It’s advice we’ve all heard before: Get
more exercise––it’s good for you.
Most of us accept that wisdom. How
we bring more physical activity into
our lives––and make it stick––is another
matter. A busy schedule combined with
lukewarm motivation can keep us couch-bound. And even when we overcome
those obstacles, challenges remain.
“It’s an unfortunate but well-established fact that most people who
begin an exercise program will abandon
Get out and have fun
Staying active is easier when you enjoy it
WRITTEN BY GREG HARRIS
ILLUSTRATED BY MICHAEL BYERS
KEEP IN MIND
it six months later––if not sooner,” says
Meghan McDonough, PhD, a University
of Calgary assistant professor in the
Faculty of Kinesiology with expertise in
exercise, sport and health psychology.
Sticking with it can be hard when it
seems to take so long to see benefits such
as weight loss, improved strength or
more aerobic capacity.
One of the biggest missing ingredients
for achieving a lasting lifestyle change
is a simple one––a healthy dose of fun,
taken in the company of others.
“Too often we get caught up in telling
people that being more physically active
is a good way to lose weight, or lower
their cholesterol or blood pressure,”
McDonough says. “Instead, the advice
is easier to follow if it’s simply, ‘Get out
and have fun at something you’re likely
to keep doing.’ ”
If you can find a circle of friends to be
active with, you’re likely to increase the
odds of making a permanent lifestyle
A simple recipe for being active: add a healthy dose of fun.