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Choose What You Like to Do

This is an excerpt from Fitness and Wellness by Carol K. Armbruster, PhD, Ellen M. Evans, PhD, Catherine M. Laughlin, HSD, MPH.

Now

Could a new focus on doing what feels good rather than fulfilling exercise prescriptions help us enjoy movement more? Could selecting a mode and type of exercise that work for you make a difference in adherence to movement? The scientific focus on exercise has helped many people, but it has not proven effective for changing population movement trends. What if everything we do counts? Would you rather run two miles or walk two miles while talking to your friends?


Later

Choosing activities that you will continue to enjoy for years to come is essential for long-term health behavior change. What should you do for lifestyle movement options? Choose the activity that you like to do on a regular basis.


Take Home

If you focus on healthy behaviors that feature things you enjoy, you’re more likely to stick with them. The fitness industry has not adapted well to the behavioral concepts about the importance of movement and exercise feeling good. Most people have not found the fitness center model useful in prioritizing and sustaining physical activity patterns throughout their lifetime. Considering the “why” related to movement and behavior change and pairing your why with feel-good movements are essential for long-term adherence. Fitness fads come and go, but enjoyment goes a long way toward a lifelong commitment to being healthy, physically and mentally.


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