Problems in life, like that pesky weight loss plateau or the occasional joint injury are inevitable. The only thing that really matters is what you’re willing to do to cope with it, change it, and improve your body so that those ‘problems’ don’t control you.

When you’re not trying to fix the problem, you’re contributing to the problem, and when it comes to your workout, that saying counts for double in your life. Don’t let another workout misstep, an injury or a lazy attitude prevent you from having that killer body you dream about having.

In other words, become a creative problem solver for your fitness hurdles, and we’ve got it all here in black and white so you can virtually eliminate “I can’t” from your vocabulary!

Problem #1 – “Doing an hour of cardio is the last thing on my mind.”

Solution – Working out is a desire, and it is a need. So, when you are able to commit to exercise as part of your life (and as much a necessity as breathing, eating or staying hydrated) it becomes easier to follow.

In other words, when you focus on priorities in your life (eating nutritiously, working out for 60 minutes for three to five days a week) your mental programming begins to shift. You begin to boost up the motivational factor in your life.

You begin to put yourself first. If you have a hard time putting yourself first, commit to a deal between you and you. “I’ll work on this morning, giving it my all, and then I’ll have more energy for my afternoon meeting.”

Plan time to exercise when you feel most energetic, whether it’s in the morning or late at night. Work with your schedule, so that you can maximize your health, your wellness, your attitude, and even the amount of happiness that flows into your life!

Problem #2 – “My knee injury is preventing me from working out like I want to.”

Solution – When you have an injury, it can really affect your workouts, from the momentum built to the confidence you have about yourself and your body. If you have a neck, back or knee injury, focus on strengthening it.

Take a few weeks’ time to help the muscles contract (holding it in this position for a few seconds will help strengthen the muscles surrounding the painful joint), and then releasing. Most people make the mistake of giving up the gym altogether (after all, what’s the point?) or going full force in their regular exercise routine, without modifying it while their body can heal.

Instead, take a different road to develop a pain free healing process for your body, so that you can get back to your usual exercise routine in no time at all. Focus on ‘going easy’ on yourself with less intensity. But don’t give up the treadmill or the weight machines all together.

Instead, go the gym as you normally do, and work around your injury – those machines that work out the muscle groups around your injured joints, and walk instead of running. Just stepping foot in the gym as you normally do will keep you in the ‘flow’ of your usual workout, and more likely to continue the trend long after your body has been healed.

Problem #3 – “I’ve hit a plateau. It almost seems like the harder I work out, the more resistant my body is to losing weight.”

Solution – Unfortunately, the weight loss plateau is inevitable. However, what’s doesn’t have to be inevitable is your desire to find a new coping strategy to deal with it! When you’ve hit your plateau (meaning you virtually stop your happy trend of steadily losing weight), it’s time to up the cardio.

If you’re used to doing 45 minutes on the elliptical, crank up your endurance to run for 55 minutes, or an hour. Change up the intensity from walking briskly to running or sprinting. Take a kickboxing class (which can burn up to 1,000 calories a session!) or swim laps at your community pool.

The bottom line of fitness (no matter what your current challenge may be) goes like this – where there is a will, there is a way. Your workout is truly what you make it. So, regardless of painful joints, weight loss plateaus or just plain “I don’t want to work out today,” when you put yourself first, respect yourself and are committed to self-care, nothing can prevent you from reaching your rock hard core, lean thighs, and svelte figure.