Health Tip – Nov. 20 – Using Self-Regulation Strategies
Columbia University researchers have come up with a strategy that could help you increase the amount of exercise you perform. It’s called “self-regulation” and according to the researchers, the women who tried it boosted their weekly activity by about an hour and kept it up for 16 weeks.
You begin by do something called “mental contrasting.” This involves stating how you want to change your behavior (exercising more), what the best outcome of this change would be and then listing the obstacles most likely to stand in your way. Then you create “formats” for carrying out your plan. For example, you might say “if the weather is nice tomorrow, I will go for a run” or “if I oversleep, I’ll skip the morning news so I’ll have time to exercise.”
Using this method was found to be successful in a study with 256 middle-aged women. After four weeks, the women who used self-regulation exercised nearly 111 minutes per week compared to 58 minutes for those in the control group who didn’t receive self-regulation training.