The Secret to Health and Fitness is……


confidence

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.

The Research

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”.

Booooooooo!!!!

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.

It won’t.

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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6 comments

  1. YES! This post is right on. I don’t think any type of educational or motivational programs will get Joe or Suzie to start exercising. These people have to make the choice for themselves to investigate health and fitness. Once they find similar minded folks like you, me, and other quality personal trainers, our optimism, discipline, and determination will help them to believe that they too can lose the fat.

  2. “Because, according to Canadian researchers, people with high levels of self-confidence are more likely to have good health habits.”

    Or is it the other way around?

  3. Wow, then I’m screwed. I have very little confidence. And I have to say, for some reason, all those weight loss stories have never made me more motivated or anything.

  4. Hi Brit

    I don’t think the rah-rah stories really motivate anyone either…or if they do, the motivation is very short lived.

    I think with any new challenge, if we think we can succeed we have a better chance. But, why would you feel certain of that success if your history with weight loss has been less than successful.

    And seeing some stranger lose a bunch of weight on a tv show (Biggest Loser) isn’t really going to help.

    But what if you knew one of those people. And what if they had kept the weight off for a few years. And what if they were willing to help and support you through your weight loss. And what if they told you every day (and actually meant it) that you WILL lose the weight if you do these specific things. And what if they stuck with you throughout the process – the ups and the downs…always letting you know that they believed in you and that they were certain of your success.

    Would their confidence rub off onto you?

    Would you start to believe?

    I think that is what happened to David Smith.

    I think he borrowed his trainer/buddy’s confidence until he could create some of his own.

    So, Brit – We just need to find you someone willing to do that for you.

    Here’s what I suggest – Why don’t we try and find you a trainer in your hometown like David Smith did. (I am willing to help, however since I lived in the frozen Canadian wasteland that used to be Toronto, our personal contact is limited to email and phone) There has to be a gung-ho trainer near you that could see the promotional benefits of becoming a “transformation professional” like Chris Powell

    I am sure that Chris Powell has a huge waiting list of clients after his client’s success story was printed in national newspapers.

    It’s a human interest story that a lot of people could identify with…and if it gets you a free personal trainer…

  5. I don’t know. I can’t think of anyone I know who’s kept a lot of weight off. One of my friends, maybe. She got in better shape for ROTC. My mom lost some weight when she was younger, but she’s still not thin. But I don’t really talk about losing weight to my friends or family, just the internet. I don’t know why, but I don’t like announcing it to people.

    I’ve pondered the idea of getting a trainer, and my college does have that service at our co-rec, but that would mean money and time, two things that as a grad student I’m wary of wasting. Trainers can be expensive! Also, my apartment complex has a gym room (will get you those photos at some point, btw), which is less than a minute walk from my apartment. If I got a trainer, even if it was as close as on campus, I’d have to drive there, which would take a lot longer. It’s hard for me to rationalize spending money to go somewhere else when I have gym equipment practically two steps away.

  6. i am 145 kg what do u suggest for me to hv in the diet to maintain the proper metabolism and reduce the weight
    thanks
    your advise is apprreciated

  7. I’ve been trying to lose weight. I worked with a personal trainer for 6 monthe, changed my eating and worked out 1-2 hours 4-5 times per week and didn’t notice any difference in my body, only that I was huingry more. Do you have any advice or tips for me? I am going to be in a wedding in June and I would love to not be the fattest person in my strapless bridesmaid dress. I also try to follow the Paleo doet. I have issues with digestion and it makes me feel the best.

  8. I’ve never really thought about self-confidence being a key a factor in staying fit. However, after reading this article and thinking, I believe confidence does have a big impact in staying fit. For example, my sister has a very low self-confidence level, is over weight, and never has enough will-power to lose weight. Then complains at times about her weight. I, however, have a little more self-confidence than my sister and am really into working out. In fact, becoming over weight is my biggest fear.

  9. As a trainer, I think one of my most important duties is to share my confidence with my clients. I have seen lots of people achieve their fitness goals…and if they can do it, your sister can do it.

    If your sis believes that you believe…she is halfway there

  10. This is all very true, but I think what also needs to be said is that a supportive social or professional ‘go-to’ network is an important part of building self-confidence in people who are broken or at a vulnerable point in life, for some reason. See (below) my latest blog post. That is — it’s REALLY awful when a professional, like myself, has lost that missing link. I am an extremely self-confident person, but I’ve been shaken these past few months. After being THE expert and the very successful, fit person that many people turn to in my circle– to have relapsed myself has been the source of my dip in my own self-confidence and I have no one to turn to. I am getting back on track, but it is not easy!

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