Thursday, February 23, 2012

Exercise relapse

Relapse from regular physical activity participation is extremely common, especially as we're in the middle of making a healthy lifestyle change (see our blog about the stages of behavior change).

It's important to understand that relapse can happen at any time and at any stage, not just for the beginner.  If we understand this & know it's actually part of the process, when relapse does occur we simply deal with it and move forward.  So many people think if there's relapse, it's over.  I call this the 'all or nothing mentality' and it's a disastrous mentality.

Here are a few triggers that can cause relapse (see if you've noticed this in your life):

  • Moving
  • Starting school or a new job
  • Injury 
  • Illness
  • Divorce or marriage
  • Vacations & holidays
  • Schedule changes

Remember that relapse doesn't mean lack of commitment.  It's just part of the process of changing.


Let's talk relapse prevention.  There are several things we can prepare ourselves to prevent relapse, or learn so we may get back on track if it happens.

Here are a few strategies for relapse prevention:
  • Have social support
  • Be assertive & honest with your thoughts, feelings & beliefs about your progress & struggles.  We must be honest with ourselves before we can make a change.
  • Become 'self regulated,' meaning work on your schedule, priorities, time so that you arrange activity to be high on your list. 
Take a look and see what you think will work for you.  Think of some other strategies that will personally work for you to prevent relapse or help you get back on track quickly.  And when/if this happens to you, don't beat yourself up.  Just pick it back up and keep moving forward.

Need help making a lifestyle change?  We can help and we offer long distance training, so if you're not in the Yuma area, no problem.  Email us here