How to choose an exercise programme you will stick with

exercising for better healthAs 2012 is approaching you’re probably doing a little planning for the new year.

If you are like me, you spent a fortune on your brand new diary and excitedly filled in all the blank bits.

2012 is going to be the year that rocks……….

This is the year you will get the body chemistry balanced and finally burn off those extra bits of fat and turn yourself into a lean mean fighting machine.

Step 2 join the gym

Of course, you’re well on your way to getting the 7 Big Spoons™ sorted, so your body chemistry is better.

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31 days to better body chemistry

But, winning the fat wars, requires you to obey the weight management formula

Energy in < energy out

You’ve already decided to eat more vegetables and fruit, drink more water and obey the rule of thirds, so the “energy in” part is sorted.

A gym membership is what you need to take care of the “energy out” part of the equation.

Make 2012 goals stick

Around about now, you may be have a sense of des je voux.

You did have a similar plan at the beginning of 2011, but in all honesty you’ve actually managed to get a little heavier and a little wider this year. The heavier bit has also inched you closer to some real health problems which could end up costing you far more than a beach holiday in a bikini.

Your expensive gym membership lapsed around week 2 of the year, this year.

So the big question is how can you increase the chances of following through.

Choosing a programme you will stick to

Not all exercise programmes are created equal, you need to choose one that is right for you.

So what should you look for ?

Standard advice is choose something you will enjoy. Hah hah hah – if you enjoyed exercising you wouldn’t be dealing with this dilemma.

So let’s look at the problem scientifically.

Deciphering the stick-ability factor

Researchers from Ohio State University discovered the stick-ability factor, depended not on the programme, but on the instructor.

The researchers signed up 100 college-aged women (average age was 19), all with some kind of weight issue. For some the problem was real, for others it was imagined. All felt conscious of their appearance and desired to improve it through exercise.

The exercise programme they signed up for was a step-aerobics class lasting 45 minutes.

The women were assigned to different classes. The classes were all taught by a single instructor and followed an identical exercise programme. The difference between the classes was the approach of the instructor.

Instructor is the key

exercising for a better bodyIn one class, the instructor wore tight-fitting aerobics attire and focused on appearance. She admonished her followers to …..

“Stand tall, you’ll look five pounds lighter”

“Work it, let’s get your legs toned so they look good !”

In other class, she emphasized health over appearance. She dressed in a t-shirt and gym shorts and throughout the session, peppered her class with comments that emphasized the health benefits.

 “Work it, let’s get fit and healthy !”

The health class was the fun class

The exercisers were required to fill out a questionnaire at the end of their exercise class, to assess how they felt following the big workout.

The class emphasizing health was definitely more of a hit.

Participants enjoyed the workout – they felt more engaged, revitalized and less exhausted after the session.

The idea of continuing exercising was also significantly more appealing.

Choose health over the burn

So if you want your exercise programme to last longer than 2 weeks this time round – suss out the instructor.

Look for a real women, not a Barbie doll and listen to her exercise chit chat. If she keeps telling you how fabulous you’ll look, look elsewhere.

There is no pointing in having a gym membership that you never use !

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Ohio State University.

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Further reading

brain exercising self control  sugar molecules playing when you're not sleeping  exercise charging up the nitric oxide heart battery 
How to painlessly activate the self control muscle  Don’t let your sugar molecules become couch potatoes How to juice up the heart battery so it pumps in a crisis 

The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.

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Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep ! Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion

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