If you read our previous blog, you are well-aware that exercise offers many mental health benefits. However, taking advantage of these is easier said than done, particularly if you have a mental health disorder. Even people without mental health issues struggle with certain mental obstacles to exercise. In this blog, we will go over the most common mental obstacles to exercise, as well as how you can overcome them to get into a regular exercise routine.

Mental Obstacles to Exercise

Now that you know that exercise can be so beneficial to your brain, you will want to take advantage of this powerful tool. That being said, there are many mental obstacles to exercise that are very real issues.


This is a very common reason why people will skip the gym. If you’re feeling very tired or stressed out, exercise may sound like something that is only going to make you feel worse. In reality, exercise is very energizing and can reduce fatigue and give you the energy levels you need to get through the day. If you’re struggling to motivate yourself, tell yourself you will just go for a five-minute walk. Chances are, you will be able to walk another five minutes after that.

Feeling Overwhelmed

Whether you struggle with clinical depression or you are just experiencing extreme stress in your life currently, the thought of adding something else into your schedule might feel overwhelming. If working out just sounds impossible, remember that physical activity helps you be better in every aspect of your life. Fitting even a few minutes of exercise in a day is possible for even the busiest people, and is worth the effort.


If you have never worked out, or haven’t in years, it might feel like you’re starting at zero. The truth is, you can’t get any fitter without working out. It’s that simple. Everyone starts somewhere, so respect your own process. You may only be able to do a few minutes of low-impact exercise per day (why not take a walk after dinner each night?), but starting slow will help you eventually work your way up to more intense workouts.


If you’re in pain due to a mobility issue, it may feel like exercise isn’t a possibility. This isn’t necessarily true. Talk to your doctor about incorporating exercise safely into your routine. Don’t ignore your pain, but do what you can, when you can do it. It might help to try water-based exercise, such as water aerobics, or to workout in smaller chunks of time.

Tips for Starting to Exercise

If you are just getting started exercising, here are some tips to ensure that you have the most success incorporating working out into your routine.

  • Start small. You don’t have to leap right into an aggressive workout routine; in fact, you shouldn’t. Going too hard too fast ensures that you won’t be able to maintain this habit. Instead, start with small, achievable goals.
  • Schedule strategically. Make sure you are working out during a time of day when you will have the energy you need to put power behind your workout.
  • Do what you love. Committing to an exercise routine you hate guarantees you won’t maintain it. Find an activity you love, whether it is swimming, running, or coming into our gym for our small group training classes.

Ready to get started with a personal trainer in Medford? Contact Fit in New England today!