Are You Confident Enough to Exercise?

Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise DVD Videos

Most people are aware of the link between exercise and better health. So, why are over half of the population not sufficiently active and suffering from preventable health problems such as overweight and obesity?

The answer can be explained by many variables including individual, environmental, and cultural factors to name a few. However, have you ever considered the importance of a persons self-confidence in first, participating in exercise, and second, sustaining it over a period of time to reap the benefits?

Research shows that this factor is essential to successful physical activity behavior change. Self-confidence is a person's belief in their ability to successfully perform a certain task or establish a positive habit to bring about a desired outcome. Importantly, a person's confidence level in regard to performing exercise has been shown to have a significant impact on a persons success in changing exercise habits. A persons confidence level towards successfully performing exercise behaviors can easily be measured by having the person rate their confidence on a 10 point scale, with 1 being the lowest (not confident) and 10 being the highest (very confident).

Why a persons confidence level may be too low to exercise regularly? may lack the knowledge about what type of exercise could improve their health condition. This may contribute to the individual not feeling confident about exercise participation as they may have reservations about the safety of exercise not being able to participate properly due to their condition.

Some practical ways that seniors can improve their confidence regarding exercise may include:

  • Asking their doctor for information, training, guidance or referring to an Accredited Exercise Physiologist

  • Find an exercise class to see how other people, similar to them, have achieved successful results through exercise for example, patients with chronic conditions. An explanation of the small steps that the older adult can take  may also help.

  • Seek to improve your physical or emotional state before attempting exercise. For example, find help to overcome any anxiety you may have about exercise participation.

Next time you intend to participate in a new health behavior, such as exercise, consider the power of self-confidence in assisting you to achieve successful outcomes.


Bandura, A., (2004). Health Promotion by Social Cognitive means. Health education and behavior, 31(2), 143-164