DIET&FITNESS Published January7, 2015 By Staff Writer

Weight Control Information Network Lists Ways to Handle Barriers to Being Physically Active

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"I don't have time for physical activity."

You can "sneak" it into your day a few minutes at a time. Get started by making these small changes:

- Add three 10-minute walks to your day, if you can do so safely near your work or home.

- Take regular breaks from sitting at the computer or watching TV. Get up, move, and stretch by lifting your hands up over your head. Twist side to side.

- Schedule your workouts as you would a hair or work appointment and stick to your plan.

- Start taking the stairs instead of the elevator whenever you have the option (be sure the stairs are well lit).

- If your job requires a lot of sitting, add a walk around the block to one of your daily breaks.

"I'm going to ruin my hairstyle."

If you avoid physical activity because you do not want to ruin your hairstyle, try a:

- natural hairstyle

- a short haircut

- a style that can be wrapped or pulled back

- braids, twists, or locs

"It's too expensive."

There are ways to be active that are free or lower in cost. You can

- check out programs that may be offered at your workplace or local place of worship, like dance classes or walking programs.

- find a local park or school track where you can walk or run.

- walk in a mall or a free museum.

- work out with videos or DVDs in your home. You can find these at bookstores, your local library, or online. Or try swapping with friends.

"Physical activity is a chore."

It can be fun!

- Be active with your kids-hike, play flag football, play tag, toss a softball, or visit the zoo. Physical activity is good for them, too.

- Do things you enjoy, like biking, gardening, or swimming.

- Get a friend to try out a dance class with you. Walk or take an exercise class with a friend or a group. This way, you can cheer each other on, have company, and feel safer when you are outdoors.

- Use your daily workouts as time-outs just for yourself.

- Enjoy friendly competition with family and friends by setting a weight-loss challenge.

- Give your workouts more meaning by setting goals to do a walk or run for a cause you support.

From the Weight Control Information Network of the National Institutes of Health

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