348. Sustainable Exercise with Michelle Segar

Are you prioritizing quick fixes over lasting joy in our pursuit of health and wellness? With a focus on promoting long-term health behavior changes rather than short-lived fitness programs that quickly lose momentum, we welcome award-winning researcher and sustainable-change coach Michelle Segar. We are honored to interview Michelle, who is the author of the acclaimed book, The Joy Choice: How to Finally Achieve Lasting Changes in Eating and Exercise. Her thirty years of expertise and science-backed research are sure to inspire and enlighten anyone looking to make positive, sustainable changes in their health and lifestyle.

Listen and Learn: 

  • The main reasons people give for wanting to engage in exercise and health behaviors and why they can get us into trouble
  • Reasons that would be more effective in helping you get active
  • The limitations of habit formation when it comes to changing complex behaviors like exercise
  • Permitting yourself to prioritize self-care
  • How perfection can become problematic 
  • Practical strategies for incorporating sustainable exercise into your life 


About Michelle Segar

Michelle Segar, Ph.D. is an award-winning, NIH-funded researcher at the University of Michigan with thirty years studying how to help people adopt exercise and other self-care behaviors in ways that can be sustained within the unpredictability of the real world. Her research on creating sustainable change is widely recognized as uniquely pragmatic for real-world applications. An advisor to the World Health Organization on their global physical activity initiatives, Michelle was also selected to be the inaugural chair of the United States National Physical Activity Plan’s Communication Committee. She consults with leading organizations, including Kaiser Permanente, Walmart, WW, Anytime Fitness, Adidas, and Business Group on Health. Michelle’s synergistic combination of academic research with real-world sustainable-change curriculum design and coaching permit her to create engaging and practical sustainable-change systems for digital health and individual coaching/counseling. She certifies professionals in her sustainable-change methods and licenses them to large organizations. Michelle is frequently interviewed about how to help consumers and patients change their mindsets, cultivate lasting motivation and sustainable physical activity in major media outlets including The New York Times, NPR, The Atlantic, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Prevention, Real Simple, and TIME. Michelle’s training and experience is uniquely comprehensive, including a doctorate in Psychology (PhD), a master’s degree in Health Behavior/Health Education (MPH), a master’s degree in Kinesiology (MS) and fellowships in translational research and health care policy from the University of Michigan. She ran with the Olympic Torch at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

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Episode 348