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  1. Employee Resources
  2. News Room
  3. Overcoming Fitness Barriers

Overcoming Fitness Barriers

Release Date: October 18, 2023

Juggling priorities such as work and family obligations can make it difficult to prioritize physical activity and fitness. If you are unable to find the time to prioritize your fitness, you are not alone; however, overcoming those obstacles can help make exercise a part of your daily life. Below are practical ideas and solutions to help you overcome some common barriers to physical activity.

  • Lack of time. Set aside specific times to do several 5 to 10-minute bouts of physical activity throughout the day. Select activities that you can fit into your home or work schedule such as calisthenics, walking or riding your bike to stores, walking in your neighborhood, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, exercising while you watch television, or parking further away from your destination. Hold walking meetings. During conference calls, try to stand, stretch, or walk around, if possible.
  • Family and work obligations. Trade babysitting times with a friend, neighbor, or family member or look for exercise facility options that include childcare. Have dance breaks or participate in active games with your kids. Find inexpensive, convenient ways to be active in your community, such as local races, walking and hiking clubs, parks, and recreation programs. When travelling for work, pack walking shoes, a jump rope, and resistance bands in your luggage. Book hotels that have a pool or exercise rooms.
  • Lack of motivation. Determine what time of day you feel more energetic and try to fit an activity that you enjoy into that time frame. Set realistic goals, be consistent, track your progress, and be sure to celebrate your accomplishments. Also, joining an exercise group or class can help keep you accountable, encouraged, and focused on being physically active.
  • Weather conditions. Try a variety of activities that are always available regardless of the season and weather conditions (online exercise classes, indoor swimming, stair climbing, jumping rope, mall walking, dancing, indoor cycling, calisthenics, etc.).
  • Fear of injury. Talk to a fitness professional to guide you. Learn how to warm up and cool down to prevent injury. Learn how to exercise appropriately considering your age, fitness level, skill level, and health status. Choose activities that you feel confident you can do safely and work your way up to more time or more challenging activities.

Always consult your physician before starting any exercise plan. For additional information or resources, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s page on physical activity. For more information on employee resources, please send an email to worklife@hq.dhs.gov

Last Updated: 05/24/2024
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