Regular exercise


Regular exercise – it all starts with behaviour change By Justin Moran - Just In Time PT Most magazines, writers, fitness instructors and personal trainers work from the top down and “ideal world” ideology and that is to get results you need to join a gym (preferably get a personal trainer) and to exercise three to four times a week for 30 to 45 minutes. Am I right? What if I told you that while that is all well and good and may also be ideal and be the end result, but that I could guide you through behaviour change to get to that ultimate scenario? Put simply, 20 per cent of the community are active and generally only five to 10 per cent of the entire population attend gyms. What happens to the 80 to 90 per cent that are neither? The focus of this regular column is to give you strategies and ways of starting very basic and to then teach you skills to evolve behaviour change from the very raw and simple level. Simply buy yourself a 12-month (28- to 31-day) calendar. On the calendar go and note down over the next week to do just five minutes a day of either a walk, exercise bike, jog, cross-trainer, swim, bike ride or any other form of relevant exercise for your situation. What you are doing is setting yourself up for success! If you cannot manage five minutes of exercise a day for seven days, then what hope have you got of achieving an “ideal world” of three to four times a week for 30 to 45 minutes? Very little and definitely not long-term. So, back to your task … If you do succeed and can achieve five minutes of exercise for seven days a week, then it is scalable, and you can use this as a template and accountability tool to evolve from. You may like to set yourself … 20 minutes for one to two times per week on top of your five minutes daily; or 10 minutes every day; or Five minutes every day, but on three of those days do 30-plus minutes. This way you are well on your way to successful behaviour change. You have set up some accountability and you can become your own personal trainer and tailor your program 100 per cent to you, your goals and in a way that works for you. Sure, you may not get instant results and lose five kgs in a week or run a marathon in three weeks (which for the record are both unrealistic goals in such a small timeframe anyway) but more importantly you are building a base to work from and build on. You must remember that your brain controls what your muscles and your body does, so it makes sense that you need to get your brain to change for your body, your fitness, or your health to change or improve. Now, go back to your calendar and use this as your logbook and simply fill in the exact daily exercise that you have done and give yourself a (tick) on those days if you achieve a minimum of five minutes (or whatever you have set as your minimum). Then on the days that you didn’t achieve your selected minimum place an “X”. On a weekly and monthly basis add up your ticks and if you get seven out of seven and 31 out of 31 then score yourself 100 per cent. The closer that your figure is to 100 per cent the more successful your behaviour change is and you have done it all on your own for the cost of less than $15 for your calendar and without the need of a personal trainer! For some people in the 80 to 95 per cent group, this strategy will be all that you need to get some positive change. Others will require a partner, friend, family member, work colleague or a personal trainer to help support you or guide you and keep you to task. Others may require a personal trainer for as little as one to four sessions to merely give you some structured exercise program, give you some “specific” exercise guidance and ensure correct technique but as you can see, you don’t need to commit to ongoing weekly sessions – sometimes one session is more than enough every so often. One last thing – it generally takes six months of repeated habit (hence the calendar) to achieve successful behaviour change. For more information, exercise guidance or if you have any questions, feel free to contact me by heading to •

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