On the Move to Physical Activity

What is it?

The On the Move to Physical Activity Tool is a series of checklists that will help people identify:

what fitness benefits they find motivating,
what barriers keep them from being physically active,
what lifestyle priorities affect their sports activities, and
what sports activities meet their needs.
You can work with an individual or a group to complete these checklists, or you can give them to individuals to fill out at home.

How will it help me get people active?

People need practical strategies that are customized to their needs. This Tool will give them the opportunity to identify what their particular needs are, what motivates them to move, and how they can fit sports into their lifestyle.

Because not all facilities have volunteers or staff available for one-on-one counselling, this self-help resource can guide people into examining what holds them back and what motivates them.

When could I use it?

Use this Tool as a handout when people express an interest in a sport, but you cannot work with them one-on-one.
Send it out as a marketing tool with information about your sports facility or program.
Have it available at open houses or community events.
Use it with a group at the beginning of a session.
For Example…

Janet, an instructor with a curling club, helps to translate the hopes of newly active participants into specific action. At the beginning of the season, she hands out copies of the On the Move to Physical Activity Tool and asks everyone to fill it out at home. At the next class, she takes a few minutes to discuss the results and to answer questions. In Janet’s experience, when participants honestly identify barriers to participating and practising, they are more likely to find ways to minimize them. As a result, attendance is more regular and there are fewer drop-outs.

Other useful ToolKit Tools

Check it Out helps people choose sports that they prefer.
Moving Beyond the Barriers helps people overcome obstacles to being physically active.
Take That First Step lets people think about their first activity and reward themselves for taking the first step to fitness. Use Take That First Step with Try It and Goal Tending to help someone move through the behavioural change process.
Suggested format

Photocopy this Tool and use it as a handout for participants or potential participants.

Score your responses

To identify your barriers to physical fitness, add the numbers that you circled for each of the three questions in each of the seven categories listed here. Enter the numbers in the spaces provided. If you score higher than four in a barrier category, then you need to find a solution to that barrier.

Removing barriers

Here are some suggestions for removing barriers.

I don’t have time. Start with just ten minutes of activity three times a day. Schedule it, like you would a meeting. Use the stairs instead of the elevator or take a walking break instead of a coffee break.

My family and friends don’t exercise. Take your family for a walk in the park. Instead of watching your children play, play with them. Instead of putting the dog in the yard, take the dog for a walk.

I’m too tired. Schedule exercise for the time of day when you have more energy. Once you start, you’ll have more energy. You can even bend and stretch in front of the television in the evening.

I can’t be bothered. Plan ahead. Remember, all you need is just ten minutes of activity three times a day. Walk while you talk on the telephone. March in place while you watch television.

I am afraid of getting hurt. No matter what your age or condition, there is always a place to start. Try activities that you already enjoy without fear of injury like walking or gardening

I don’t think I can do it. Yes, you can. Try something you think you might like—once. And keep trying activities until you find one that you enjoy.

I can’t afford it. It’s easy to be physically fit without spending a cent: walking, gardening, and playing with your family are free! If you want fitness equipment, start by buying used equipment.
This is a good time to get some support—from a fitness instructor or a friend who has an active
lifestyle—to think of ways to minimize barriers and increase the activity in your life.

Identifying your lifestyle priorities

There’s a suitable recreation activity for everyone. You just need to find the one that suits you—your personality and your lifestyle. Thinking about your lifestyle needs, check all the items that are important to you.

Finding the right activity

Write down some of things that you’ve just learned about yourself. Keeping those in mind, check all the activities that you think you would like to try. Remember, you only have to try it once to see if you like it.

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