Long Distance Running
Breaking monotonous and routine is an ideal undertaking that is meant to highly contribute to the mental and physical wellbeing of an individual (Kahan, Gielen, Fagan & Green, 2014). In order to change my routine, I decided to venture into long distance running. However, this required a lot of preparation because it is a challenging event that needs a lot of exercises, mental preparedness as well as setting goals for achieving it. Marathon was meant to test my physical and mental endurance. In order to overcome perceived challenges, I set strategies for making the activity effective. Apart from selecting the activity just because it is a challenging one, I made the decision because studies have shown that physical activity is good for health. Therefore, this was a great idea although it was challenging.
Social support was a basic ingredient for exercising consistency. Friends were my motivating factor for my success in the new activity. Apart from my friends’ encouragements to stick to my exercising routine, many of them also participated with me. They influenced my participation even when I did not want to, something that highly contributed to my success. The physical discomfort propelled my adherence to exercise frequently. Muscle pain was the frequent discomfort which I was occasionally reminded to practice even more to minimize the discomfort (Suls, Davidson & Kaplan, 2010). After incorporating regular warm up and cool down sessions, the discomfort disappeared significantly and intensified my exercising spirit.
My self-efficacy was the major contributor in upholding discipline and confidence to undertake exercises regularly. After frequent exercises, I came to believe that I can do exercises which I previously never thought I was a sports person. The enjoyment I felt during exercising sessions was my intrinsic motivator which made me try new workouts each day. Regular exercise was further promoted by my bad eating habit which I wanted to control. I am used to taking junky foods which I believe has negative effects on body functionality, which is evident through the appearance of rashes on the skin. I also had an irregular breathing pattern which was majorly contributed by the fatty and sugary foods that I am used to taking. Through the regular and vigorous exercises, I have now been used to drinking plenty of water which has regenerated my skin and improved my breathing system. The social cognitive model provides that personal, behavioral and environmental factors influence people’s behavior change (Suls, Davidson & Kaplan, 2010). My self-efficacy was my leading factor which was motivated by adherence to exercise having seen the benefits. The campus environment also contributed to my success due to the convenience and availability of effective training facilities.
According to Kahan, Gielen, Fagan, and Green (2014), regular exercising has the benefit of combating stress. After a day’s stressful activities, exercising provides a relaxing feeling and helps to prevent stress and depressions. Regular exercising stimulates the brain chemicals which necessitates the reduction of tension and fatigue within the brain. The exercises can furthermore increase the person’s self-esteem and confidence during his or her daily activities. Kahan, Gielen, Fagan, and Green (2014) stated that exercising helps in boosting energy. Regular exercising improves the strength of the muscles and enhances endurance. The exercises enable nutrients and oxygen deliverance to the tissues which promote the effectiveness of cardiovascular systems. The effectiveness of the lungs and heart promote the production of more energy in order to conduct activities more actively.
Kahan, Gielen, Fagan and Green (2014) illustrate that regular exercises improve the sleep pattern. Since it involves vigorous activities, burning of calories and production of energy, the person will be more relaxed during sleeping. The body organs will function normally and promote a healthy sleep pattern. The lack of tension motivates and helps a person to focus in life. Exercising is also fun in nature. It assists a person to unwind and participate in activities that promote a happy feeling. Exercises assist individuals to engage and socialize with friends and family in a social environment.
With my main goal was leading a healthy lifestyle characterized by a controlled gain and loos of weight and change of behavior. This required me to involve in physical exercises through long-distance running. The short-term goal was to lose fifteen pounds within the first few months, burn excess calories in the body and attain a normal pressure of the blood. Another goal was to formulate a workout plan (Kahan, Gielen, Fagan & Green, 2014). Formulation of a proper workout plan is necessary in order to achieve the set short-term and long-term goals. After embracing the new plan and fully implementing it, then achieving the long-term goals becomes attainable. Long-term goals for the plan included attaining a physically fit body. A fit body helps prevent several medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease among other chronic diseases which are often caused by unhealthy lifestyles.
Another goal entailed coming up with ingredients needed in order to complete the activity. The plan entailed several steps which included; starting, building, assessing, planning, implementing, and finally evaluating. The start step involved embracing a change in my way of life. Building entailed the formulation of a strategic plan to be used. The plan involved assessment of carrying out the necessary amendments. Finally, the evaluation will be conducted periodically so as to examine and determine how well the plan is working and the benefits reaped as a result of the lifestyle change.
Factors considered when formulating the plan in an attempt to achieve the set goal included chief among them, difficulty. Naturally, some behaviors are easier to change when compared to others. A change in someone’s way of life is difficult since it requires the abandonment of some habits and embracing new ones. However, with patience, determination, perseverance, and self-discipline, I was able to experience an effective activity. Readiness is a factor that matters as well. A change in an individual’s behavior involves different stages which have challenges between them. Availability of resources was also addressed during this process.
It should be known that such a change requires time, patience and money since these factors also relate to the outcome to be achieved. Cost implications of the plan needed not to be ignored either. This is because the changes involved during the implementation of the activity such as seeking medical advice and the purchasing of appropriate equipment also required money to finance them. However, this did not deter me from implementing the plan. One should come up with a reasonable budget that accommodates the new expenses incurred as a result of the new activity.
Suls, J. M., Davidson, K. W., & Kaplan, R. M. (2010). Handbook of health psychology and behavioral medicine. New York: Guilford Press.
Kahan, S., Gielen, A., Fagan, P. J., & Green, L. (2014). Health behavior change in populations. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press.
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