Scheduling Exercise Time Is Important To Resolution Success

Making New Year’s resolutions to start exercising may be well-intentioned, but make sure to actually book exercise time in your schedule if you want a better chance of the resolution to stick. That’s what University of Victoria exercise psychologist Ryan Rhodes discovered during a recent research study.
        Rhodes followed over 500 adults for six months after establishing a level of physical activity based on their initial intentions.
        “Certain factors appear to work differently for ‘maintainers,’ people who exercise regularly or who have just taken a short activity hiatus, and ‘adopters,’ those who have not exercised in quite a while,” says Rhodes. For adopters, the key factors for success were actively scheduling exercise sessions and using several reminder strategies (computer/email prompts, diary entries, rewards). Maintainers were successful if they kept time open and booked for exercise.
        “Strategies about reminders were not effective for maintainers, presumably because they already include exercise as a basic habit; while for adopters, the exercise is a new behaviour and needs continuous attention,” says Rhodes. He adds that while attitudes, knowledge about health, and social factors are important to the initial decision to exercise, they do not help with converting intention to action.
        Rhodes’ research appears in the current edition of Annals of Behavioral Medicine. A PDF of the article is available on request.

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Media contacts

Ryan Rhodes (School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education) at 250-721-8384 or

Patty Pitts (UVic Communications) at 250-721-7656 or

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Keywords: scheduling, exercise, time, important, resolution, success

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