The Fitness & Wellness Department offers an online class called Active for Life, EXS 123. The curriculum is adapted from Human Kinetic’s Active Living Every Day (ALED) course. I know you are probably wondering how an online course can help someone be more active. Well, here’s how.
The course takes each participant on a journey of self reflection. It doesn’t matter if you are a couch potato or an Ironman triathlete. This course will give you tools to make you better!
You will learn to:
1. Replace sedentary activities such as watching TV with active ones such as taking short walks.
2. Become aware of the benefits of being physically active, especially the ones that most matter personally.
3. Set short- and long-term goals for becoming and staying active.
4. Reward yourself for reaching short- and long-term goals.
5. Get support from family and friends.
6. Turn negative thoughts into positive ones.
7. Monitor how much activity is done every day by counting steps or minutes.
8. Become flexible in thinking about what counts as physical activities.
9. Discover new ways to manage stress and time better.
10. Find new opportunities for activity close to work and home.
11. Plan ahead for situations that might cause relapse.
Every semester, students report on how the course surprised them. Every student can find at least three items on the above list that helped them in some way. I personally love the “two-minute walk” idea. Most people would say “why bother?” Well, two minutes are better than no minutes! And people find that once they are out of their chair and moving, they end up walking further anyway.
Students find themselves dancing to music while cleaning the house, parking in the farthest parking spot, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and donning their walking shoes on 15-minute work breaks. They discover things like active vacations in exotic places and walking trails in their local community. They learn that just because they miss a few days of activity here or there does not mean they have failed.
Students learn about the five stages of readiness to change from the Transtheoretical Model for Behavior Change: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance. If someone is in the pre-contemplation stage, they have no intention of exercising and do not believe the benefits outweigh the negatives. Most people who sign up for the class are in the contemplation phase, however. They want to be fitter and healthier, but every time they try, something prevents them from progressing through the preparation, action and ultimately, maintenance stages.
Students review websites that promote health, fitness and behavior change, and they share ideas with classmates in an online discussion forum. People really open up and share personal feelings and experiences. There is a great sense of community and camaraderie.
We ask the students to complete a personal time study. They regularly report how active they are over 24 hours. People are always shocked when they see it on paper. The bare naked truth staring them right in the face!
This is not a required course in the Personal Trainer Certification program, but it would certainly add to a trainer’s bag of tricks. The course addresses some of the psychology of motivation and behavior change. A trainer who takes this course to better himself or herself will be better equipped to show empathy, warmth, and genuineness toward a client.
This class is for anyone, regardless of your stage of personal improvement. You can sign up for EXS123 Online at GCC. You’ll be glad you did!