It should come as no surprise that more that 60% of the UK’s population are considered to be overweight or obese (according to the government’s public health website). With this seeming epidemic, why are so many people either unable or unwilling to lose weight?
I recently read an article on ShapeFit.com which identified 3 primary barriers to weight loss. In this article series I will discuss them in detail. Today we will look at ‘Barriers to Weight Loss #1 – Physical Barriers’.
Physical Barriers to Weight Loss #1 – Medical Issues
I appreciate that there are some health conditions that may restrict the types of exercise that an individual can do, particularly heart problems, cardiovascular conditions, or even joint and muscle issues. However, there may still some light exercises that can be done with proper guidance and supervision.
If you are in this position, then I would urge you to speak with your doctor and if the condition warrants, then your GP will refer you to a personal trainer who has the qualifications and experience to ensure that you are not putting yourself at risk by exercising.
It is important to be honest with yourself too, as if you haven’t consulted your doctor then you may be using this as a smokescreen. Is the condition really preventing you from exercising? If the answer is truly ‘yes’ then it may be necessary to follow a stricter healthy eating plan to achieve your goals.
I am a firm believer that knowledge is power (as long as it is put into action!). If you have a medical issue, which is a barrier to weight loss, then research its root causes, as well as measures that can be taken to alleviate or lessen its symptoms. It may well be that healthy eating and light exercise could have a positive effect both in terms of weight loss and reducing the impact of the medical condition.
Physical Barriers to Weight Loss #1 – Injuries
Another issue is recurring injuries. This is something that I am certainly able to relate to. One of the factors which enabled me to lose a significant amount of weight was participating in triathlons. Unfortunately, I have been forced to move away from the sport due to ongoing ankle problems, which stem from a dislocation some years ago.
I can assure you I will not be using this as an excuse not to exercise! I will not allow myself to gain the weight that I worked so hard to lose. Instead I will be competing in cycling and open water swimming events this season, as it was the running that was causing ankle discomfort. I love the training that goes along with endurance sports and I am still able to continue with most of the training I did previously.
I guess the message is simple: If injury is preventing you from doing certain forms of exercise then look for alternatives that don’t aggravate your injuries. You could also seek advice from a personal trainer, who would be able to suggest a different exercise regime.
Physical Barriers to Weight Loss #1 – Fatigue
It should be noted that ‘fatigue’ is a vast continuum. At one end is lethargy and tiredness and at the other end is chronic fatigue. If you suffer from chronic fatigue then, once again, I urge you to speak with your doctor for guidance.
If your reason for not exercising is because you are too tired, then try to determine if this is the real issue (we will discuss emotional barriers in a later article). Eating healthily and exercising has a significant positive impact on energy levels in most cases. Start off by committing to just 10 minutes of light cardiovascular exercise and you will be surprised by how quickly you can increase this. For more details, register for ‘The Complete Health Toolkit’ where I outline a progressive approach that I have named ‘The CV Ladder’.
Physical Barriers to Weight Loss #1 – Summary
I believe that it is equally important to exercise as it is to follow a healthy eating plan. If you really are unable to exercise, then all is not lost! If you continue to improve and refine your diet then you may still be able to lose weight, although you may not capitalise on the additional benefits of exercising, of which there are many.
If you wish to exercise but are unsure where to start, then register for your free copy of ‘The Complete Health Toolkit’ using the link below:
You will be able to download goal specific training programmes and much, much more to help you to overcome these physical barriers to weight loss.