Exercise Barriers: Why We Do
Not Enjoy Physical Activity
Pielping individuals begin a habit of regular exercise is like herding a group of feral cats; it's virtually impossible. Or so it seems. I have worked for over 25 years with individuals who want to begin an exercise program, and I have heard every excuse why a person chooses not to exercise regularly. The most common excuse is lack of time. In response to this excuse, the client should consider this: There are 168 hours in a week. A proper fitness program that includes cardiovascular exercise should consume about 3 hours per week. Three hours is just 1% of 168. That's all it takes—just 1% of a person's time. Therefore, lack of time is not the real reason individuals do not exercise. Instead, it is the perception of lack of time that is the culprit.
Nevertheless, MHPs need to understand the sources of reasons clients have failed to prioritize their schedule to accommodate regular exercise. These [reasons] are called exercise barriers. In this chapter, I will examine the reasons people do exercise, and the reasons they do not—the common barriers to starting an exercise program. The reasons for dropping out of exercise after they begin will be