t start an overweight client with a routine centered on trail running or another high-impact activity.
Of course, even when we carefully pace and plan activities, you may still get hurt, but as with any challenging activity, it’s important to get back up and keep going. Take care of your body – give it time to heal – but don’t abandon your program.
- Finding Joy: Another big mistake that people make when trying to start a fitness routine is that they choose stereotypical exercise activities like running on a treadmill or grappling with weight machines and then fail to enjoy any of it. This is totally understandable because that’s what we’re told exercise looks like, especially for adults. In reality, though, if you want to start moving regularly and not have the entire experience feel like a slog, you have to find joy in movement. So, what should you try?
Many people find they enjoy bicycling, either outside or on an indoor recumbent bike, walking outdoors with friends, water-based activities including swimming and water aerobics, and even dancing. The point is to find ways to be active that are appealing because the more you want to participate in an activity, the less likely you are to procrastinate or avoid physical activity.
- Exercising At Home: Finally, when people say that they are “too fat” to exercise, the underlying message – especially for women – is that they are embarrassed to work out in public, and this is entirely understandable. Despite the fact that many gyms try to bill themselves as welcoming environments, your internal monologue may tell you you’re being judged.
One major advantage of the Demetz Online Personal Training program is that, in addition to being designed to meet your specific needs, you can begin your routine at home or in a setting that feels more comfortable to you. This helps minimize anxiety for many people and can help you work toward exercising in a gym if that’s something you hope to do.
Don’t Delay – Start Today
There’s no such thing as being “too fat” to exercise, there are only excuses people use to avoid things they don’t want to do, and we see it happen all the time. Well, we’re here to help you stop that cycle. If you’re ready to start moving and rediscover the joy of physical activity, contact us today to learn more about our programming and how we can help you develop a sustainable fitness routine.
Finding ways to get moving will improve your health and overall quality of life, and getting started is the hardest part. Let’s work together to help you build a strong fitness foundation so that movement becomes a habit instead of a hassle.
Nathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, run coaching, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, Utah State University, and the ISSA College of Exercise Science.
Nathan has 20 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA.
To work with Nathan directly on your personal training goals, contact him today!