When it comes to exercise and healthy eating there are many challenges and barriers that often get in the way of you staying consistent and achieving your goals. You are not alone, everyone will experience this at some point in your health and fitness journey. How we respond to these challenges will reflect in our results, i.e., if I’m flooded with work, stress, and life and choose not to make time for exercise or healthy eating I likely won’t achieve my body composition goals, or they could get worse.

The main barriers that we face include but are not exclusive to;
– Work
– Study (uni/school/tafe)
– Family
– Travel
– Sport
– Other committments
These all actually lead to a lack of time or forces us to choose how we should spend our time. The list above is composed of very high priority items which in most cases will come first over healthy eating and exercise (and for good reason). We can’t always make time for healthy eating and exercise, but we should at least try our best to do something, even if it means it’s less than optimal.

Breaking down the barriers
If healthy eating and exercise still means a lot to you and you want to find the time for both in your schedule, then here are a few strategies for a few of the barriers above:

Time is something we all feel we are lacking, and sometimes we have no choice but to prioritize more important things in life. However, we sometimes get caught up in the all or nothing approach, where if you can’t do your entire program in full or you can eat ‘perfectly’ then you choose to do nothing or eat the whole cake. Instead, we should view health as a continuum where sometimes we can train a lot and other times we have to pull back and just get something in. This might be a simple 10-minute run after work or a quick body weight circuit at home. Finding time can be challenging but doing something is always better than nothing.

Family is priority number one and we completely understand and encourage everyone to put their family first. You should never feel guilty for putting your family over the gym.

Study can be very time consuming and sometimes needs to be a very high priority. In these cases, you either have to bight the bullet and take time away from the gym and give it to uni. If you can though try to keep some balance and consistency by putting some time a side to do something. This may even be a 10-minute circuit that you could do at home or uni/school/tafe.

Work is a very high priority for most of us and so it should be. Work can certainly get in the way of training which is very normal. Sometimes we have to deal with work issues meaning we don’t get the time for the gym. Sometimes we need to book in time for ourselves which can include the gym/exercise. One strategy is to book a “meeting” with yourself, actually put when you are going to go to the gym in your work calendar. Make it a part of your workday and try to keep that appointment even if it’s 10 minutes, rock up do one exercise then leave. Something is better than nothing.

You should never feel guilty for not exercising or eating healthy especially if you had to prioritise some more important to you. Although, if healthy eating and exercise does mean something to you, you should try to find the time to do those things. Many small things done over a long period of time can lead to big significant changes, you just have to stay the course and be patient.