Have you ever dropped out of an exercise program or stopped doing the exercise recommendations from your healthcare provider? You’re not alone: according to statistics 50% of participants quit exercise programs within the first 6 months. What are the secrets of sticking to an exercise routine and making it a healthy habit that becomes part of your life?
HERE ARE 3 SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN APPROACHES THAT CAN HELP FOSTER BEHAVIOUR CHANGE:
1. GOAL SETTING
It is scientifically proven that goal setting has a positive impact on (sports) performance and outcomes. The more specific these goals, the higher the impact. What does this mean if you are trying to adhere to a corrective exercise or rehab program? Discuss with your healthcare provider ideas for measurable and specific goals that you can work towards and document them as part of your care plan. Start with goals that you can influence such as: the number of times you will perform your exercise program per week, or reps and sets of the specific exercises that have been prescribed to you.
A goal without a plan is like a recipe without ingredients. We know from a sports context that athletes who combine a variety of outcome, performance and progress goals with concrete action plans perform better than athletes who only focus on the outcome. What does this mean for you? Define exactly when (e.g. before breakfast) and where (e.g. in the living room) you want to do your corrective exercise or rehab program or if you want to split the exercises into a morning and evening routine. Plan for the time commitment (e.g. by waking up earlier) and organize or borrow any needed equipment.
3. SELF-MONITORING AND FEEDBACK
Numerous studies prove that combining goals and actions plans with self-monitoring and feedback will further increase performance. One of the studies proved that adding the feedback component can raise performance by 17%! But feedback can only be based on the recording of target behaviors, i.e. self-monitoring. Self-monitoring can increase accountability and create awareness and has thus been identified as one of the most effective strategies to successfully implement lifestyle changes. What does this mean for you? Track your exercise program in terms of sets, reps or time and share the results on a regular basis with your healthcare professional. This will not only increase your chances of program adherence but also allow your provider to see how you are doing and make changes to your routine if needed.
We hope our suggestions helped. Start investing in your health now and create positive changes for life!
Written by WebExercises, and altered by Dan Hammond, Myotherapist (Bachelor Health Science – Myotherapy) and Master Functional Trainer (CertIV Fitness). 2018
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