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 Training & Fitness Programs: Concerns Over Compulsiveness  
 
Are you a compulsive, task-oriented individual? For many of us such behavior is natural, simply our normal way of life. I have always been that way, the old all or nothing attitude. Whether I'm exercising or working in the garden, it's always the same approach. Go as hard as I can until the task is complete. When I was younger, this process proved satisfactory, but with age I have attempted to address my physical activities more sensibly.

Let's begin with a brief self-assessment to see if this column has any practical application to your life. Please respond to the following statements as best describes your typical behavior.

  Yes No
1. Once I begin mowing the lawn, I keep going until I finish the job. ___ ___
2. Once I start raking leaves in the yard I stay with it until the lawn is leafless. ___ ___
3. Once I start cultivating the garden, I keep hoeing until every weed is history. ___ ___
4. When I ride the exercise cycle, I pedal until my pre- determined training time is attained, no matter how fatigued I feel. ___ ___
5. When I do my strength training workout, I complete all of my predetermined repetitions, even if I have to compromise form on the last few reps. ___ ___
6. When I take a run, I never slow down or walk even though it would be better to do so. ___ ___

If you answered yes to three or more of these statements, then you are probably a task-oriented individual who may benefit from the following information.

Here's the final test. Imagine that it's December and the forecast is for 12 inches of snow. It's Saturday and there are some good college football games on television. Here are your choices:

  Yes No
(a) You quickly go to the store and purchase a snowblower. ___ ___
(b) You contract with the teenager next door to shovel your driveway. ___ ___
(c) You wait until all the snow has fallen (and all the games are over) so that you shovel only once. ___ ___
(d) You shovel the driveway whenever four inches of snow accumulates. ___ ___
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 About The Author
Wayne Westcott PhDWayne L. Westcott, Ph.D., is fitness research director at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, MA. He is strength training consultant for numerous national organizations, such as the American Council on Exercise, the......more
 
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