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How Do You Get the Motivation to Exercise?

How Do You Get the Motivation to Exercise?

Having a good relationship with exercise will motivate you more

If the thought of exercise sends you back under the covers in search of an excuse not to get up and go, check out our tips to give you a bit more motivation.

Perhaps you lack energy, don’t feel too well, don’t like getting sweaty, or worse—feel intimidated by exercise. Whatever the reason, if you don’t enjoy exercise, you are less likely to stick with any fitness program.

On the flip side, unfortunately, research consistently shows that leading a sedentary lifestyle is detrimental to your health. And that leads to all kinds of far more annoying complications. 

Professionals in the world of exercise-psychology refer to the ability to overcome these negative feelings as cognitive dissociation. In layman’s terms, this means a mental disconnect from what your body is telling you. Boredom is a common reason cited for not keeping up with a fitness regime. Essentially, your chosen exercise has failed to stimulate a positive reaction; therefore, a psychological stimulus is required to overcome this feeling. 

Take running for example. I would rather pull out my fingernails than run on a treadmill, but even if you like treadmills, staring at a blank wall is still unlikely to create a positive experience. Doing the same thing surrounded by motivational posters and with a television or magazine for distraction may enhance the experience. Going one step further: running on a treadmill among other people at a gym may motivate you more. Sharing the experience with other people also makes you accountable. If indoor exercise doesn’t work, try adding some eye candy by running outside at a favourite place like the beach or a park. Add music and maybe a dog or a running buddy to push you along.

Running isn't the only form of exercise. Like walking, it is simply just the most accessible for the least effort. There are heaps of other great (and better) full body exercise options - rowing, paddle boarding, swimming. Maybe you are motivated by building a skill.

Doing anything repetitively will generally result in boredom; doing something you are interested in may motivate you to want to do more. Think about what genuinely interests you and build yourself a game plan. You will be more likely to stick to it.

Image: Shutterstock


Is it time to change your relationship with exercise? – Craig Harper – TheFoodCoach

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