As 2011 approaches, you will start to hear people proclaim their New Year’s resolutions. Since obesity continues to be a global epidemic, some will make the pledge to become physically active. For example, “this is the year; I will go to the gym and workout.”
Well, to all who make this pledge, “congratulations” but if we are going to “talk the talk;” we should “walk the walk.” In addition, we should realize the odds are stacked against us as we attempt to maintain a physically active lifestyle. Researchers indicate that exercise adherence rates vary due to several factors, such as enjoyment of activity participation, time management, and safety.
Without question, technological advancements allow health organizations to educate diverse populations about physical activity benefits. Thus, millions of people are aware that physical activity can prevent numerous chronic diseases and improve a person’s quality of life. Unfortunately, The State Indicator Report on Physical Activity (2010), published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), indicates only 64.5 percent of American adults are physically active. In other words, these individuals complete “at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity per week or an equivalent combination of the two.” Therefore, when you make the pledge to become physically active, it is essential for you to prepare your body and mind.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services (n.d.) developed a guidebook titled “Be active your way: A guide for adults.” Specific guidelines are available to assist individuals who are motivated to live a physically active lifestyle (see 2).
Reviewing these guidelines and consulting with your physician should be an effective strategy for igniting your commitment towards becoming physically active. Make physical activity enjoyable and maintain your participation so you reap the benefits for a lifetime.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (n.d.). The State Indicator Report on Physical Activity (2010). Retrieved November 22, 2010, from http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/index.html
United States Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Be active your way: A guide for adults. In Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Retrieved November 22, 2010, from http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/adultguide/default.aspx
Dr. Johnson is the Chair of Sports Coaching at the United States Sports Academy. He has a doctorate in sports psychology and master’s degrees in business administration, sports business administration, athletic coaching education, counseling, and sport behavior.