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Jacobs Institute of Women’s Health
409 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-2188
Phone: (202) 863-4990
Fax: (202) 488-4229

 

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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