KELOWNA – How do you stick to an exercise routine? With plenty of New Year’s resolutions to hit the gym often wearing off this time of year, two UBC Okanagan (UBCO) researchers are pushing people to curb old habits. With 100 total participants taking part in the study, the researchers hope to garner enough proof that their tricks for sticking with a workout plan long-term can be applied in various community settings. UBCO Health and Exercise Sciences Assistant Professor Doctor Mary Jung is leading the study which is called Small Steps for Big Changes.
“What we are really trying to do is teach people the necessary self-regulatory skills that they need to adhere to exercise for the long run,” says Jung.
She says many people already know that exercise and healthy eating are keys to a healthy lifestyle, the trick is acquiring the mental state to stay active in the long term. In the study, participants are given tips and tricks to help them stay on track.
“It’s forcing people to actually practice those skills so you know one of the things we do in the project is make people go back into their own real-world setting and exercise and then come back to us the next day,” says Jung.
After two weeks of counseling, people are sent out to do it on their own for a full year. She says the end goal is to package their research into a science-backed counseling program and implement it in various community settings. So far, 40 Okanagan residents have signed up for the study, and the university is looking for more volunteers, of all ages and fitness levels. Click here for more information and to find out how to volunteer for the study.