Is fitness your New Year's resolution? You need professional help

December 09, 2004

Hamilton, ON, Dec. 8, 2004 - If one of your New Year's resolutions is to start a fitness regimen, you might want to seek professional help. A study by McMaster University's Department of Kinesiology has found that people who are new to an exercise activity perform better when their goals are set by a fitness professional rather than by themselves.

In a study at McMaster University, exercisers were asked to perform a grip-strength task. After their first attempt, half of the participants set their own goal for the second exercise. The other half was assigned the goal of squeezing three more pounds. Exercisers who were assigned a goal reported greater confidence in their abilities than the group that set their own goals.

"When a fitness expert conveys goals to an exerciser, his or her vision can increase self-confidence in beginner exercisers by creating the belief that "if an expert thinks I can do it, then I must be able to do it,"" explains Kathleen Martin Ginis, associate professor of kinesiology. "This speaks to the important role health and fitness professionals might play in increasing confidence and motivation among people starting a new exercise program."

McMaster University, named Canada's Research University of the Year by Research InfoSource, has world-renowned faculty and state-of-the-art research facilities. McMaster's culture of innovation fosters a commitment to discovery and learning in teaching, research and scholarship. Based in Hamilton, the University has a student population of more than 20,000 and more than 112,000 alumni in 128 countries.
-end-
*** Kathleen Martin Ginis will be available for interviews Dec. 8-12 and after Dec. 17. ***
*** McMaster University will be closed Dec. 25 to Jan. 2. ***

McMaster University

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