The Myth of "Just Do It"
By Deborah L. Mullen, CSCS
If you're having trouble getting motivated to exercise more, don't expect to suddenly change your behavior by telling yourself to "just do it". This is a great phrase for those already "doing it" and are feeling a moment of laziness. The phrase backfires, however, with people who aren't in the "action" stage of behavior change.
"It's because change doesn't begin with action", remarks James Prochaska, psychologist and head of the Health Promotion Partnership at the University of Rhode Island. He says that there's more anxiety around change than there needs to be. That's because there's been so much pressure to act-- regardless if someone is ready for it. In his book Changing for Good, Dr. Prochaska outlines the stages of behavior change. "By consciously dealing with change in stages...it's easier to apply appropriate strategies at the appropriate times".
Strategies: Consciousness-raising activities are important--a doctor's warning about a patients health risks that are due in part to lack of physical activity; a life event such as the birth of a grandchild or one's 50th birthday; reading the Surgeon General's report, Physical Activity and Health.
Strategies: Write down the benefits you hope to obtain from physical activity. Next list the perceived roadblocks and how to get past each one. More consciousness-raising is in order, not to convince you that you need to change, but to propel you into the next stage.
Strategies: Develop a firm, detailed plan for action. Set a date to begin and make this public. When making your plan, it's important to choose an activity that you'll like and that will fit in your schedule. Time saving tips: record your TV programs. If you watch 2 hours per day, you'll save 1/2 hour in commercials--use this for your physical activity. How about getting more organized with your meal planning and go shopping only once a week--you know what to do with that extra time!
The Portable Strength-Training Kit is a simple, effective and time-efficient strength and flexibility program. This portable kit includes exercises for the hips, thighs, buttocks, chest, arms, back and abs and can be performed at home, at the office, or while traveling. For more information contact: Simple Fitness Solutions (www.simplefitnesssolutions.com) ph: 805-594-0660