Exercise Adherence

Initiating and maintaining an exercise program can be a daunting, but ultimately rewarding. Change is generally a difficult process and the act of starting an exercise program is no different. Many people struggle with taking the first steps towards change because of the stigma attached to gym facilities and exercise in general. As a trainer, it is important to create a safe and welcoming environment for people that are new to your training environment and/or exercise in general. The large majority of people who begin an exercise program will drop out within six months for a number of reasons. There are various techniques to improve your clients’ adherence to their lifestyle changes. In this module, we will address particular approaches to behaviour modification that have been proven to be incredibly effective.

Initial workouts should be brief and well within your client’s abilities. It is important to not scare your clients away from exercise by pushing them to their limits from day 1. For beginner clients simply getting exercise techniques correct can be difficult. As a trainer, you will need to balance training intensity with technique correction to ensure that the client is challenged but ultimately safe during exercise. Studies show that people are less likely to continue in their exercise program if they exercise at high intensities too soon. Similarly, excessively long workouts early on can also contribute to trainers losing clients.
There are varying beliefs regarding the establishment of a routine for physical activity with regards to how to best stimulate physical adaptations and development. However when initiating a lifestyle change, developing a training routine is widely regarded as a key factor in sustained exercise adherence.