WE ALL know the many benefits of regular physical exercise. So why is it that so many of us are still sitting on the sofa?
Laura Badger, from Summit Sports & Fitness Centre in Goonellabah, says procrastination and fear of the unknown, rather than any physical limitations, are the biggest barriers we face.
"Procrastination is such a common excuse as to why people don't join the gym or exercise," Laura said.
"But by constantly putting excuses in the way of your health you will never get to where you want to be."
Laura says information is the key if you want to break the procrastination cycle.
"One of the biggest barriers to coming to the gym is actually making it through the front door," she said.
"One way to stop procrastinating is to just go to the gym and have a look, meet the staff, and just see what it's like.
"That first time you walk through the door, and you feel like your stomach is in your throat, you just need to remember everyone feels like that. You are not the only one."
Many people are afraid to start at a gym or exercise class because they think they need to be fit to walk through the door.
They fear being the out-of-shape person in a roomful of the trim, taut and terrific.
"It is a common misconception," Laura said, "but the gym is a place where everyone is different. Different weights, different body shapes, different goals.
"People come to the gym for so many different reasons. Some might be overweight, returning to exercise after having a baby, or after injury. Some people are trying to get in shape for a particular event, or others just want to get healthy.
"A lot of people think they need to look or dress a certain way to fit in at the gym, and it's just not true. …