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Are you resistant to physical activity?

Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2003

"Eating alone will not keep a woman well; she must also take exercise. For food and exercise, while possessing opposite qualities, yet, work together to produce good health."

-- Hippocrates, circa 400 B.C.

I found the above quote while leafing through, "Eating Well, Living Well: When You Can't Diet Anymore (Gaesser and Kratina)." This curriculum, published by the Wheat Foods Council, includes a worksheet on physical activity that can legally be reprinted for educational purposes.

The original source is "Moving Away From Diets: New Ways to Heal Eating Problems and Exercise Resistance," by Karin Kratina, Nancy King and Dayle Hayes.

Check any of the following statements that apply to you?

I am positive I "should" be exercising.

I am positive I need to exercise to look like society says I should.

I have been pushed into exercise by others who had their own agenda; possibly, they wanted me to "have fun" or to lose weight.

As a child, I felt pressure to perform in athletics.

I have perfectionist tendencies and believe that "if I can't do it right, I won't do it at all."

In the past, I typically exercised only when dieting. When I quit dieting, I usually quit exercising.

I have been injured while exercising, and the whole idea of it scares me.

I have exercised primarily as a way to lose weight.

I was almost always the last one picked for team sports.

If I miss a day or two of my exercise routine, I usually feel like I've blown it, and it's hard for me to get going again.

I often feel intimidated by exercise, the equipment or the fancy moves in aerobics.

I often feel rejected by friends, family or society because of the size or shape of my body.

I feel bad about my body and on some level believe that the less I move, the less attention I call to my body.

I think others dislike my body, so I move less to call less attention to my body.

I have used exercise as an external measure of self-worth.

I have used exercise as "punishment."

I have forced myself to exercise when I ate too much or didn't lose enough weight.

I have been sexually abused at some time in my life.

If you are sedentary or minimally active, it may be helpful to approach the above questions using a nonjudgmental attitude to explore some of the reasons physical activity is not a part of your lifestyle.

The authors of "Eating Well, Living Well" encourage you to discuss the statements with a trusted friend to help sort out any negative issues associated with physical activity. If visiting with a friend isn't enough to remove the barriers, consider seeking the help of a skilled therapist.

Contact the Extension office to request a copy of the activity worksheet. Another resource that might be helpful in learning about physical activity is the Activity Pyramid. We have free copies at the Extension Office.

Linda Tannehill is an agent at the Alaska Cooperative Extension Office. She is a home economist and involved in the 4-H/Youth Development programs. The Kenai Peninsula District Extension Office is at 43961 Kalifornsky Beach Road, Suite A, Soldotna, AK. The phone number is 262-5824 or toll-free at (800) 478-5824.



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