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Jacobs Institute of Women's Health
Milken Institute School of Public Health
The George Washington University
950 New Hampshire Ave., NW, 6th Floor
Washington, DC  20052
Liz Borkowski, MPH
Managing Director
202.994-0034

 

Events > Pleasure Principle

The Pleasure Principle: Women, Exercise and Motivation
December 12, 2000

Michelle Segar described cultural barriers that keep women from exercising regularly and outlined a program to address those barriers.

Barriers:

  • Maintaining a relationship can take over "self care." Free time is dedicated to taking care of others' needs.
  • Before Title IX was enacted in 1972, girls and young women generally were not encouraged to participate in sports or physical activities and had few opportunities to do so.
  • Media images of very thin women may spur women to take up exercise but actually hinder them from continuing to exercise when they don't achieve the "perfect" figure as a result.

Solution:

  • Create a personalized meaning for exercise, one you enjoy, feel motivate to do, and is all about giving in to yourself.
  • Become aware of the beliefs and expectations about exercise that prevent you from deriving pleasure and/or from doing it.
  • Give yourself permission to change beliefs that hinder your enjoyment of physical activity and to make self-care activities a high priority.
  • Experiment with new activities and "try on" new attitudes. Learn new skills for activities that will be fun.

After 5-14 months, Ms. Segar found that participants in this exercise program had increased their amounts of light exercise over a long period.

Speaker: Michelle Segar, MS, MPH, President, The National Center for Women and Wellness

 
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