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Sticking to an Exercise Program

Exercise programs are usually recommended for patients suffering from illnesses because it helps them remain physically fit or lose some weight. Sometimes it is challenging for a patient to stick to an exercise program. However, there are several strategies they can employ while exercising. The following are some of the techniques that one can use to make an exercise program meaningful: rewarding the efforts, setting goals, making them personal, and making them fit. This paper discusses how a patient can use learning theories to reward their efforts.

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The patient can reward their efforts if they strictly employ the following three learning theories: classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and observational learning. It should be noted that patients can only reward their efforts when they have accomplished an exercise program. One way a patient can reward their efforts is by the use of classical conditioning theory. According to Ivan Pavlov, a classical condition is a form of learning where a conditioned stimulus becomes associated with an unrelated unconditioned stimulus (Rehman et al., 2020). The combination produces a conditioned response. For instance, if the patient accompanies their friends when going to exercise, they would be excited to see colleagues the following day. The second method a patient can reward their efforts is by use of operant conditioning theory. Operant conditioning involves stimulus, which affects the effectiveness of the behavior (Guney & Al, 2012). For example, a patient learns how to punish themselves if they fail to complete an exercise, like denying themselves some privileges-not watching their favorite movies. In so doing, the patient would know how to stick to exercise strategies so that they do not miss it again, enhancing the exercise program’s effectiveness.

Lastly, social learning theory is where learning is acquired through imitation. Social learning theory suggests that people learn by observing others (Bandura & Hall, 2018). For example, if the patient sees others adhering to physical exercise and eventually lose weight, they can emulate and achieve similar results in the long run. Thus, social learning serves as a motivating factor for others. The three theories are vital in making a patient’s exercise program a success. The theories serve as reward techniques for motivating the patient to observe the strategies of an exercise program strictly.


Bandura, A., & Hall, P. (2018). Albert bandura and social learning theory. General Learning Press. Web.

Guney, A., & Al, S. (2012). Effective learning environments in relation to different learning theories. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2334-2338. Web.

Rehman, I., Mahabadi, N., Sanvictores, T., & Rehman, C. I. (2020). Classical conditioning. StatPearls. Web.

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