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Types of Physical Barriers

Updated April 17, 2017

Physical barriers can prevent a person from doing certain things in life that may make them uncomfortable or feel pain. Physical barriers are frustrating and debilitating for someone who just wants to live a normal life and do normal things, such as exercise. Such barriers can strongly influence which exercises a person can safely perform.

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Injuries are common physical barriers to exercise and other physical activity. The options and chances for injury are widespread because every body is different. Some people may have weak knees and ankles, while others may have a bad back or shoulder. Regardless of the specific injury, time needs to be taken to let it heal and, often times, exercise can be counterproductive to healing. Other injuries may need light physical activity to get better. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist to know if exercise is a good idea for you during your injury.


Asthma is a physical barrier that should be monitored. Since asthma affects the lungs and a person's capacity to breathe, it can definitely be dangerous during exercise or physical activity. Usually the use of an inhaler can keep asthma under control when taken as directed by a doctor.

Chronic Diseases

While most chronic diseases are actually helped by physical activity and exercise, it is just as important to know that people with certain chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, lung disease, and coronary artery disease need to be monitored more closely than people without. Those people need to monitor their heart rate and exertion so they don't compromise their health. If they push themselves too hard, their hearts may not be able to support the intensity, which could lead to a heart attack.


Everyone feels fatigue at some time. Fatigue is a natural barrier to physical activity and can make people think they are "too tired" to work out or go outside for a walk. While fatigue is a physical barrier, overcoming it is a mental one. To overcome this physical barrier, get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night and eat a healthy diet.

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About the Author

Bess Harrington has been a writer since 2009. She is the author of the blog Bess Be Fit and is writing her own book. She is currently an American College of Sports Medicine personal trainer. Harrington is a graduate of Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication with a focus on communication science and health media.

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