Fitness Articles

Prevent Fitness Setbacks Before They Happen

Clearing the 12 Most Common Exercise Hurdles

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Even the most dedicated exercisers suffer from fitness setbacks from time to time. Whether it's losing our workout mojo or over-scheduling ourselves, we're human (think: imperfect). But what if you could prevent those setbacks from ever  occurring? What if you could somehow stop setbacks in their tracks, before they set you and your fitness goals back? We compiled a list of the 12 most common fitness setbacks. Read on for how you can play up your defense and stop these workout pitfalls—before they happen!

How to Prevent 12 Common Fitness Setbacks

Setback #1: You're too busy at work. You have every minute of your day planned so that you can leave work on time, get to the gym, work out, and shower before meeting your in-laws for dinner. But the day gets crazy, a million things come up, and you're stuck at work late. Now you're barely making it to dinner on time, let alone working out. We've all been there, but believe us—there is a way to prevent this one!

Prevent It: You have two options. First, exercise first thing in the morning. By getting up a little earlier—before demands on you even begin—it will ensure that you take care of your workout first, no matter what life throws at you later. Second, if you're not an early morning riser, schedule time for you on your work schedule. Even if it's as simple as taking a 15-minute break twice a day or shutting your door and doing some resistance band exercises during lunch, treat workouts as a non-negotiable time for you that can't be pushed back until tomorrow. These physical activity breaks are not only good for your body, they help refresh your mind, too, giving you more focus and energy to work better—and more efficiently!

Setback #2: You forgot your gym bag (or something in it). There's nothing worse than getting to work—or the gym—only to realize you forgot your gym bag at home and you have no sports bra or workout shoes.

Prevent It: Always keep a back-up set of workout clothes and gear in your car or office (wherever makes the most sense for you). It may seem silly to have a second gym bag, but believe us, whether you forgot a hair tie, shoes, socks or deodorant, you'll never regret having a spare gym bag. It doesn't need to be the best gear you have—an older pair of running shoes and a retired set of workout shorts and a top will work in a pinch. And if your gym rents lockers, an even better idea is to store your extra gym bag there. (Note: If you regularly go from gym to work this tip can also apply to leaving a separate set of work-appropriate clothes in your locker or your car, just in case you forget something and can't run home before work!)

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About The Author

Jennipher Walters Jennipher Walters
Jenn is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites, and A certified personal trainer, health coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and is the author of The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (Random House, 2014).

See all of Jenn's articles.

Member Comments

  • I really loved this article. Halfway through it made me realize that all these excuses (most I've used myself), are just that - excuses. If I truly committed to taking care of myself and exercising daily and keeping active - no outer circumstance could really deter me. Success really is all in my mind, it really does rest solely with me. - 1/24/2016 2:23:08 PM
  • Fantastic article! Enjoyed reading this one. - 11/24/2015 8:42:28 AM
  • BOBG01
    I spend a lot of time outdoors all year doing things like hiking, fishing, camping, and snowboarding. The cardinal rule for outdoor activities is dress properly and the weather doesn't matter, but dress improperly and you will be miserable in short order. Doesn't mattter if it's heat, cold, rain, snow, or whatever, if you have the proper gear you can still enjoy outdoor activities.

    Last week one morning it was ZERO degrees out when I went for a run and I was layered up and plenty comfortable. On Saturday I took the dog for a five mile hike in the snow. I was actuall too warm by the end of the hike even though the temperature was in the high 20's. - 2/9/2015 3:23:29 PM
    I am SO BUMMED. I have been injured or sick since February 1, and so much want to get back to my normal exercise routine and my normal strength and flexibility. Broken ankle, virus, now on my third UTI. BUMMED! - 6/7/2014 8:08:05 AM
    I needed this today.
    - 4/30/2014 1:25:42 PM
    Sparkpeople needs to create 2000 minute and 3000 minute exercise trophies for those of us who DON'T use any of these excuses. - 11/1/2012 9:12:25 PM
  • I've gotten a little off track because of other things going on and oversleeping. I really like the new song on the iPod idea (I use my iPhone as a music source all the time!) It's sad too because I really like working out and have missed it. I'm also dying to get the 1000 minutes a month trophy sometime soon (and the cold deters me much less than the heat does, I don't mind a little cold or a little snow...or even a lot of snow, hoping to get some fitness minutes this winter snowshoeing and ice skating!!) - 11/1/2012 3:56:08 PM
  • It is soooo hard for me to get up early but I do know it is the best way to "stay on track". - 11/1/2012 1:02:38 PM
  • This week my excuse/setback has been I keep oversleeping. I will start moving my phone alarm further away from me so I have to get out of the bed to turn it off. It's true that getting out of bed is the hardest part. - 11/1/2012 10:52:37 AM
  • Except for being sick or injured, these aren't setbacks, they are excuses. "Forgot your tunes"? Really? - 11/1/2012 9:48:03 AM
  • This article is what I needed at this point in my exercise journey. Thank you for taking the time to provide a thoughtful and thorough overview of major sticking points to exercise. I will return to this and check-in with myself every month. - 10/21/2012 1:07:41 PM

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