Focus: To learn and understand the core principles that help to motivate senior clients and improve exercise adherence.
What You'll Learn In lesson you'll learn some tips you can use with your senior clients to motivate them to exercise. Why is This Important? Motivation is cited as one of the main reasons senior clients prefer not to exercise. Knowing these practical tips will help prevent exercise relapses.
Throughout this module I have covered plenty of practical tips that you will be able to test yourself on with your senior clients.
Firstly, assess what stage of readiness your client is in and remember to remind them that relapse is common and expected, then try to proactively plan for it together.
Here are the principal components that should be used in relapse prevention, as described by Dishman in the article 'Increasing and Maintaining Exercise and Physical Activity', which comes from a study done by Knapp:
1. Identifying situations that put a person at high-risk for relapse;
2. Revising plans to avoid or cope with high-risk situations (e.g. time management, relaxation training, confidence building, reducing barriers to activity);
3. Correcting positive outcome expectancies so that consequences of relapse are placed in a different perspective. (For example, people that are tired at the end of the workday may expect to feel refreshed if they rest rather than exercise but end up feeling guilty, whereas the activity would likely have been invigorating);
4. Expecting and planning for lapses, such as scheduling alternative activities while on vacation or after injury;
5. Minimising the abstinence violation effect, whereby a temporary lapse is catastrophized into feelings of total failure, which leads to loss of confidence and complete cessation;
6. Correcting a lifestyle imbalance where "shoulds" outweigh "wants" (the focus here is on optimising the pleasure derived from activity rather than viewing exercise as another obligation); and
7. Avoiding urges to relapse by blocking self-dialogues and images of the benefits of not exercising. 
Acknowledging exercise barriers is an essential component of promoting long-term adherence to adopting exercise habits.
Work with clients on specific scenarios; avoid being vague and try different methods. [73, 75]
For people that are trying to give up on old and unwanted habits, remember to be positive and encouraging. Ask what habit they want to replace it with and work with them on being vigilant about triggers, and then acting with a changed habit.
More Lesson From This Module
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