No Sweat

How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness

 No Sweat

Author: Michelle Segar
Pub Date: June 2015
Print Edition: $16.95
Print ISBN: 9780814434857
Page Count: 272
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814434864

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How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness

Widely associated with pain and punishment, “exercise” is right up there with “diet” on the list of loathsome should dos for our health. Thanks to physicians who prescribe a strict regimen of intense workouts and fitness trainers who act like drill sergeants, many people think that exercise doesn’t “count” unless they put in at least an hour at the gym every day, pushing their bodies until they’re drenched in sweat and utterly spent. No wonder we’re a nation of couch potatoes.

A researcher and expert on behavioral sustainability who’s also a self-care coach, Michelle Segar, Ph.D., has uncovered a much more powerful motivator for exercising than health messages and “take your medicine” mandates. As she reveals in her path breaking book, NO SWEAT: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness (AMACOM 2015), people of all ages, body shapes, and fitness levels are more likely to start and keep on exercising when exercise is easy to do and truly enjoyable.

“Human beings are hardwired to choose immediate gratification over benefits we have to wait to receive,” Dr. Segar notes, citing research to back why having fun doing a physical activity trumps the future payoff of weight loss, improved health, and longevity. As recent scientific findings also show, movement intensity does not have to be “vigorous” to make a positive health impact. Plus, a leisurely stroll, gardening, and house cleaning all “count” as exercise and add up, even when done for minutes. “The scientific community has given us the green light to accumulate the physical activities we do throughout our day,” declares Dr. Segar, “instead of having to do it all at once.”

Making exercise appealing and doable, NO SWEAT presents a life-centered, real-world fitness model. Instead of being instructed on how they should exercise, readers will be guided through discovering the kind of physical activity they want to do—whether yoga, swimming, tennis, riding bikes around the neighborhood, or dancing around the house. To help readers get moving toward embracing movement, Dr. Segar shares her MAPS program, which builds on a foundation of four core principles and practices:

• Meaning: Break free of negative associations with exercise, let go of should dos for body shape or health, and focus on the Right Whys to motivate a lasting commitment to rewarding, manageable physical activity.

• Awareness: Get in touch their feelings about exercise, choose to move in ways that feel good, acknowledge that everything (taking the stairs, a five-minute walk) counts—and count everything, and transform exercise from a chore into a gift.

• Permission: Recognize the self-harming symptoms of “caretakeritis,” prioritize their daily self-care needs, and revel in the power of movement to fuel positive emotions, clarity of mind, and energy for what they care about most.

• Strategy: Adjust to everyday realities and calmly negotiate challenges to their exercise plans, rebound from stress and setbacks, place consistency first, and sustain a physical movement habit for the pure joy of it, as well as health rewards.

Throughout the MAPS process, readers will find self-probing exercises, creative ideas, simple techniques, and inspiring real-life stories to help them stay on track. With NO SWEAT, keeping a commitment to exercise becomes easy—and a wonderful choice!

About the Author

MICHELLE SEGAR, PH.D., motivation scientist and author of No Sweat! How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness is the leading authority on what motivates people to choose and maintain healthy behaviors. Pioneering new approaches to sustainable behavior change in the fitness, health, and wellness arenas, Segar is Director of the Sport, Health, and Activity Research and Policy Center (SHARP) at the University of Michigan, and Chair of the U.S. National Physical Activity Plan’s Communications Committee. Her 360-degree perspective is informed by more than two decades of award-winning research, individual fitness coaching, and consulting, uniquely positioning her to help organizations understand and leverage the emotional drivers and internal rewards of consumers’ health decisions. Her expertise has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Elle, Prevention, and other major media. She lives in Ann Arbor. You can find more information about the author at her website

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