We all know that we need to exercise to help maintain our weight and tone our muscles. For many taking part in sport and exercise of any sort can be a nightmare for all kinds of reasons. And when we talk about health and fitness, these problems are glossed over or treated as unnecessary.
However, if we don’t talk about these barriers, it can be even more challenging to make exercise fun and enticing.
Today I’m giving you the lowdown on the barriers that exist for those of us that want to keep fit.
We all say that exercise makes us lose weight and helps improve body confidence/ self-esteem. And whilst that’s true for many people, there’s also another side to it. You might not have the body confidence to participate in an exercise in the first place or a sport even.
For example, swimming. It’s excellent for improving your mobility and sleep; however, you have to wear a swimsuit or get changed in a changing room. If you are uncomfortable with your body, finding a swimsuit and getting that confidence to be in a pool full of people can make the experience daunting! Ruin the enjoyment, and stop you from doing other sports altogether.
If you go to a gym, you know that you have to pay a monthly or yearly membership which can be expensive. Then if you take up a sport such as running, you have to buy extra footwear like spiked shoes. Sometimes, these costs will be you have to get to the grounds or do it at home and get the weights and treadmills. Some people can’t afford all these costs for various reasons. Which only exacerbate the problems, especially if you have mobility issues. And those money issues can stop people from doing sport/exercise.
If you want an example, I wouldn’t tell someone with a manual wheelchair to do four laps around the park in their wheelchair. As it’s really slow, and they won’t be able to do a good workout. But it would be a better workout if they had access to a racing wheelchair because they are more lightweight. This stops this from happening because not many have access to a club that can provide a chair. Getting your own specially made one can cost more than four grand (even if it’s for the average person and not a proper competition.)
Not enough time
Another struggle people have in participating in exercise is finding the time. If you work and have kids, you can struggle to find sessions that match your free time. I.e. before three, as many of them are held much later. Even if you don’t have children, it can be difficult to find sessions that fit your schedule. It becomes a struggle to fit it all in. Even then, you can be tired and not want to exercise from home.
P.E classes were traumatising
With every school around the world, you have Physical Education classes. And based on those classes, it can affect your relationship with exercise either positively or negatively. If you get bullied by classmates during these lessons, then it can ruin your self-esteem. If you rarely get picked for group activities, it can be embarrassing and stop you from playing team sports out of fear.
Ultimately, all those things you hated about pe will come back again in the gym or some other sport session!
I mentioned this in my post about the benefits of swimming, and it applies here. Sometimes sports sessions aren’t accessible for many reasons. Accessibility covers many things, so this is one of the biggest problems for sport, even with the Paralympics being big.
Problems with accessibility can range from the sporting area not having the suitable terrain for wheelchairs. Other issues include having no step-free access, no hoists in changing rooms and accessible toilets.
It can also count for the gym equipment; for example, you can cycle in a gym using a bike. However, some people can’t use their legs and need the hand-powered version, which no leisure centre has.
It can make it harder for people with mobility issues and disabilities to get into sport and other groups.
Accessibility also leads to the other problem, which is adaptability. Adaptability in sport is putting in changes to drills and games so everyone can join in. They will usually make these changes using the STEP acronym, which stands for:
And it’s how they make adaptions. However, some coaches don’t know how to adapt to particular abilities. This stops people from joining in because the coach stops them. Sometimes this is down to the equipment. However, a coach is paid to make adaptations whatever the weather. Sometimes you go somewhere, and they only have beanbags, and in other places, they have state of the art equipment.
And some people don’t participate in exercise even if they want to! Because they know the coach won’t help them properly.
Ultimately whilst exercise and sport have many benefits. There are a lot of barriers that can force a person not to want or have access to finding that out for themselves. And sometimes, we need to be more mindful of that!
Thanks for reading this article:
Hopefully, you found this article helpful and as always our wer8 family is always available to help you on your content journey. If you haven't already, please also download any one of our FREE ebooks to help you with your online presence.
Share, Leave a comment, and tell us what you think, we always love to hear from you...
Sign up to our newsletter for regular articles like these!