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Finding the motivation to be active

This is an excerpt from Active Living Every Day With Online Resource-2nd Edition by Steven N. Blair,Andrea L. Dunn,Bess H. Marcus,Ruth Ann Carpenter & Peter Jaret.

For the participants in our study, obstacles to being active came in all shapes and sizes. One woman had to care for her elderly mother, which left her too tired to do activities for herself. One man just couldn't find the motivation to be active even though he loved watching sports.

Each of these people found ways around their particular problems. The woman taking care of her mother arranged for other family members to provide care for two afternoons a week. She fit in physical activity on those days and early in the morning before her mother woke up. The increased activity soon helped her feel less tired and less isolated.

The man who loved to follow sports realized that he didn't have to be a serious athlete to be active. Since he enjoyed going to the local playing field on Saturdays to watch softball games, he began going half an hour early and walking briskly around the field before the game. During breaks in the action he took a lap or two around the field. It didn't take long before he began to think of himself as an active person. With his newfound interest in being active, his wife bought him the Wii Fit video game for a birthday present. Now, instead of passively watching tennis or golf on television, he participates in a game or two of his own.

Activity Alert

Identifying Your Challenges

As you go through the week, be conscious of anything that seems to get in the way of your plan. Make a list of those challenges. As you might guess, we'll ask you about them later.

You can also download a copy of this form from the ALED Online Web site.

Activity Alert

Identifying Benefits of Physical Activity

One way to motivate yourself is to remember the important benefits that physical activity can provide. All of us have one or two things that are especially important to us. They represent benefits that are powerful enough to get us going even when we're not in the mood. Benefits that our participants often listed included feeling productive, enjoying improved communication with a spouse, and feeling good about their bodies. It's important to identify the benefits that matter to you. Take a few minutes now to list the most important benefits you can gain by exercising. Again, as you go through your week, keep adding to your list.

You can also download a copy of this form from the ALED Online Web site.

This is an excerpt from Active Living Every Day, Second Edition.