Motivation and the Process of Change: Step 4 Cont…

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no-more-excusesWe have asked the question: Are Your Clients Ready?
We have taken essential steps to get our Clients Internally Motivated.
We know how to help our Clients Make SMART Goals
We have addressed the “no time” excuse

I wanted to address a few more of the top excuses/obstacles our clients give us and the strategies to help them overcome each of these common obstacles.

#1: I have No Energy

Those who exercise regularly know from experience that exercise actually leaves you with more energy!

Some Helpful Strategies for Overcoming This Obstacle Are:

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  • Have your clients’ schedule exercise when they are less likely to feel exhausted from a long day at work or with the kids.
  • Have them get up 45 minutes earlier than everyone else and go for a walk.  It will start their day off on a positive note.
  • Suggest they keep their fitness gear in the car so that on the way home they can stop at the gym for their workout.  If they go home first, the couch and TV may be too tempting after a long day at work.
  • If they do find themselves skipping out on their workouts because they’ve have no energy, have them schedule their workouts with you or a friend. Whether they are tired or not, they still have to be there because someone is waiting for them

#2 I’m Too Old to Start Exercising

Every decade a 30-year-old sedentary individual will suffer from a 10 percent decrease in muscle mass and aerobic capacity and a reduction in flexibility. Bone density deteriorates starting at age 35.  By the time your clients are 68, they will have experienced an 80 percent decrease in strength.  By age 80, an individual will have lost half of their muscle mass.  The good news is that if your clients exercise, these statistics will improve dramaticallyEven people as old as 90 have experienced the positive benefits of exercise so it is never too late to get started. The Surgeon General’s Report indicates that 30 minutes of activity every day is enough to achieve various health benefits.  The level of activity is equivalent to gardening, performing household chores or light walking or cycling. Consider enrolling your clients in a line-dancing or ballroom dancing program. Perhaps Tai Chi or Mind/Body stretch would be enticing to your clients. It doesn’t have to be intense, but they do need to start doing something!

#3 I Hate Exercise

In the beginning, exercise may feel like a chore to your clients, but eventually it will become a physical and mental health need. It is important to find activities your clients enjoy doing so that they will participate in them regularly, see the results and get hooked.

Have your clients:

  • Use music
  • Try hiking
  • Try walking
  • Add variety to their program to make it more fun.
  • Exercise with friends

Studies show you tend to achieve better results that way because it will become more difficult to skip workouts.  There is also no evidence to suggest that exercise needs to be painful.  If it hurts that much, your clients may be doing too much, too soon.  While exercising, they may feel some discomfort, muscular fatigue or a burning sensation near the end of a set or an exercise bout. These feelings are normal.  However, while performing an exercise, they should not feel sharp pain. This is not normal and they should stop the exercise immediately and consult a sports physician or physiotherapist.

Many participants rate the effectiveness of a workout by how sore they are afterwards. But it you are training appropriately, there is no need to be sore. It is okay to think “Hey, my muscles feel like they had a great workout yesterday.” However, if your clients have a problem getting out of a chair, walking, or even just moving, they are training too hard – and not very sensibly.

To reduce the likelihood of extreme muscle soreness from training sessions:

  • Always warm up
  • Cool down
  • Stretch your clients
  • Progress clients slowly

Once they have established a consistent exercise routine, there are no extra health benefits from pushing them to be extremely sore. Remember – pain is a warning signal that their body has done too much too soon. When they experience extreme muscle soreness or pain, back off on the intensity of the program and progress more slowly.  “No pain, no gain” is a myth. Pain is not necessary to improve their fitness and get results.

#4 I’m Too Out of Shape to Exercise

One survey found the top reason why people choose not to join a gym is because they want to get into better shape or lose weight first.  This backwards approach may never get your clients to their goals.  Help your clients feel comfortable going at their own pace and wearing whatever they want or design a program that allows your clients to workout in the privacy of their own home or neighborhood.

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