Because, according to Canadian researchers, people with high levels of self-confidence are more likely to have good health habits.
Conversely, those individuals with lower levels of self-confidence are more likely to be found on their couch, eating nacho chips and watching CSI re-runs.
A research study of 5167 Canadians, published in the open access journal BMC Public Health, has shown that psychological concerns are the most important barriers to an active lifestyle.
During the study, researchers asked participants how confident were they that they could regularly do a total of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity (PA) three or four times a week and a total of 60 minutes of light PA each day.
This self-efficacy score was consistently related to higher physical activity across gender, age group, education level and family income level.
According to the authors, “Confidence in one’s personal ability to carry out exercise plays a central role in the direction, intensity and persistence of health-behavior change.
People who have higher PA self-efficacy will:
- Perceive fewer barriers to Physical Activity
- Be less influenced by those barriers and
- Will be more likely to enjoy Physical Activity
The Researchers’ Recommendations
“Our findings highlight the need for health promotion programs to enhance people’s confidence and motivation, as well as providing education on the health benefits of physical activity”.
How are health promotion programs going to boost self-confidence?
How is knowing that he doesn’t eat right or exercise enough going to make Joe Six-Pack feel confident that he can change my life and improve my health?
How is another pamphlet on the health benefits of physical activity going to make Suzie Chardonnay forget that she has tried every diet known to man and is still 50 pounds overweight.
So, where do Joe and Suzie get this self-confidence / self-efficacy?
They borrow it.
- They borrow it from other people whose have been in their shoes and have succeeded at improving their physical fitness.
- They borrow it from friends and family who have seen them succeed at other challenging situations.
- They borrow it from personal trainers like yours truly
You may not believe in yourself.
Most of my clients don’t believe in themselves…at the beginning.
But, since I have helped hundreds of people transform themselves from fat to fit, I know that I can help them do the same thing.
And because I have 100% faith in this belief, they begin to believe. Slowly at first. And not without any setbacks. That’s life.
But eventually, as my Vulcan mind control tricks begin to work, they start to believe that they can do it. That they can improve their health and maybe even lose a few pounds.
This is what we need to do.
Help each other believe that we can succeed where we have failed in the past.
Not just hand out another pamphlet.
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