Anxiety

Anxiety has a nasty way of becoming an obstacle to any type of activity we wish to undertake, whether it’s physical or not. If anxiety is the barrier that stands in your way, then fear not, we’re here to help.
 
We need to get the brain in the right mindset, before we can begin looking at external activities. One of the best ways to do this is with breathing exercises. With deep breathing, you are relaxing your body, while getting the blood pumping around too. And, focusing on the breath helps to break any negative cycles of thinking that you are doing.
 
Deep breathing and meditation are like two peas in a pod, and it can be useful to tie these in together. Get yourself in a comfortable seat with your back upright, and limit anything in your surroundings that may distract you. Then, by focusing on the breath, you are meditating! There’s not necessarily a right or wrong way to do this, it’s simply about calming down your mind and body.
 
Another great alternative to this is tidying your room. This counts as a form of light exercise, and can help prepare you for some more strenuous forms of activity. It also has the added benefit of calming your mind, as a tidy room equals tidy thinking.
 

Cost

For many, the easiest form of physical activity comes in the form of a gym membership or attendance at classes. But, as with so many things in this world, these incur a cost. To overcome this barrier, we can start working on setting aside some money each week or each month.
 
To do this, it’s a good idea to start holding yourself accountable. Keep a note of your daily spending habits, and look at where your money is going when it may not need to! For example, could you make lunch rather than eating out every day? By cutting out the unnecessary costs, you can begin to save money for the things that you really want to do.
 

Fitness

Physical activity is something that we should all be doing on a regular basis, and yet is a tough thing to add to our busy working lives. Fitness is often cited as one of the main barriers to someone conducting physical activity. But when we say physical activity, it doesn’t need to be regular marathons and army training camps! It can be as small as you like.
 
To start with the basics for improving your fitness, it’s important that you regularly drink water and eat healthy meals. When you know that you’re doing this to improve your fitness, it begins to get you into the habit and mindset of focusing on this level of fitness. These habits also play a big role in how your brain works, which in turn has a knock-on effect to how well you can physically exercise.
 
Once you feel ready, the next step would be to focus on some light exercise. As we’ve already mentioned, it’s not about how intensely you exercise, but simply that you get into the habit of doing some form of activity. You need to be enjoying yourself too!
 
Some good activities for light exercise can be walking or stretching, both of which help to get the blood pumping and the brain working.
 
If you feel as though you want to tackle some more rigorous exercise, then you could try going for a run or a swim, or completing a gym workout. Each of these will have the same effects as light exercise, but will help to improve those fitness levels quicker.
 

Organisation

A common barrier to physical activity is organisation, as this can lead to procrastination. And, given that physical activity is work that doesn’t necessarily need to be completed, this procrastination can simply lead to giving it up altogether.
 
Getting yourself more organised is a great way to combat this. Start by creating or updating your to-do list. Write down the tasks and goals that you want to complete regarding your physical activity. Keep these goals small and achievable. Rather than write “run a marathon”, think about starting with “run one mile”. Getting into the habit of ticking these off will help you build up towards the larger goal.
 
Consider also having a look at some events or classes that are on near you. If someone else has already organised an event, then you don’t need to worry about the organisational side of things! You can simply attend and work on that physical activity.
 
Finally, updating your calendar or diary with the list of events that you want to attend will make you much more likely to attend them. If you can tick things off both your calendar and your to-do list, you’ll get a great sense of achievement. All of this will help you to get more physically active.
 

Starting your day late

If you start your day late, this can often put us in the wrong mindset for doing physical activity. However, it doesn’t need to be a permanent barrier, and there’s a few ways that you can get yourself mentally there, even if you start late.
 
It’s important that you first do the things that you typically associate with starting your day. This means getting out of bed, brushing your teeth and having breakfast. By doing this, you are essentially telling your brain that it’s time to get going.
 
You also don’t need to undertake rigorous exercise if you’ve started your day late. Simply doing anything that you enjoy all contributes to the overarching aim of exercising. Instead, you could try some light activities, such as going for a brisk walk in the great outdoors, or standing up and stretching.
 
While you may not at first associate these will physical activity, it all counts. And by incorporating some form of activity into your daily routine, no matter how heavy or light, you are beginning to cement those healthy habits.