Moving in the Right Direction  

Accountability and exercise

Do you need accountability with your exercise program?

I know I do. I think most of us do if we really want to accomplish challenging goals. For many, adhering to their exercise program is challenging. Despite the onslaught of research supporting the fact that physical activity improves health, people still let their fitness programs slide to the wayside. Rod Dishman, head of the exercise psychology lab at the University of Georgia, shows that 50% of new exercisers drop out within six months of starting a fitness program. Research shows that only 20% of the population exercises moderately, and only 10% performs vigorous activity. Unfortunately, these statistics haven’t changed since the fitness boom started. And these statistics are not good for the future of North America.

Over the last 10 years, research has been done to investigate motivation and commitment principles in regards to exercise programs. Knowing that exercise increases self-efficacy, mood, physical self-concept, self-regulatory skills, glucose levels and waist circumference, how do we adhere to our exercise program?

There are many factors that help us stay with our exercise program, but one that Dr. J.J. Annesi shows in his research, and one that has worked for me for years, is the psychosocial supportive model – The Coach.

Annesi trademarked the Coach Approach protocol for successful exercise adherence. Among other things, he is the director of wellness for the YMCA in Atlanta, Georgia. His findings suggest that an increase in exercise volume is associated with proposed psychosocial pathways (The Coach Approach, Annesi, 2012). Psychosocial pathways or support refers to the process of people needing people to overcome their barriers for health (mental, physical, emotional or spiritual). This means that people need people to help them accomplish their goals for a happier, more successful, increased energy, more capable, more joyful and peaceful life.

Fantastically, there is a program available to all of us who need help sticking to our exercise program – and its FREE.

1. The provincial government offers a program called Active Choices, www.selfmanagementbc.ca, that helps people get active, and hopefully stay active. This is a paid-for-by-the-goverment program to help you live fit. As far as my vote counts, I will vote for some of my taxes to be spent on health prevention programs. This is one of those programs.

The Active Choices (A.C.) program recruits people who want to make activity a part of their regular life. Call or email Angela at 604-522-1492 or [email protected] It is a 6-month commitment whereby the program provides you with a coach that will provide you with telephone mentoring and support for your physical activity goals. There is an initial 60-90min, in-person meeting with an A.C. coach. It is at this time that you will review your physical activity history, your short term physical activity goals, set the agreed upon time for phone calls, and make a 6 month commitment to each other.

The A.C. program asks for a 6-month commitment from the participant in hopes that within 6 months, the participant has created an exercise habit and will carry on with their exercise program on their own.

2. This program provides another benefit. It provides free coach training for those who want to volunteer to help coach people who want to get active in the A.C. program. You will learn skills in the area of facilitation, (helping the participant to take ownership of their behaviour and goals), review the stages of change, basic exercise information (e.g FITT model), coaching, listening to understand, the art of questioning to gather information, summarizing for confirmation, tips for handling difficult emotions, tips for handling challenging situations, and a review of community resources. These are skills that every person needs to be a successful friend, a successful parent, a successful employee/er, and a successful coach.

The A.C. program matches a coach up with a participant. And for 6 months, you volunteer 15min/week/2weeks of your time, energy and passion to the health of our community. How irresistible is that?!

A.C. training happens in Kelowna Saturday, February 23, 10-4 at Evangel Church on Gordon.

Please call or email Angela today at 604-522-1492 or [email protected] today.

More Moving in the Right Direction articles

About the Author

Lori Rockl graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Political Science. After working with the Federal Government through two elections, she escaped back into her gifted life of fitness training and now owns a successful Pilates & Yoga studio. Although her clientel tell her often how much they learn from her, Lori would tell you that she is the one that learns the most from her clients. For Lori, the study of the mind-body connection is an infinitely fascinating study. She has found that Pilates and yoga are excellent tools for healthy living and incorporate those tools into her marathon and triathalon training. Please contact lori at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories