4 Barriers (and Solutions) to Achieving your Fitness Goals PART 1
- Time- A resource that we forever grasp to gain, and can’t help but lose. Especially as busy Americans, we have so many things on our plates. For some folks, work consumes 80% of our waking hours. Forget about doing things we enjoy.
Well I challenge you to make time. No, you can’t actually forge more time. “As Sand through the Hourglass,” our days continue to slip away without the ability to slow it down. However, there are tons of hacks to “make time.” I know we all feel really, really busy, but we all have some leaky points in our efficiency that would allow us to put more time back into our control. The easiest culprit is moments of being “checked out.” Whether it is Netflix, our phones, or simply mindless wandering, we need to really track where our time is being spent. My guess is there are at least 6 times a day where you waste a 5 minute window. If you can string all of those together, BAM!, 30 minute workout. Perhaps you can’t… fine… get six, 5-minute workouts in. Trust me, it’s better to do 5 minutes of squats than to take a smoke break, or even kick back and scroll social media.
But maybe not, maybe you don’t have any inefficiencies, but my guess is that if you are one of “those people” you probably already exercise in order to have laser focus. See, exercise really is something that will allow you to work harder and smarter at your everyday tasks. You will find augmented clarity in your thoughts, improved stamina, and increased energy (more on this later). With these superpowers now readily available, you will likely be able to work through your scheduled tasks faster, leaving even more time for working out 🙂
As a sidebar: if you are working out correctly, you don’t need two hours a day to get the job done. Knock out the distractions, and get in a quick workout. One reason CrossFit is great, because we get you in and out of the door in an hour or less! No time wasted meandering around the gym, trying to figure out what to do next.
- Energy– There are a ton of reasons that we can feel like we are running low on energy. Let’s talk through a few reasons that have pretty easy fixes, and then a couple that may require a little extra intervention to overcome.
- Poor Nutrition– There can be two separate, but equally impactful culprits here. Think about nutrition like fuel, and your body is like a Ford Focus. What would happen if you attempted to fill up with diesel fuel? How would you run? Not well. Similarly, when we make the wrong choices in what we are eating and drinking, our body is not going to run well. We will feel lethargic, tired, unmotivated. When we start making better choices for our food and drinks, we will find that we can press down the accelerator with much more ease.
It’s also possible that we try to run our bodies on low-to-no fuel. If you are not getting enough food and water, you are going to really feel sluggish. When we consider that we should always have enough fuel to be able make it to our destination, it makes plenty of sense. If you wouldn’t skip out on putting gas in your car, don’t skip meals. If you want to know more about how to properly fuel your body, check out our in-house nutrition coaching.
- Poor Sleep– We’ve all been there. Late night out Thursday night, we get a few hours of sleep, and roll into our Friday work schedule like a sloth. Why?! Why do we skimp on our sleep? Sleep is awesome. Of course there are outlying reasons that may prevent us from getting enough sleep, but in general, we should be shooting for 7-9 hours a night. Of course if you aren’t recharging daily, you won’t have the energy to hit the gym. For most people, this can easily be solved by putting down the phone, clicking off the TV, and starting your bed-time ritual earlier.
- Lack of Physical Activity– I know, it may seem a little counter-intuitive, but if you do not have enough activity throughout your week, you will begin to feel less energetic. Your body is made to move, work, and play and if you do not do enough of these things, you begin to push your physiology into conservation mode, which will absolutely lead to a lack of energy. I can’t tell you the number of times I have had clients tell me, “I can’t believe how much more energy I have after I started working out!” And it’s crazy, they will say that right after getting their butt kicked by a really tough workout. Feeling fatigued from a workout is completely different than the feeling of general malaise and “blah” that so many people describe.
- Chronic overtraining/overreaching– PLEASE LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!!! When you are working out consistently, there will be days that your brain says yes, but your body says no. Now, most people will never reach a real “overtraining” state, but we all often push to the point that we need a break. At that point, take a break. It’s that simple. Remove yourself from the environment for a day or two, do some other enjoyable activities, get in some active recovery, and you should feel prepared to get back to it the next day.
- More advanced physiological causes of fatigue– Things that fall into this category include but are not limited to: Depression, anxiety, hyper/hypotension, thyroid issues, and diabetes. When dealing with these types of medical issues, it is important to consult your physician before starting an exercise program. Note that I didn’t say DON’T exercise. Please get cleared before you do so. Exercise, again, will help with the general “tired” feeling that many people with these conditions experience, but you may be in need of additional medical intervention, such as medication, counseling, etc.
Be looking for how to push through the last two solutions to the most common barriers (lack of motivation and injury concerns) to reaching your fitness goals. In the meantime, consider your own barriers, and if they include time and/or energy, apply these solutions. They may seem like no-brainers, but it is the simple solutions that are often the most effective.
As always, we at TriForce CrossFit are here to help you achieve your health and fitness goals, so please reach out to us with your specific barriers, and we would love to help talk through how to get you where you want to be. Want to know more? Learn more about us and what we do, or go ahead and get in touch with us today to start your fitness journey!