Exercise and Theory of Planned Behaviour

Approximately 2-3 weeks ago, I made a decision to try and increase the amount of exercise I was doing and to keep track of it.  This isn’t new for me, I’ve done it before (and in fact, I’ve even blogged about it on here), and I’ll probably do it again.  But this time round, I decided to do it because I was heading into the busiest time of the semester. I know from personal history that when the assignments, group presentations, and thesis components all start to pile up health and fitness takes a back seat.

The good thing about studying psychology though is that I know about the theory of planned behaviour (TPB).  TPB is all about increasing the likelihood of you achieving a goal if you take control of your decisions, plan your actions, identify risks/excuses, get support from others/tell other people about what you’re doing.  I’m also fully aware of the psychological benefits of exercise – improved memory and cognitive functioning.  Two things I REALLY need to get through masters!

So I’ll try to check in weekly (most likely on Wednesdays) with a brief update of how the week has gone. At the moment, I’m doing a combo of Beachbody’s Turbo Fire at home, with the occasional weights session (Les Mills Body Pump) at the gym.

Turbo Fire sessions are either called Fire or HIIT.  Fire workouts tend to be longer, and have a few ‘fire drills’ i.e. 1 min bursts of high-intensity workouts included, whereas HIIT ones are shorter, and are literally high intensity the entire time.  Body Pump is a full body cardio/weights workout that goes for 1 hour.

So my first check in.  The previous week went exactly as planned.  I’m not entirely following the Turbo Fire schedule 100%, I’m rearranging the workouts to suit my weekly schedule, so this made it much more achievable.  So for example:

  • On Thursday and Fridays when I have to go to uni, I reduce the time required to workout.
  • On Mondays when I work, I also do a shorter workout.
  • Pump classes are on Tues, Sat or Sun so I just plan that around my other activities. I try to do 2 per week.
  • I leave the longest workouts for days when I’m at home e.g. Wed and Sat.

Even though I started increasing my exercise around mid-April, this was the first week I managed to do 6 days of exercise so I’m feeling very happy with myself.

Day/Date Planned Exercise Actual Exercise
Wed 10/05/2017 Fire 55 Fire 55
Thu 11/05/2017 HIIT 15 HIIT 15
Fri 12/05/2017 REST REST
Sat 13/05/2017 Fire 45 Fire 45
Sun 14/05/2017 Pump Pump
Mon 15/05/2017 HIIT 25 HIIT 25
Tue 16/05/2017 Pump Pump

 

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2 comments

  1. I’ve been juggling this theory in my mind about how much I should be subjecting myself to planned vs unplanned time. I am still trying out different ways to plan what I will likely follow through with

    1. yeah good point, the risk of overplanning is then failing to meet your plan, and then getting demotivated as a result. That’s why I’ve tried to plan exercise according to what’s achievable for me. But even then there’s a risk that if I miss a workout the demotivation will lead to a slippery slope of giving up.
      I think figure out what’s realistic for you and add some leeway. Like, for months I was doing 1-2 workouts a week, and then over the course of 4 months increased it to 4-5. I found that very doable.
      To be honest, I think what I’m trying to do now is unachievable for me in the long term. I’m just hoping to get into some good habits this month to survive uni madness, but longer term I think 4-5 will be my goal.
      Good luck with your own plans, would love to hear how you go. 🙂

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