Image courtesy of Diabetes NZ
Get active - keep moving (if you are sitting regularly get up and move) + start some regular exercise.
'Do what you can’ and don’t over do it. Talk to your healthcare professional if you are just beginning to increase activity or if you are unsure about increasing activity.
Get active – keep moving (if you are sitting, regularly get up and move) + start some regular exercise.
1. START SMALL AND KEEP IT REGULAR
Find something you enjoy. Chose something simple to begin
- A daily walk or a game in the park with children
- Join a kapa haka group
- Take up ballroom dancing with a friend
- Walk to school with the kids
- Start a ‘walking school bus’ = walking to and from school under the supervision of adult volunteers, creating a safe and social journey for kids getting to school.
2. CHECK WITH YOUR HEALTHCARE TEAM
Before you begin check with your healthcare team for any suggested medical tests and advice on any activities that are right for you.
3. GETTING STARTED AND STAYING MOTIVATED
The problem for many of us is that exercise is not a habit or routine but an obligation or a chore and for that reason is readily pushed off the agenda. "The hard part about getting fit is starting," says Amelia Watts, an exercise coach. "Once you get into a rhythm of regular exercise, it becomes a habit and you just get on with it.
Planning in advance and in detail when, where and how to exercise, and implementing coping plans (how to deal with setbacks and obstacles, such as bad weather) increases the chances of successful behaviour change.
Some of us find it useful to set goals - verbally or in writing.
- Set goals that fit with existing daily routines e.g. walking to and from work, to the shops (active transport) or as a break in the day.
- “Try to schedule your activity for the same time each day,” says Dr Costas Karageorghis Brunel University. "We are creatures of habit and having a regular routine is important."
- A study at the University of Florida found that exercisers who repeated the same workout over and over were more likely to quit than people who rotated and varied activities each week.
- Establish a pattern that has rewards e.g. a tick in a notebook, calendar or diary or an actual reward for meeting exercise goals – e.g. a night at the movies (avoid food rewards).
4. GETTING A PLAN
For successful outcomes goals need to be –
|Specific||Exactly what will you do|
|Measureable||How long and how often|
|Achievable||Not too easy – not too difficult|
|Realistic||Appropriate for your fitness level|
|Timed||When will you begin|
Build strategies to deal with barriers
I’m too tired
Exercise early in the day, or trial daily walking for a week
I’m too old
Look at safe supported exercise in local groups e.g. Lifestyle for Life, Fifties Forward, Tai Chi
It’s too wet
Take the stairs at work
Sticking to the plan
Straying from the plan can be a learning experience and a chance to strengthen strategies for next time. Think through the following questions:
Why did I stop?
What do I need to put in place to stop this happening next time?
Have a back up plan
Develop a plan for what you will do on days that are different e.g. if your plan is to walk, what will you do on days that it rains or when planned activities are avoided.
5. CELEBRATE SUCCESS – even small successes
- Actively recognise achievements, even if still at the ‘planning for exercise’ stage, this validates that planning is an important part of change
- Congratulate yourself and celebrate your achievement, acknowledging yourself is more likely to maintain the changed behaviour
- Remember the exercise is for you – a reward of looking after yourself
Ten tips to boost motivation