Include Lifestyle Physical Activity in Your Program
Daily physical activity is a simple but important way to improve your overall wellness. As part of your fitness program plan, specify ways to be more active during your daily routine, say by taking the stairs up to class rather than taking an elevator. You may find it helpful to first use a health journal to track your activities for several days. Review the records in your journal, identify routine opportunities to be more active, and add these to your program plan in Lab 7.1.
Develop Tools for Monitoring Your Progress
A record that tracks your daily progress will help remind you of your ongoing commitment to your program and give you a sense of accomplishment. Figure 7.3 shows you how to create a general program log and record the activity type, frequency, and times (durations). Or, if you wish, complete specific activity logs like those in Labs 3.2, 4.3, and 5.2 in addition to, or instead of, a general log. Post your log in a place where you’ll see it often as a reminder and as an incentive for improvement. If you have specific, measurable goals, you can also graph your weekly or monthly progress toward each goal (Figure 7.4t . To monitor the overall progress of your fitness program, you may choose to reassess your fitness every three months or so during the improvement phase of your program. Because the results of different fitness tests vary, be sure to compare results for the same assessments over time.
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Make a Commitment
Your final step in planning your program is to make a commitment by signing an agreement. Find a witness for your agreement preferably someone who will be actively involved in your program. Keep your agreement in a visible spot to remind you of your commitment.
Name Tracie Kaufman
Enter time, distance, or another factor (such as heart rate or perceived exertion) to track your progress.
Set Up a System of Mini-Goals and Rewards
To keep your program on track, set up a system of goals and rewards. Break your specific goals into several steps, and set a target date for each step. For example, if one of the goals of an 18-year-old male student’s program is to improve upper-body strength and endurance, he could use the push-up test in Lab 4.2 to set intermediate goals. If he can currently perform 15 push-ups (for a rating of “very poor”), he might set intermediate goals of 17, 20, 25, and 30 push-ups (for a final rating of “fair”). By allowing several weeks between minigoals and by specifying rewards, he’ll be able to track his progress and reward himself as he moves toward his final goal. Reaching a series of small goals is more satisfying than working toward a single, more challenging goal that may take months to achieve. For more on choosing appropriate rewards, see Chapter 1 and Activity 4 in the Behavior Change Workbook at the end of the text.