Hi Maurice. A good question! If by “means” you mean the “financial means” then definitely the barrier could be financial or at least perceived to be financial. I’m of the opinion that healthy choices can be made for people in almost any financial situation. Of course it’s more difficult than simply buying food that’s convenient, but the real irony there is that most “convenience” foods actually cost more per serving than fresh foods.
If by “means” you mean the will-power, then I’d say of course that this is psychologically-based. Will-power can be a very tricky thing to deal with. Again, oftentimes it’s a matter of someone selecting what’s “easy or convenient,” versus picking what they intuitively know is actual best for them.
When working with our clients, the key is to figure-out exactly what are their personal barriers and to try to help them overcome them.
There could be…but there shouldn’t be (how’s that for an answer, eh?). I think any barriers to a healthy diet and/or physical activity plan boil down to a lack of good information and professional guidance. Everybody, at some point, needs direction and support (we got it, right?). The trick is to ensure it’s available to everyone, at various points in the process. Once a basic foundation has been created, then individual factors like time, money, energy, likes/dislikes, motivation, goals, etc..can be examined to create a thorough, yet flexible plan for success.
I think there are many barriers we face every day. We as fitness professionals can guide our clients into creative changes and additions to their regular routine. Money can be a factor depending on where you live, but in most places it is psychological and people need to learn how to effectively use their money and time to make a difference.
I personally think the barriers are psychological while the ones who experience the barriers my think it is purely financial.
Michelle and LaRue made good points in that there really aren’t too many barriers if people are properly educated about their choices in exercise and food.
I don’t live in a high income neighborhood, but where I do live has lots of corner stores, take out places and zero gyms. Within walking distance are 2 high school tracks but people need to know what to do when they get there. Also within that same radius are two supermarkets, one much better than the other. The issue then becomes, when you go to the market, what do you buy?
When we start to focus on the people then we can find out what is really keeping them from making better choices.