SOURCE: National Academy of Sports Medicine

National Academy of Sports Medicine

February 14, 2012 05:55 ET

Hitting a Wall? Expert Advice From the National Academy of Sports Medicine on How to Stick With Your Fitness Plan

CHANDLER, AZ--(Marketwire - Feb 14, 2012) - We are barely a month into the New Year and already some may be experiencing lack of motivation in keeping resolutions. It is estimated that up to 65 percent of people who start an exercise program end up abandoning their plan within three to six months.

Are the reasons due to time, a lack of noticeable results, too many distractions or that we never really established a structured plan, that we were never fully committed to making a change in the first place?

We are all pressed for time, cry foul about insufficient time to be active, yet we stand in line for hours for the latest smart phone release, Why is this?

"Some answers lie with what we deem as important and with the overall experience as they drive motivation," says Fabio Comana, National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) senior fitness educator. "Healthy behaviors take time to become integrated as good habits, and attaining sustainable results requires planning and persistence. It comes as no surprise why some are quick to throw in the towel."

Comana offers some simple, yet proven strategies, a "ready-willing-able" plan, to get back on track. Ready implies importance and commitment, willing implies overcoming ambivalence and able implies building self-efficacy and motivation. Follow these he five-steps to develop a "Ready-Willing-Able" plan:

1. Develop Discrepancy. Changing or sticking to your new program starts by identifying why this change is important to you. Don't just think of one reason; try to identify as many reasons as possible. Take the time to document your level of discomfort or discontent with your current behavior. These strategies help build the importance of making a change and will improve your persistence in adhering to your program.

2. Acknowledge Ambivalence. What holds us back from making changes? Is this lack of willingness because of low importance or a lack of confidence? Elevating both overcomes ambivalence. The goal is to shift away from discussing your problems towards seeking solutions, making changes and envisioning success.

3. Strengthen your Commitment to Change. While establishing goals focused upon your desired outcomes is important (e.g., weight loss), begin each day by setting one to three simple goals for the day. Visualize completing these challenges successfully and enjoying the experience.

4. Build your Self-efficacy. It may take the same amount of time to lose weight as it did to gain it - embrace that reality. Many people quit or get hurt because the initial exercise intensity, volume and experience are inappropriate. Keep it simple. Identify what you enjoy or do well and start there, progressing gradually each week.

5. Motivate Yourself: Include small rewards (e.g., gifts, treats, praise) initially to recognize your accomplishments if you need that motivation. Real, sustainable motivation is driven from within, by your interest or enjoyment from participating in, or accomplishing task.

Sticking with a fitness plan involves taking charge and becoming your own coach of change. However, if you still think you need a little assistance, seek out a qualified NASM certified personal trainer with experience in facilitating lifestyle change. To locate an NASM trainer in your area, visit

EDITORIAL NOTE: Fabio Comana is available for interviews. Please contact Chuck King to arrange.

About National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
Since 1987, the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) has been a global leader in providing evidence-based certifications and advanced credentials to Health and Fitness Professionals. In addition to its NCCA-accredited fitness Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) certification, NASM offers a progressive career track with access to Advanced Specializations, Continuing Education courses, and accredited Bachelor and Master Degree programs. The NASM educational continuum is designed to help today's Health and Fitness Professional enhance their career, while empowering their clients to live healthier lives. To learn more, visit: or call 1.800.460.NASM (6276).

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