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Overcoming Barriers to Exercise

Strategies to help your clients stay motivated.

Exercise session with trainer.

There are many reasons people start to exercise. And there are just as many reasons why they stop! Helping clients overcome the barriers they face is a critical part of training success. Here are some strategies to help:

Barrier: lack of time
Strategy: Help the client plan, organize and prioritize exercise. There are many programming options that take very little time but can produce big results. See HIIT Training for Fast, Efficient Weight Loss for training ideas (and the research that backs it up). You’ll find lots of ideas in Workout Builder, too.

Barrier: lack of motivation
Strategy: Try new and different exercise options. Find ways to make the workout more enjoyable, such as playing the client’s favorite music. Learning about the factors that motivate people to exercise can help you understand more and help them keep going toward their goals.

Barrier: poor body image
Strategy: Keep the focus on personal accomplishment and not on comparisons with others. Educate your client about all the health and lifestyle benefits of exercise. The health and fitness industry is evolving to better understand the importance of accepting all body types. That’s good news for our clients.

Barrier: need for support
Strategy: Arrange to have the client exercise with a partner or a small group of colleagues. There are a lot of fun partner workouts, too.

Barrier: guilt
Strategy: Talk about how your client can seek the support of family and friends and not feel bad about time spent exercising. Discuss how, by being healthier, your client will have more energy and vitality when spending time with others. It’s truly a win-win!

Of course, you can’t help clients overcome their barriers if you don’t know what they are!  Talking to them about their concerns and challenges is instrumental in helping them find and keep their motivation strong.


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