How to Stick to a Fitness Regimen

Hey friends!

How’s it going?

Life is peachy…..errr it’s actually not….it’s more peary. No peaches around here, but tons of pears! I love good, juicy pears……

pear

yahhhh.

Seriously though, I did some serious (good) damage at work this week, and then finally got around to my blog email inbox. Finally readers are getting responses! Hah.

Doesn’t it feel so great to knock things off a to-do list? Why do we not just do it sometimes? Where is that lack of motivation coming from?

Some research that I read about on Active.com, shed a bit of light on that, actually, and has a ton to do with holding to a fitness regimen.

How to Stick to a Fitness Regimen

This article about how to stick to a fitness regimen was really fascinating to me in particular, since I work in this area of both behavioral and cognitive interventions for my full-time job (and as a side gig for services offered via my FitnessPerks, LLC).

As a personal health coach I do a lot of work on the phone (telephonic sessions) and online (email coaching) with a variety of populations: diabetics, working adults, smokers, weight loss hopefuls, medicare members, etc.

coaching

{my coaching computer, with a side of snack}

I see a wide variety of things/issues/needs, but something that is quite common is that they KNOW what to do, they’re just not DOING it.

I would say that generally, that is typical among moderate-income American adults….

Here is where coaching & my work comes into play….check out part of the article I read:

Dr. Vicki Conn from the University of Missouri took the results of 358 different study reports detailing a total of 99,011 individuals who participated in various exercise interventions. The studies could be split into two different types of interventions:

  1. Cognitive interventions designed to change people’s attitudes about exercise, providing knowledge and information about why exercise is important and should be adhered to.
  2. Behavioral interventions designed to help people with exercise prescription, strategy, goal-setting, self-monitoring and feedback.

Dr. Conn noted that the common approach to changing exercise behavior is based on cognitive intervention—with the assumption that the more people know, the more they’ll understand the importance of actual exercise performance. Her research found that cognitive approaches actually don’t work because they don’t motivate or teach people to change.

On the other hand, behavioral studies, particularly those that taught participants to self-monitor their exercise habits, significantly improved participants self-awareness and exercise motivation. These types of studies helped people track their exercise goals, schedule times to exercise, write down the exercise performed and review their progress regularly.

{source}

Interesting, eh? (I know it’s a lot of words, but they’re super interesting!)

The article also says near the end, “knowledge is great, but it doesn’t exact change.” 

Oh yes. I agree. And I was the perfect example–I was in school for fitness & wellness, and at the same time was hurting myself by being totally restrictive with my eating/anorexic/over exercising/not liking myself.

This is why I really think my job is important. :) Coaching has helped me be a more empathetic person, and has helped me see that pure education & sharing articles or news about fitness trends is great, but actually helping people know HOW to apply it & do it WITH them & then CHECK in on them is most vital to their success.

Here is an example of a few things I guide people with in calls/in emails:

  • setting goals
  • creating action steps
  • visualizing success
  • recognizing strengths
  • asking thought-provoking questions
  • celebrating gratitude
  • helping re-adjust attitudes
  • reflecting on past failures & what they’ve learned
  • preparing for fuiture obstacles
  • checking in & reevaluating the work

(All of that can be APPLIED to any fitness regimen you’ve got going on, p.s.!)

In summary, “behavioral interventions work because they address unhealthy habits and help individuals discover solutions to overcome those habits.”

Amen.

As a personal side note, I BELIEVE in coaching. My life changed even more for the better after I worked with a life coach for a few hours in early 2011–she rocked my world. And helped me finally get out of my final stages of slight depression & disordered eating issues (even though we never actually talked about the eating;)–all during my time of unemployment after graduate school.

{p.s. My husband suggested the life coach when I was really struggling (right around/before I started this blog, actually!) I’ve never been more grateful for an idea in my life! I resisted at first, actually, but am OH so glad I decided to take a chance & have a session with the coach.}

My job rocks!

*******

Thankful Thursday

cadbury eggs

  1. I am thankful for mini cadbury eggs. aka crack.
  2. I am super grateful for a husband who is intuitive & always looking out for me.
  3. I am really thankful for the sun shining!! (finally!)

*****

Have a FANTABULOUS day! <3

So in lieu of this, what do YOU actually DO other than just knowing you should stick to a fitness regimen?? Do YOU have goals set right now?? Have YOU ever worked with a coach before?? What are YOU thankful for today??

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Comments

  1. great post! i make my fitness regimen habit. that way, i barely have to think about it. i wake up at 5 am and head to the gym. itz just what i do and i feel good about myself!

  2. Interesting post for sure! I think exercise becomes habitual…for me, it’s become so assumed that I’m going to be at the gym 4-5 days a week that I don’t even think about it anymore…it just kind of happens. I’ve found enough benefits from it (besides the obvious physical benefits, there’s also the me-time, head-clearing, time to think benefits, and all those fun endorphins) that I look forward to my gym time.

  3. I want your job and those mini eggs :)

  4. Making my workouts/exercise a priority and fitting it into my schedule is huge for me. If I treat it with the mentality that I’ll just do it if I have time, it doesn’t often happen. However, if I treat it like I would with any other important meeting or appointment, that it DOES happen. I’ve experienced the positive benefits of exercise enough to continue to be encouraged to make it a huge part of my life too!

  5. Cadbury Mini Eggs are my kryptonite! Thankfully they only come out twice a year–Christmas & Easter–or else I’d look like one!
    What keeps me going is my job. I coach gymnastics and am very hands-on, so I’m always flipping and tumbling with my gymnasts. Plus my husband (workout buddy) kicks my lazy butt out of bed when the alarm goes off at 4:30 AM because we (usually) work out together.

  6. I love how inspiring you are! I just earned certification as a health coach, and can’t wait to coach others. So, it’s a different sort of coaching than you do, but the idea of motivating others to feel better, fuel well, be more active and love life, is the same! :)

  7. Ever since I started logging my workouts, I’ve found sticking to workouts much easier. I like seeing my progress and feel proud when I’ve completed an entire week of a fitness regimen!

  8. so true, I think for a lot of us it boils down to not putting in to action all of the information!!

  9. Mmm, that pear looks amazing; you have inspired me to start buying them again :) To ensure I stick to my exercise regime, I just think about bikini season! I haven’t worked with a coach before, but I took a weight lifting class (for 1 credit: bonus!) at my school, which really helped. Apart from that, I get most of my tips from bloggers like you, magazines, fitness websites, and through observing other people at the gym… Thanks for the great post!

  10. Danielle says:

    i love exercising so making it’s really just a part of my life, no way could i imagine not having fitness, especially since my back surgery in 99. the surgeon made it a point to tell me to move every day, it helps not only my back but my circulation. i’ve never taken anything more seriously!
    aside from just loving the feeling of endorphins and sweating, i also like registering for a couple big and small races here and there. it’s fun to have a future goal to plan for. then i have my training plan that i work from and it’s fun, just like my regular to-do list, i have my fitness to-do list! my goals right now involve training for IMTX and making sure i get my target workouts in, and especially my 2 core and strength sessions. I am actually working with a tri coach right now, who i love, and she’s keeping me on track and saving me from thinking too much and overtraining. it’s going so much better than when i trained for the half – i am training less and feeling better. whoop!
    i’m super thankful today for these juicy, sweet sweet sweet grapefruits that i just bought. omg they are amazing! i’m also thankful for new boss – she is tough but is really good at what she does, and a great mentor. i hope to know half of what she knows one day. lastly i’m thankful for my mama – who shared a yummy impromptu dinner with me at this little indian/chinese bistro last night. i was in a “mood” and that meal and time with her and my bro really made me smile :)
    xoxox

  11. I’d love to have a job like you- what did you do to get it? I so agree with this post!

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