Counseling Middle-Aged Women About Physical Activity Using the Stages of Change

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PurposeTo discuss application of the Stages of Change theoretical framework and provide clinical tips on exercise adherence among midlife women. Included is a checklist to assist the nurse practitioner (NP) in effectively delivering the message.Data SourcesReview of the current scientific literature on exercise adherence and the Stages of change model.ConclusionsMiddle-aged women comprise a unique population. Determining the woman's readiness for change using the Stages of Change model, NPs can routinely include appropriate exercise recommendations in their practices.Implications for PracticeNurse practitioners are in a unique position to promote healthy behaviors by counseling women in midlife about adopting an active lifestyle. Exercise counseling is an essential component of healthcare, especially among middle-aged women who are experiencing physical, emotional, and social changes.

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