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Motivating the unmotivated.

Barbara A. Brehm has written a book for fitness professionals struggling to motivate clients. While most people know they should exercise regularly, the percentage that do is small. How do you inspire people to work out? According to Brehm, author of Successful Fitness Motivation Strategies (Human Kinetics Publications; $29), you listen to them.

"Too often fitness professionals become caught up in the science of exercise prescription before getting a sense of who their clients are and what they might be searching for," states Brehm. Before you can set clients up with a program that will keep them coming back, you have to understand who they are and what they want. To do that you must listen to what they say.

"An important listening technique is empathetic listening with full awareness and an open mind--try to put yourself in the speaker's shoes," says Brehm. "Empathetic listening is essential when a conversation is important. When it is time to listen carefully, make a decision to do so. Set the stage and shift your mind into listening mode."

Brehm discusses how to assess individuals and their stage of change--precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action or maintenance--and how to proceed from there. "It makes sense that you would approach a client already convinced of the benefits of physical activity very differently from one who does not recognize the value of regular exercise and has no intention of becoming more active," she explains.

The book includes chapters on creating positive exercise experiences, working with the clinical population, motivational strategies for group-exercise leaders and strategies for fitness centers and health promotion programs.

To order Successful Fitness Motivation Strategies call (800) 747-4457 from the United States, (800) 465-7301 from Canada or visit

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Title Annotation:Fitness & Exercise
Publication:American Fitness
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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