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Turning obstacles into fitness opportunities

There will always be obstacles that lurk around our minds and bodies regarding our fitness adherence. How we perceive these obstacles, may become our reality. If a client views an obstacle positively, they may simply create an alternative plan to work around that obstacle. If a client views an obstacle negatively, they may believe that there is no way to circumvent that obstacle and consequently, they may sacrifice a specific aspect of their exercise program or completely step away from the program altogether.

Why one client will perceive these obstacles as challenges or opportunities and another will perceive the exact same obstacle as an insurmountable problem, is not always clear. As fitness professionals, one of our primary goals is to provide a realistic path for all of our clients. And, this includes frequent discussions which reinforce the benefits of fitness and how to navigate around obstacles that will attempt to derail their fitness program.

This week, five approaches to turning obstacles into fitness opportunities will be highlighted. While there are dozens of strategies, and each client will require individual guidance to ensure their success, check out the following fundamentals. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Approach #1 Focusing on a macro level, accept that there will always be obstacles to achieving any goal and fitness goals are no exception. Acceptance leads to stress reduction regarding the fitness path you are seeking. For example, if you know that you only have 45 minutes, four days/week over the course of the year, for your structured exercise program, then set that time aside and commit. This is an excellent example of turning the common “time” obstacle into an opportunity.

Approach #2 Perhaps the current program you are performing is not providing you with the fitness results you seek—then make a change NOW! It does not have to be a complete overhaul of your program, however, often clients have been performing a program for months/years and of course, nothing is static in the human body. We are a dynamic being and require change periodically (i.e. periodization). Begin with small changes.

Approach #3 If you have been feeling low on energy during your workouts, rather than sitting at home due to fatigue, investigate what the root cause may be for this malaise. Perhaps you need a dietary program modification such as timing your meals differently, or changing the content or portions which may lead to optimal energy storage and production.

Approach #4 Is your family or are your friends supportive of your fitness journey? If not, do not permit this to become an obstacle to your fitness success. Perhaps enlightening them with sound educational resources regarding the plethora of health/fitness benefits that regularly performed exercise and proper nutrition programs provide, may remove their own obstacles to fitness.

Approach #5 Have you experienced an illness or injury that has created a significant obstacle to training? If so, then you certainly must address these issues with the proper medical/health professionals. However, we train clients daily with complicated health issues, liaising with their medical/health professionals to enable them to stay as fit as possible during the challenging time frame. This is one of the most important methods of turning an obstacle into a fitness opportunity.

Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness, LLC located in Granby, Colorado. She may be reached at her website at http://www.mtnlifefitness.com, her email at jackie@mtnlifefitness.com and her Facebook page at Mountain Life Fitness.