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UBCO health and exercise researchers win national grant

UBC School of Health and Exercise Sciences assistant professors Mary Jung and Jonathan Little have received $277,000 from the Canadian Institute of Health Research to continue their research on helping people continue personal exercise programs.

Mary Jung

As many of Canadians have experienced, sticking to an exercise plan can be difficult. Traditional exercise plans are often lengthy, costly and require substantial commitment from participants.

Jonathan Little

The research team combines Jung’s expertise in health and exercise psychology and Little’s in high-intensity interval training to research a counselling program that will promote lasting success. The program consists of two weeks of exercise counselling with time-efficient high-intensity interval training (HIT).

“Rather than telling people to just start exercising, we are teaching them how to self-regulate exercise so that they can exercise on their own for years to come,” says Jung. “Our participants learn key self-regulatory skills including goal-setting and learning how to self-monitor their progress.”

Forty Okanagan residents participated in the pilot study in 2013 with promising findings.

“Time is the number one reported barrier to exercise,” says Little. “We said ‘let’s remove that barrier’, and make it time efficient.”

The key is in the combination: Manageable short bursts of activity partnered with two weeks of counselling means participants become their own trainers.

“It is so rewarding to bring participants back in at regular intervals and see the success they have experienced as independent exercisers,” says Jung. “We get to say ‘you did that all on your own’.”

To participate in the upcoming study email allyssa.costerton-grant@ubc.ca.

 

 

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