Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/25/2013 -- Setting goals can be a powerful form of motivation when wanting to change lifestyle habits. A study recently looked at the habits of older women and found that, despite knowing that exercise and being active can promote healthy aging and other physical and mental benefits, a majority of those studied remained inactive due to other goals taking precedence.
These personal goals were not unrelated to health issues. Many had to do with eating nutritionally sound meals, managing daily tasks, and remaining able to live independently – all of which are important to a healthy lifestyle. But the focus on these goals left many without the time to exercise as it wasn’t “scheduled” into their daily plans.
In contrast, older women who set daily activity as a personal goal were more likely to engage, and more likely to keep up that engagement in physical activity over the span of their lifetimes. Further research showed that those whose goals included volunteering or participating in cultural activities and keeping busy around the home also were more active than those whose goals solely focused on living independently.
Those involved in the study stated that when trying to promote middle-aged and older adults to engage in physical activity, physicians and trainers need to take into account the person’s individual life situation. Each person’s concerns are different, and there may be worries or goals that a person has in place that can impede their engagement in exercise. By looking at these goals, trainers and physicians can work with individuals to reframe them to include exercise within those same parameters, instead of changing the goals all together. For example, if a person’s goal includes nutritional eating to remain healthy, modify the goal to include exercise to remain healthy and it’s more likely they will succeed in the engagement.
Goals are powerful motivators, and the ones people set are important to them individually. When looking to add exercise or physical activity, be sure to look at individual goals one has set and work within them to include this staple of a healthy lifestyle.
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