The Ultimate Exercise Goal — ACE’s Mover Method Helps Achieve Behavioral Change

Summary: Global statistics demonstrate that an increasing number of people are overweight, sedentary, and in danger of developing several illnesses. Most of these can be averted by changing unhealthy living patterns. While many quick courses promise healthier bodies, the practices picked up during these are not sustained over the long term. To achieve lasting behavioral change that enables individuals to stay healthy throughout life, ACE has the ACE Mover Method. The evidence-based, client-centered program focuses on developing sustainable healthy habits specific to client goals. It has been incorporated into existing ACE Training Programs and is constantly updated to include the latest research in the field.

Why: The need for behavioral change

According to WHO, in 2016, around 39% of individuals were overweight. On the contrary, less than 5% of adults perform 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Further, many individuals begin exercise and fitness plans with great motivation, only to give up a quarter of the way in.

Why? Everyone is aware of the wide-ranging health benefits of regular exercise as well as of the negative consequences of being overweight. The barrage of diseases related to obesity is common knowledge. Yet, more than a quarter of the global adult population is inadequately active because beginning and sustaining fitness routines is difficult. A healthy physique can be maintained only by achieving behavioral change that leads to a sustained alteration in lifestyle.

How: The ACE Solution

The American Council of Exercise (ACE), a nonprofit organization that certifies health coaches and exercise professionals, has launched the ACE Mover Method: a philosophy for training exercise professionals and health coaches worldwide to help drive behavioral change in their communities. The ACE Mover Method is an evidence-based, research-driven concept with the goal of encouraging steps towards a healthier lifestyle in ordinary people through a personalized journey.

ACE believes that individuals are capable of change and have the potential to make consistently healthier choices. It emphasizes sustained approaches to bring about lasting lifestyle changes (that continue after specific training or exercise programs ended) rather than immediate successes or short-term results.

The ACE Mover Method emphasizes that individuals are the foremost experts on themselves. The client-centered method works by following the ABC approach. First, it includes Asking open-ended questions to help clearly identify the client’s aims and aspirations from the program. Second, Breaking down barriers. This stage involves probing by asking questions tailored to discovering any and all potential obstacles that might come in the way of the client achieving their goal. Third, Collaborating, under which client and health coach/exercise professional collaborate to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals and plan specific actions steps to achieve the same.

Why: Can the ABC Approach really work?

The ACE Mover Method works because of its emphasis on the correct factors for driving behavioral change. Its client-centered approach is supported by a literature review which found that emphasis on the client, goal-setting, and self-monitoring techniques are crucial to maintaining healthy behaviors. Further, a study found that individuals high on self-efficacy view challenging exercises as doable. In line with this, the ACE Mover Method focuses on developing self-efficacy in clients to boost their confidence, which helps maintain the exercise routine over time.

To spread the ACE Mover Method and benefit as many individuals as possible, ACE has created specialized behavioral change programs and incorporated it into its existing training programs for personal trainers, health coaches, weight management, and diabetes prevention.

At the core of the ACE Mover Method and the ABC Approach are Motivational Interviewing and Active Listening Strategies. Researchers across the fitness and related health communities have endorsed these methods as effective strategies for implementing and achieving lasting change in lifestyle habits. To keep up the robustness of their program and constantly improve it to bring about behavioral change in even better ways, ACE continues to pursue the newest research and standards in exercise and allied domains. New strategies found to be effective are introduced as teaching techniques to their vast network of professionals.

With awareness about the advantages of healthier lifestyles constantly growing, many people are looking to inculcate healthier habits into their lifestyles. ACE’s Mover Method, backed by detailed planning and ACE’s past performance as an NCCA-accredited organization, is bound to help achieve the same.