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Health and Exercise Psychology - Essay Example

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To some people, partaking daily exercises is a way of life. These people believe that exercising offers absolute psychological, physical, emotional, and social benefits. To others, the very mention of the word exercise puts them off. To them, exercising is a boring, time wasting, and tiring exercise, which people should avoid at all costs…
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Health and Exercise Psychology
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Download file to see previous pages In the same vein, you are likely to get different responses if you ask some 50 people to explain what exercise entails. According to Serogonian (1993), some individuals may define exercise as any form of physical exertion, from planting the garden to walking to work. Others may think that the term exercise is only reserved for energetic aerobic maneuvers or vigorous resistance training. The word exercise is used freely without qualification even in Science. But characteristically, exercise physiologists say that the content of exercises is defined around the limitations of physical fitness. These may include muscular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, cardiopulmonary endurance, and body composition (Bennet & Murphy 1997).
However, there are a number of psychological factors that impact on the participation in health related activities. According to Pat (1991), statistics from available research shows that around 50 percent of the people who engage in self-monitored exercise will often drop out of the program within the first six months. Below, I attempt to discuss some of the variables that continue to influence exercise adherence.
According to Pat (1991), childhood experiences often lay the groundwork for adulthood exercise habits. Available research shows that schools' exercise programs could be effective in progressing fitness levels and heightening participation in health-related activities in children. However, this opportunity that can favorably sway the patterns of exercise adherence is being missed. Students who have participated in quality physical education programmes have been able to increase levels of fitness and acquired the necessary expertise and enjoyment levels necessary to impact future patterns of adherence to the exercise programs. But it is unfortunate that most schools have failed to offer students sufficient contact hours in programmes of quality exercising. As such, the impact on future exercise behavior is not influenced (Brannon & Feist 1997).
Psychological, Physical, Social, and Situational factors
The initial interest in joining an exercise program is brought about by the desire to obtain health and fitness benefits. According to Pat (1991), the reasons for remaining with a particular exercise programme are not informed by the initial reasons for being involved in exercise programs. Continued involvement in a particular training programme is therefore dependent on a diversity of physical, psychological, situational, and social factors. This essay will deal with motivation as a psychological factor, but it doesn't do any harm to briefly mention the other factors. Some of the physical factors that can really influence adherence levels include the fitness levels, body composition and weight, and personal injuries. An overweight, injury-prone person is more likely to default on an exercise program than a slim, fit, and injury-free individual. Program dropout rates will also be high if the exercise program is started at very high intensities.
Social and situational factors include such issues as social support and convenience. The persistence of the exercise activity is facilitated by the convenience of the exercise facilities. The support received for the person with whom the trainee relates to also persuade the trainee to continue ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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