And what stage are you in? Where are you in the process of getting fit and healthy?
A theory was developed called the Stages of Change by James Prochaska and his colleagues (1992) that measures how people “evaluate information and its relevance in their lives, make a commitment to action, strengthen their intention to change, and eventually make progress to toward their goal of adopting or altering a specific behavior.” Click on the model below to see what stage you are in; then see my suggestions to move up the ladder of change!
If you can’t exactly pinpoint your stage, ask yourself these few simple questions:
1. Do you currently participate in any physical activity or have any desire to get fit? Yes or No (If no, you know where you stand.)
2. Are you thinking about it, maybe you joined a gym or bought some videos? Yes or No (If yes, you are in Contemplation.)
3. Have you gone to the gym in the last month or at least attempted to watch the said videos? Yes or No (If yes, you are in Preparation!)
4. Do you know the front desk girl at your gym by name because you’ve been saying “what’s up” more often? Are you starting to know the routine on your favorite video and feeling less cheesy that you may actually like to Zumba? Yes or No (If yes, you are in Action!!) Statistically this means you are regularly active for less than six months.
5. Do you have your own locker at the gym because you are putting BOOTS TO ASSES daily and you don’t want to miss a chance to BRING IT!?! (Say what?!? Fist Bump to The Rock!) OR, do you not only know all the routines, but you are now talking smack to your TV and air fivin’ yourself for a job well done? Yes or No (If yes, welcome by friend to Maintenance!) Statistically this means you are regularly active for six months or more.
“Vigorous physical activity or exercise includes hard activities such as jogging, aerobics, swimming, and biking. For vigorous activity to be regular, it must last at least 20 minutes each time and be done at least 3 days per week.” ~Dr. Bess Marcus, Brown University Medical School
So now that you know which stage you are in, here are some tips to move up the ladder or to keep the momentum going!
If you are in the Precontemplation stage you can:
1. Go to the doctor and get a physical; see how healthy you really are? Then ask yourself, should you be at least contemplating getting healthier? Be honest.
2. Don’t really have anything else; I can’t make you drink our fitness flavored koolaid if it isn’t your flavor…
If you are in the Contemplation stage you can:
1. If you have not joined your local gym- go do it NOW!
2. Ask yourself what you like to do that is active; for example dancing, hiking, swimming– then go find a studio, trail, and or pool! Even if you only go check it out, it’s a start!
3. Choose an exercise infomercial that grabs you or go to Youtube and watch videos (like mine, I have over 50 FREE videos for your exercise pleasure!) and pick one or two to start with!
If you are in the Preparation stage you can:
1. Ask a friend to go with you to the gym- workout buddies help give motivation and support!
2. Get a trainer, I find when people are paying for some ones time– they show up!
3. Set a time 1x or 2x a week where you will at least do 10mins of the video– add time as you get more motivated!
If you are in the Action stage you can:
1. Look into seeing a nutritionist or trainer to help fine tune your eating habits so that you can see results faster which will make you want to go to the gym more often!
2. Give yourself little milestone rewards like if you go to the gym 10x in 1 month you get a new workout outfit! Or if you drop 4lbs in a month you will get yourself a massage, mani-pedi, or facial!
If you are in the Maintenance stage you can:
1. Reassess your goal; are you still losing weight? Are you still seeing results? If not, shake it up and recommit to a more defined and outlined goal. Do your own research about health, nutrition, and fitness– learn more about your body and what makes it feel good!
2. Find an athletic event like a half marathon or half distance triathlon and start training for it!
3. Always wanted to learn a sport? Be an urban athlete or weekend warrior and join a league. Find a soccer, softball, bowling, basketball, or even something totally kooky like curling and be like Mike! Or not, and just be the totally fit and healthy you– the YOU, you always wanted to be!
Last thought… It’s good to know where you are so you can plan where you are going!
Resource for Stage of Changes description from Promoting Physical Activity by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services