Stage 1: Not Ready for Change

Even with the hype of the Olympic Games, you may not believe you are ready for a change in physical activity right now.  Maybe you've tried getting fit in the past and had no success.  This is a good time to consider the pros, and the cons, of becoming more active.

Sometimes it helps to look at some things you might like to experience.  Maybe you would like to

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Feel better in body, mind, and spirit
  • Shed extra pounds and abdominal fat
  • Live longer by reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes
  • Look your best
  • Feel less tired and have more energy to get things done
  • Set a good example for your family
  • Sleep more soundly
  • Improve bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures as you get older
  • Reduce feelings of tension, stress, anxiety, and/or depression
  • Become stronger
  • Discover enjoyable new activities
  • Feel better about your body
  • Have fun

It also helps to discover what prevents you from adding physical activity to your life.  Which of these barriers are holding you back?

  • I don't know how to find time in the day for physical activity.
  • I am busy and stressed already.  I can't take on another challenge right now.
  • I want to spend my free time with my family, not in a stuffy gym with strangers.
  • I find physical activity boring.
  • It costs to much.  I can barely make ends meet now.  I can't afford special equipment or big health club fees.
  • I have an old injury that causes me not to be able to tolerate physical activity.
  • I don't like to sweat.
  • I don't know how to exercise properly and may hurt myself.
  • Everyone else who exercises is slim and trim, I look horrible in exercise clothes.
  • I can't afford to go to the doctor for a check up.
  • I am too old to start exercising or learn new activities.
  • I don't like to do things by myself.
  • I've had bad experiences with sports and exercise since I was a child.

Now that you've identified the pros and cons of exercise, where do you stand.  Which benefits are you most excited about?  Which barriers do you feel strongest about?  Often when you see what items are most important, you will begin to shift your views about physical activity and decide that finding easy ways to add physical activity into your life is eactly what you want to do.

Do you see those barriers as something you want to explore, or are you satisfied in remaining inactive?  If you have no desire to learn more about physical activity or you get upset when people mention it to you, you're not ready to consider easy ways to have more energy throughout the day.  However, if you are open to learning more, you will find that working with the barriers you identified will help release you from your defenses.

If you're ready to move forward, check out Thinking about Change to help you move forward.

Source:  Centers for Disease Control