It’s no secret that exercise has numerous benefits for women’s physical and mental health. From improving cardiovascular health to managing weight and reducing stress, the advantages of regular exercise cannot be overstated.
However, despite the many benefits, staying motivated to exercise can be a challenge for some women. Many obstacles can hinder a woman’s fitness journey, from lack of time to self-doubt and fear of judgment.
We know it can be challenging for women to enter a gym for the first time. It’s like starting a new job. You’re unsure of yourself, and the people around you are much more experienced. As a result, you may feel intimidated and perhaps avoid certain sections of the gym (free weights, anyone?).
Still, this blog will explore practical tips and advice for women looking to overcome these challenges and prioritise their health and well-being.
Benefits of exercise for women
Firstly, it’s essential to understand exercise’s many benefits for women’s physical and mental health. For example, regular exercise can improve cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and help with weight management, as many women go to the gym asking this common question “how long does it take to see weight loss results?”
Besides weight loss, exercise has also been shown to improve mental health, reduce stress and anxiety and improve mood and overall well-being. Sounds promising, right? According to the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, 1 in 5 women don’t perform regular exercise, and sadly 41% of women feel too embarrassed to exercise in public compared with 26% of men.
According to the Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines of Australia, it’s recommended that individuals engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days for optimal health. This guideline applies to both men and women.
Unfortunately, research shows that only 54% of Australian women can meet this recommended level of physical activity. And quite frankly, ladies, you’re missing out on the incredible benefits of exercise, but we understand many obstacles stand in your way.
Let’s discuss a few.
The top 4 common obstacles
1. Lack of time
Many women lead busy lives, juggling work, family commitments, and other responsibilities. Finding time to exercise can be challenging, and it’s easy to put off exercise in favour of other priorities.
Time management is critical. Schedule a workout (even if it’s 30 minutes) and cut out any distractions, such as scrolling on your phone for hours after work. Instead of watching Netflix, go for a walk or gym for a HIIT workout. For busy working mums, go for a run or complete a home workout.
2. Lack of energy
Exercise can be physically demanding, and it’s common for women to feel tired or lacking in energy. This can make finding the motivation to exercise challenging, particularly after a long day at work or when dealing with other stressors.
Have you ever considered that your lack of energy could be something more? You may need to add supplementation to your regime to assist with your energy levels. In addition, it’s helpful to get regular blood tests with your doctor to see if you’re either low in Iron or Vitamin D. Make sure you always consult your doctor.
Don’t forget that rest and recovery are essential for anyone, and if you’re not getting enough sleep, your workouts will suffer, and your physical and mental well-being will be impacted. Aim for 6-8 hours of sleep per night and stretch after each workout to prevent muscle soreness and joint stiffness.
3. Lack of confidence
It’s common and normal for women (and men) to feel self-conscious about exercise. Fear of judgment from others or lacking confidence in their abilities can make it challenging to feel comfortable at the gym or when trying new activities.
Confidence is beautiful but can be hard to attain when you’re struggling to start your fitness journey and feel as if everyone is judging you. But here’s the thing. Everyone starts somewhere, and what you’re feeling is exactly how professional bodybuilders felt when they first started. It all starts with baby steps, but soon you’ll go from gym rookie to confident gym regular.
4. Lack of knowledge
Many women who start going to the gym are simply uneducated on what they’re doing, which can later stop them from continuing their fitness journey. This especially comes into play when women are trying to lose weight and ask the most common fitness question of how long does it take to see weight loss results?
Individuals who lack knowledge will expect weight loss to occur overnight by performing a few ab crunches and running on the treadmill. Still, there’s a lot more to it.
Always consult a professional before starting your fitness journey, and don’t be shy about asking the person next to you in the gym for guidance. You can conquer the gym and the weight room by asking for help and trying group fitness classes to ease yourself into the gym space. Most gyms also offer personal trainer services, which ensures you stick to your workout plan and have someone to push you to new limits.
Tips for staying motivated to exercise
Now that we have addressed common obstacles let’s explore practical tips for staying motivated to exercise. The following tips can help you stay committed to your fitness goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Even if you only apply one of our recommended tips, that’s one step closer to breaking down barriers and building the discipline to overcome obstacles throughout your fitness journey.
- Set achievable goals: Setting realistic goals can help you stay motivated and track your progress. Start with small goals and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. Celebrate your achievements along the way to help you stay motivated.
Remember to remain patient and understand that weight loss results vary across individuals – but with the proper support and consistent discipline, you can achieve your fitness goals.
- Find a coach or workout buddy: Having someone to exercise with can help you stay motivated and accountable. You can encourage each other, share workout tips, and celebrate each other’s progress.
Hiring a coach can also help you stay focused and motivated to achieve your fitness goals. This is particularly useful if you’re just starting at the gym and are unsure of specific exercises and movements. Reduce your risk of injury by training with a personal trainer or coach, or even a friend who is a more experienced gym goer.
- Try new activities: Doing the same workout routine can become tedious and demotivating. Trying new activities or classes can help you stay engaged and challenged. It can also help you discover new passions and fitness goals. Incorporate weight training with HIIT classes and keep mobile and flexible with group fitness classes such as Yoga or Pilates.
Exercising doesn’t have to be boring. Trying new activities pushes you outside of your comfort zone. It offers you the chance to meet new people, which can improve your confidence and eliminate the statistic of women being too intimidated to walk into a gym.
- Reward yourself: Celebrate your achievements with a reward that is not food-related. For example, treat yourself to a massage, a new workout outfit, or a relaxing day at the spa. This can help you stay motivated and remind you of the benefits of staying active and healthy.
You could even reward yourself with a fitness getaway where you can gather your friends and attend a yoga or boot camp retreat. Some would say that sounds more exhausting, but in reality, it’s a way to prove that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
Creating a supportive fitness community
Joining a supportive fitness community can help you overcome obstacles and stay motivated to exercise. Finding a gym or fitness group that is welcoming and inclusive can help you feel motivated, supported, and encouraged. You can share your fitness journey with others, learn from their experiences, and make new friends.
When you’re part of a fitness community, you’ll likely stay accountable and committed to your fitness goals. You can participate in challenges, attend group workouts, and receive support from fellow members. This can help you stay motivated and make fitness an enjoyable part of your life.
Here at Crunch Fitness, we encourage you to come as you are to feel part of the community at our judgement-free gym.
It’s time to break down barriers
Staying motivated to exercise can be challenging, but it is essential for achieving your fitness goals and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Remember that fitness is a journey, and the key to success is consistency and persistence. With the right mindset, support, and motivation, you can achieve your fitness goals and enjoy an active lifestyle’s physical and mental health benefits.
If you’re looking for a welcoming and inclusive fitness community, consider Crunch Fitness. We offer a wide range of classes and equipment and a supportive community to help you achieve your fitness goals.
WANT A FREE GYM SESSION!?
Hit the link below to receive your FREE GYM PASS to your nearest CRUNCH Gym!
👉🏻 CLICK HERE
Crunch Fitness Virtual Assistant