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Well, if I hada known that it was my “self-efficacy” that mattered most then …

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Shoulder press machine
Image via Wikipedia

What the H… is “self-efficacy” and why does it matter to us:

In October, the journal Annals of Behavioral Medicine reported on a study of 205 sedentary adults who were encouraged to begin an exercise program. At 6 months, about half had done so, but by 12 months, about a third of those people had stopped.

People with a home exercise machine were 73 percent more likely to start exercising. But by the end of the year, they were also 12 percent more likely to have quit than people in the study who did not have home equipment.

This doesn’t mean a home exercise machine leads to less exercise. It just means that having home equipment is not the most important factor. What matters more is “self-efficacy” — a deep-seated belief that we really do have the power to achieve our goals. In the Annals study, those who scored high on psychological measures of self-efficacy were nearly three times as likely to be exercising after a year as those with lower self-efficacy scores, whether or not they owned an exercise machine.

Meeting your own expectations also influences whether you stick with exercise. Study participants who were satisfied with the results of their exercise plan were twice as likely to keep it up as those who were not.

While believing that you can do it and being happy with your results may seem to be obvious parts of success, researchers say that people often fail to take these psychological issues into account when they start an exercise plan.

So that’s why I find it so hard to maintain an exercise program!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/01/06 at 08:44

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