Attitude Adjustment

19 September, 2012

Looking for ways to help stick with it? Make a plan. Set a few realistic goals, then create a backup plan for the days your efforts fall short. Take steps toward getting started, like buying a sleek new pair of walking shoes and a pedometer. And have confidence in yourself! You can do it.

What if the idea of exercising hasn't even crossed your mind? You're in the "precontemplation" zone, my friend. Your goal is to start moving into the nicer neighborhoods: "contemplation corner" (exercise has crossed your mind), "preparation plaza" (you're trying out different types of exercise), and finally, the enviable "action" and "maintenance" districts, where residents enjoy sleeker shapes and healthier bodies.

If barriers arise -- and they will -- pull out your backup plan. Home too late to go to the gym? Put on your nifty new shoes and walk around the block for half an hour. Too tired? Make a commitment to exercise for at least 10 minutes, no matter what. Anxious or depressed? If it's short-term, know that exercise is a great antidote for the blues. If it's chronic, get help. Feeling emotionally down day after day can undo the healthiest person. Getting relief will allow good habits to click back into place, including finding your fitness form again.

SOURCES: Psychological predictors of physical activity in the diabetes prevention program. Delahanty, L. M., Conroy, M. B., Nathan, D. M.; Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 2006 May;106(5):698-705.

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