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What are the stages of change when it comes to exercise?

Not everyone is in the same place when it comes to exercise. We are not all designed to start and continue to exercise for a lifetime. Exercisers go through five stages of change when it comes to exercise and it takes about 6 months. The precontemplative stage is filled with people who don't want to exercise. These individuals have probably never exercised, didn't grow up with it and don't understand it or the benefits it provides. The contemplative stage is for people who begin to see there is a need for exercise but the con's outweigh the pro's. These potential exercisers may have had exerperiences with exercise in the past, but those experiences may not have been positive which would lead them to quit exercise. In the preparation stage people are starting to think about exercising. These people have a plan to begin an exerice program. In the action stage, exercise has started although the habit hasn't yet formed. These exercisers have not maintained a regular exercise program for 6 months. An individual in the maintenance stage has exercised regularly for 6 months, forming the new change or habit. In each stage a person can move forward or backwards.
The stages of change is a model of behavior change that helps to establish where people are with regards to exercise. Not everyone comes to exercise in the same way feeling similarly nor are they necessarily ready to begin an exercise program. People progress through stages of readiness and preparation to begin an exercise program. Some people do not exercise nor do they care to exercise. Some people start exercise and stop exercise and they do that frequently throughout their lives while other have formed the intention to continue to exercise and are very active for a lifetime. The stages of change help not only establish where people are in forming their intention to exercise but good strategies for helping people to move toward becoming regular exercisers.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.