Health Behavior Change & Motivation

Helping individuals adopt and maintain healthy behaviors is an essential skill for health fitness practitioners. Proposals should focus on strategies and techniques based on the latest research in psychology and behavior change. Topics include adoption and maintenance of health behaviors, motivation, communication and goal setting.

Health and Fitness Journal Article of the Year: Promoting Physical Activity for Mental Well-being

Special Lecture
April 2
12:00-1:00 PM CDT


 Stephanie Cooper

ACSM’s Publications Committee is pleased to highlight the excellent content its journals are publishing and acknowledges authors whose exemplary work provides readers with unique scientific and practical content. The editorial team of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal® has selected “Promoting Physical Activity for Mental Well-Being,” by Stephanie L. Cooper, Ph.D., ACSM-CEP, as the 2020 Paper of the Year.

This lecture will highlight the importance of utilizing physical activity as a way to enhance mental well-being. Attendees will gain a foundational understanding of the impact of single and multiple bouts of physical activity on psychological outcomes (e.g., anxiety, depression, suicidality), and be equipped with strategies to promote physical activity as part of a multi-faceted approach to sustaining or improving mental well-being.  

Bringing it all Together: Avoiding Bias, Evidence-based Behavior Change Strategies and Best Practices for Participants Carrying Extra Body Weight

Interactive Workshop
April 2
1:00-2:30 PM CDT


Sara Kovacs

How often have you heard someone say “If this exercise is too hard, here is an easier option”? This session will focus on avoiding bias and stigmatizing language that can diminish self-efficacy for exercise in adults who are carrying extra body weight. We will focus on person-first language, best practices for progressing adults with extra body weight through an exercise prescription and an overview of behavior change strategies that promote self-efficacy and motivation. This hands-on session will include an opportunity to develop a progressive exercise program for specific exercises (abdominal exercises, balance exercises, cardiovascular exercises, etc.) and case study scenarios.

Be Well NOW! Building Tools NOW for a Lifetime of Happiness

Interactive Workshop
April 3
8:00-9:30 AM CDT


Amy Bidwell

In today’s “new normal,” individuals’ resilience and positivity are tested daily. Be Well NOW! is a personal wellness program aimed to increase happiness, improve social and emotional wellbeing and enhance resilience. Be Well NOW! utilizes daily habit-tracking, weekly SMART goal setting, journaling, positive psychology, and motivational interviewing to help individuals live a happier, more fulfilling life NOW! Implementing programs that focus on disseminating knowledge is not enough to help people make a change. In order for a lasting change to occur, new behaviors must be adopted. Be Well NOW provides participants with the tools needed to create a lasting change.

Coaching & Communication Strategies for Delivering Self-Determined Results

Interactive Workshop
April 2
5:00-6:30 PM CDT
More than 80% of the population does not meet the ACSM guidelines for aerobic and muscle strengthening activities. What do we do when some people resist the idea of exercise and others find little benefit when they exercise? In this session we’ll explore the idea of exercise resistance and discuss the reasons why people say they can’t or won’t exercise. Then we’ll take a look at potential solutions to the increasing problem of physical inactivity.


Vanessa Kercher


Danielle Doyle

Registration is Open!

Program Tracks