Carolyn Phillips: 5 Psychological Stages Of Change For Physical Fitness

Fit-inista Carolyn Phillips– our on air personal trainer– is back with more tips to get you in shape and what you need to do to stay that way!

There’s five phases that people go through in order to get ready to exercise, and this week Carolyn breaks down these five psychological stages of change for physical fitness.

1. Pre-Contemplation Stage

This is the stage of doing nothing.  If somebody suggests you do something, you deny it or you ignore the advice.

2. The Contemplation Stage

Here is where you start to say ‘I should…’ Maybe you’re starting to feel that your pants are a bit too tight, or you’re feeling sluggish.  At this stage, you should set up some goals to take you out of this stage.

3. Preparation

This is the planning stage.  At this point, you really should reach out to professionals, maybe someone at a gym, or a personal trainer or a doctor, to give you some information on where you can actually get started.

4.  Action Stage

Action is the hardest stage to start, and the hardest to stay in– only 20% of people maintain a fitness program… most people go back to one of the earlier stages.  The key here is to take a big picture look at your lifestyle and figure out what stage you’re chronically in, that prevents you from moving forward.  Once your obstacles are clear and visible, they are easier to overcome.

5. Maintenance

You need to keep your program fresh, have a good support system and elevate the value of what exercise and feeling good means to you, so you can stay in that action stage without moving back.  Lots of people will come in to a gym for about two months, then they’re done– and the big issue with this is, the 8 week mark is typically when you start to see positive results.  Some people want it faster, quicker or their lives change, but if you can stick with it you’ll see a great outcome.

For more from Carolyn Phillips, check out, or for all things stretching, life, love and happiness, go to Carolyn’s blog at

More from Damon Scott

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