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Active Voice: Sports Can Teach Us about Physical Activity Behavior: Skills Every Person Can Use

from By Heather Chambliss, Ph.D., FACSM

Heather Chambliss, Ph.D., FACSM, is a Health Promotion faculty member in the department of Health and Sport Sciences at the University of Memphis. She is an Exercise is Medicine® advisory board member, an ACSM Health & Fitness Summit & Exhibition Program Committee member and chair of ACSM's Behavioral Strategies Committee. Her areas of interest include physical activity promotion and health behavior change. Dr. Chambliss’ commentary was adapted from her recent presentation on a related topic at the 2011 ACSM Health & Fitness Summit & Exhibition in Anaheim, California.

As fitness and health professionals, we recognize that the successful translation of exercise prescription is long-term behavior change. Ultimately, the integration of behavior change skills is necessary for the maintenance of physical activity and fitness. Yet, facilitating behavior change is a challenge.

Behavior change is often approached from a "toolbox" perspective. In that toolbox are specific behavioral skills, including self-monitoring, goal setting, building social support, committing yourself, relapse prevention and enhancing motivation. This behavioral toolbox allows flexibility to tailor skills to individual needs and fitness goals. Despite this flexibility, it is often difficult to convey these skills to clients and patients in a fresh and meaningful way. more


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