Research Yields Fitness Motivation Tips
for a Healthy New Year
weather chills and the economy starts getting back into shape, many
wannabe exercisers hope to invest in themselves by becoming healthier
the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) provides tips and tricks
for staying resolute on those fitness resolutions and enjoying a
healthy, happy holiday season.
Plan ahead. According to a study in ACSM’s official journal,
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise®, researchers found
that those who combated anxiety and weight gain with regular, moderate
exercise (30 minutes per day of walking can suffice) and stress
management techniques reported boosted mood and reduced body weight.
Find your own reason to get fit.
Research shows that men and women decide to exercise for different
reasons. A study of 83 men and women found that men typically begin or
continue an exercise program to improve their physique, while women hit
the gym to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. Both genders, however,
experienced similar levels of exercise "addiction" (the healthy kind!)
and commitment from their exercise regimens.
Test your competitive side.
Another ACSM study showed that motivation to be physically active was
higher when sports – instead of just exercise – were
involved. Check at local health clubs to see if there are intramural
leagues in your area.
Stay fit in short bouts.
Researchers found that those who exercised in three, 10-minute segments
per day were more likely to stay physically active compared to those
who exercised continuously for 30 minutes.
Determine your barriers.
Roadblocks to exercise are common – you don’t have enough
time, lack the right resources, or just don’t know what to do to
stay fit. Take ACSM’s free assessment of exercise barriers at
www.acsm.org/physicalactivity ("Keys to Exercise" tab).
that exercise and proper nutrition are the best combination for weight
loss and weight management. In addition, the holiday season is the
perfect time to give the gift of fitness. Sessions with an
ACSM-certified personal trainer (find one here), a health club
membership, fitness equipment or DVDs, or group exercise classes for
several friends are all health-friendly gift ideas.
For more information on the American College of Sports Medicine, visit www.acsm.org.