21DFC Day 9 – What is Your #1 Obstacle to Becoming Fitter – and How Do You Plan To Overcome It?

This is Day 9 of the 21-Day Fitness Challenge (21DFC) for Feb 2012. View all posts made during the challenge: 21DFC Overview.

Day 9 of 21-Day Fitness Challenge!

Hello and welcome to Day 9 (Feb 11) of the 21-Day Fitness Challenge! :D

Day 9 - What is Your #1 Obstacle to Becoming Fitter?

Today’s question is: What is your #1 obstacle to becoming fitter? And as a natural follow-up – How can you overcome this obstacle?

My #1 obstacle to becoming fitter right now is time – or more specifically, lack of time. I have a lot of things to do every day, from conducting challenges at PE, to managing the site, to conceptualizing/launching new projects, to writing new articles, to maintaining my social media pages (are you on my Facebook and Twitter yet?).  Not to mention, meeting new people and  keeping in touch with old friends.

That doesn’t mean fitness should be put in the back burner though. I’ve seen the downsides of putting fitness in the backburner, be it via myself or via observing others’ lives, and it’s not pleasant. From short-term issues of weight gain, decreased attractiveness, fatigue, an inert attitude towards everything, to long-term issues of obesity, increased risk of heart diseases, weak bones, poor well being. These are not in line with my vision of my ideal self, and not what I want to see manifest in reality.

So what can I do about the time factor then? Simple:

  1. Find ways to be productive while working out. I recently bought a new touchscreen smart phone which allows me to go online, check emails, listen to multimedia, surf the web, and basically do a lot of the things I do on my laptop. This means I can now get stuff done while I’m at the gym.
  2. Focus on the important; chunk out the unimportant (Habit #1 of 8 Habits of Highly Productive People). Fitness is clearly an important aspect of life. I’ve realized that through 21DFC, after seeing the immense benefits from working out regularly. Other things? Perhaps not so much. If I can’t find the time, it’s an indication for me to prioritize and cut out the unimportant. Everyone has the same amount of time every day. It’s about how we manage our time, not about getting more time.
  3. Work out first thing in the day. I find that working out in the morning gives a great start to the day. It’s relative easier than trying to find time later for my workout, which may not always happen.
  4. Schedule it in my calendar. What doesn’t get scheduled will never get my attention. By scheduling it in my calendar, I’m setting the time aside for fitness – upfront. No “I’ll see how the day goes” or “I’ll exercise when I finish my tasks”. These almost guarantee it will never happen.
  5. Integrate fitness into my life. Rather than reserve fitness for only that 30 minutes – 1 hour a day, I found it’s so much more powerful to do that AND integrate activity throughout my daily activities. From climbing the stairs, to covering short distances via walking (over taking the bus), to standing (over sitting) when taking the public transport. There are lots of opportunities everywhere, just a matter of taking them up.

Share Your Plans/Progress for Today!

What is your intended fitness plan for today? What physical activities are you going to do, and how long do you want to do them for? Share with us!

Update your progress as you go along. At the end of the day, review your progress and share your learnings.

Check out other participants’ responses and join in the discussions!

Image: Rock Climbing, Journal


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« 21DFC Day 8 – What is Your Favorite Fitness Activity?

21DFC Day 10 – How Committed Are You To Achieving a Healthier, Fitter Body? »




80 Responses | Share Your Results!

  1. Mike says:

    What is your #1 obstacle to becoming fitter? And as a natural follow-up – How can you overcome this obstacle?
    - My #1 obstacle is time as well. Just trying to fit everything in is tough.
    As to how to overcome this obstacle I am going to try and schedule my day. I need to actually plan and schedule my day, not just trying to fit everything in wherever.

    For my workout today, I did a running interval workout. So I went out and ran for 1 minute, and then walked for 1 minute. I went on with this for 20 minutes. Then, I stretched for 10 minutes.

    Planning on doing a body weight workout tomorrow.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  2. Raymond says:

    I managed to put in an hour walk today. Nothing spectacular.

    Thinking about obstacles one thought came in mind. I feel slightly selfish taking time of to do my walking/exercising etcetera. For instance Saturday is typically a day where I help with doing the groceries (shopping). Today my wife spent 1 hour doing the necessary shopping when I was enjoying my walk.

    This might not be the strongest example but it feels a bit selfish nevertheless.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  3. cloudio says:

    Only 25′ walk (2km) saturday. I did some manual works at home, but I don’t count them.

    My n1 obstacle is lack of costancy, like in everything I do. I go in strides, I can work out very well for days, weeks or months, then for whatever reason I stop and the longer I stop, of course, the longer is come back to good habits.
    How to improve? I wish I know..for sure one little thing I learned is try to do something every day, no matter what. Even 10′ well done can be enough, just not to lose the habit

    Anyway, I’m sorry guys, but doing something else, especially working, while exercising is not a good idea at all! It’s actually a bad thing. Do you read or watch tv while eating? Do you check e-mail when making love?
    The same is for exercise. Multitasking is not a good thing for our brain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_multitasking#The_brain.27s_role_in_multitasking and the main purpose of exercising is listen to your body. How can you do it while you divert you attention on something you consider more important?

    It’s understandable having some non invasive support like music, but the best way is always focus 1 thing at time.
    If you don’t have time, then exercise less but more intensely. This is the way modern science of fitness recommend. The most popular book in fitness today are Body of science http://www.bodybyscience.net/home.html/ or 4-hour body from Tim Ferriss (which is largely based on body of science), which in one sentence tell you “less is more”. Better run hard and properly once a week or 10′ a day, than 1 hour day without real effort.

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  4. Linda Moran says:

    Still fighting whatever it is – sore throat now for 6 days. Managed close to an hour of stretching yoga, plus some meditation on the floor – my instructor wants me off the chair, regardless of how my legs hurt, and start practicing on the ground….a few minutes each time. I was surprised that I was actually able to do as much on the floor today as I did.

    Biggest obstacle is the limitations I put on myself physically. Because I have serious vision problems, including having lost the vision in one eye completely, I have very bad balance and depth perception. It’s making a lot of physical activity really difficult. But not with the yoga, and my instructor keeps telling me once I’ve found my center and can hold it, the balance will become much less of an issue. So I’m rolling along, really enjoying the yoga. ;)

    Like: Thumb up +1

    • Bette says:

      And you will find your center, Linda!
      I think many of us out here in the world are interested in finding their center and holding it, so balancing will become “less of an issue.” Now there is a statement that can be read on more than one level, right? ;)
      My dear lifetime friend has lost nearly all sight in one eye. She also has always been hearing challenged. But it seems that she sees and hears in other ways…perceiving things on another level…it’s interesting… :angel:
      I am so glad you are enjoying yoga! :D
      Keep on keepin’ on!
      Bette

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    • Netta says:

      It sounds like you have a positive attitude and that will pull you through your obstacles. Yoga is wonderful. I recently started doing it and it relaxes me as well as helping me become more flexible. I think yoga sounds wonderful for you. I myself have a difficult time holding my balance during poses. So good luck to you!! I’m sure you will find your center and balance! :clap:

      Like: Thumb up 0

      • Linda Moran says:

        Thanks, Netta! My problem with the poses is remembering to breathe! I’m glad you’re seeing the benefits, too. THanks for taking the time to comment! Linda

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  5. Nadia says:

    Day 9: *tsk tsk*

    Although on this day I went for a 40 min. walk, but I overate a lot and in return the entire week (on my LoseIt.com calender) will have a red mark because of this day. That’s why fitness-wise this day was not good.

    The answer to today’s question is my eating habits. It used to be also my lack of activity, when I would exercise only around once a week ( and that would be on the good weeks..) but since the challenge, I have exercised every day (except 1) and it’s becoming a habit.

    So what do do about the eating habits? I overeat usually right after eating anything sweet. And today I just had a bowl of beans with veggies so right now I’m not craving anything. Feeling like it’s “the silence before the storm” but hopefully it will last.

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  6. Mark says:

    My biggest obstacle is time and today is a great example. A training course all day to day and then a 4 hour drive back home. i didn’t find the time to exercise in the hotel room and by the time I arrived home, I was pretty near ready for sleep.

    So, no exercise today.

    I tend to fill my time with so many things; I am currently studying for a Life Coaching diploma and I’m also taking a course on marketing with blogging. I have a full time job and at the weekends is about the only time i have to work on my own self-development and of course, housework.

    I will aim to get to the gym tomorrow but I know I have a mountain of work to do.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  7. Netta says:

    I think my biggest obstacle is time throughout the day. Life is quite hectic with two children. Even while they are in school, I have shopping I have to do from groceries to school project items. I’m always scheduling appointments. Then I do get busy cleaning.
    Although I have stairs in my home which is a neat thing. The kitchen is downstairs. So anytime I want anything from the kitchen or I want to get to the wash room, I have to walk the stairs. Even though it’s only 12 of them, walking up and down all day has to count as a workout of some type. :p
    With this said, I am practicing to make my exercise part of my daily routine. As routine as getting up and brushing my teeth. I have found it is better to do it shortly after my children get on the bus in the mornings.
    So each morning I have been getting in one of the workout videos I found.
    All in all, aside from my stairs, I have been making sure to put in at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. Today will be yoga.

    Like: Thumb up 0

  8. Jen says:

    I too struggle with finding time to workout, and I’m focusing on squeezing in what I can, where I can, rather than just giving up and saying I don’t have time. Even doing crunches and planks on the floor whle watching TV is better than nothing. I need to get into this mindset all of the time. I’ve also found it helpful to schedule fitness, whether committing to making it to a group class, or setting aside 30 minutes to hit the elliptical machine.

    I am also struggling with an injury right now, so I’m trying to balance my body’s needs. I am seeing a doctor tomorrow, so I’m hoping to figure out what I can and cannot doing going forward then.

    Day 9 was a good example of the above: I was away on a weekend trip with my boyfriend, and it would have been so easy to shirk off working out, but I didn’t because of this challenge! I got up a little earlier than I normally would have to go to the hotel gym, where I spent just over 30 minutes on the treadmill, stationary bike and elliptical. I also convinced the boyfriend to walk to the brewery we were visiting and spend some time strolling the city streets in the snow, ducking in and out of shops.

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  9. Laurina says:

    Day 9 – What is Your #1 Obstacle to Becoming Fitter?
    And as a natural follow-up – How can you overcome this obstacle?

    I have a tough time managing my schedule and keeping up with the demands of my children. I really would like to get my youngest son to walk with me more, so I wouldn’t have to worry as much about scheduling time for a walk. And the walk would be good for him, too.

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  10. stuart says:

    i have found it fairly easy to exercise every day but i also am not working much right now. scheduling is key like Celes wrote. i like the idea of chunking out the unimportant. fitness is a catalyst to see what is working and what is not.

    a major obstacle is diet and nutrition. and patience. the weight is coming off very slowly. even when i eat well. i need to go back to logging my food. and avoiding sweets late at night. overall my food choices have been better to very good. and my portions.

    integrating fitness into city life is something i have already been doing. the challenge helped me step it up. like one day in challenge –i didnt go to gym. but after a long night with friends i walked 2.5 miles home. I NEVER would have chosen that before. it was easy even though it was chilly and misty and not ideal weather. i had the right coat on and was warm and it went by quickly.

    n nyc gettingo ff on an early subway stop and walking home extra miles is good and so is always walking up the 4 flights of steps to my apt and avoiding elevator.

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