For this week’s post, I want to continue discussing motivation. More specifically, how it relates to physical activity. I currently teach a lecture class that focuses on the principles of physical fitness. On this week’s lecture, we have been discussing motivation and how fitness professionals can motivate the inactive to adopt the behavior of being physically active. I created a discussion board where students share a personal experience on how they’ve been able to motivate others to exercise or just be more active. It has been amazing to read the responses and made me realize that individuals who are already active have so much power within their hands to touch other people’s lives. If you are already enjoying physical activity and have already an established exercise routine, you have that power to motivate others to do so. You can make a difference in someone else’s life. You may not even realize how powerful is this, but it is. The distressing statistics will tell you so. According to 2015 the National Health Interview Survey, inactive individuals, ones who engage in 0-10mins of physical activity account for 31.9% of the U.S population. Insufficiently active who accumulate more or equal to 10 to less than 150 mins of physical activity account for 19.4%. When we refer to physical activity, we are just talking about physical movements like walking to the store, lawing the yard, walking to the park. It doesn’t particularly involve exercise with higher intensities. In addition, a sedentary lifestyle has been linked with chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In 1992, the American Heart Association declared that “regular aerobic physical activity increases exercise capacity and play a role in both primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease…Inactivity is recognized in the American Heart Association Statement on Exercise as a risk factor for coronary artery disease” (Pate, 2012, p.31). In relation to diabetes, regular physical activity improves long-term sensitivity to insulin. It consistently lowers blood glucose levels in diabetic and pre-diabetic patients. As you can see, regular physical activity is a must in every person’s life. But you who already enjoy being active, you could make a difference and change someone’s life for the better. I encourage you to do so, to step up and just motivate someone else in your circle to move and be active. Maybe just educate them about the benefits of exercise or how good it makes you feel or role model the behavior by posting pictures of you exercising on your social media or challenge your friends or family members to work out with you or just showing tough love and reminding them of what they could lose if they don’t exercise. YOU can make a difference! 🙂
Part C. Background and Key Physical Activity Concepts. In: 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. 2018 Physical Activity Advisory Committee Scientific Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2018, pp. C-11 – C-27.
Pate RR. Chapter 2 – Historical perspectives on physical activity, fitness, and health. In: Bouchard C, Blair SN, Haskell WL (eds.), Physical Activity and Health (2nd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, Inc., 2012, pp. 21-37.