Why is workout motivation often missing?
This is a good warm-up question. Plenty of studies have been conducted to find the answer and hundreds of people of all ages have been involved as subjects. What are the results?
Your workout motivation is mostly affected by your previous experience. If your previous workouts were difficult, exhausting and boring – you do not have a clear impulse to engage in the same activity again.
Another interesting conclusion implies that our bodies are hard-wired to minimize effort to reduce energy use. When exercising, some people need to virtually fight against themselves. Making an effort and getting tired is not easy, even if we are ultimately rewarded with an energy boost and a better mood.
A motivation slump may also result from unclear goals you set for yourself at the outset of your workout plan.
Let’s get back to the basic question – where do you find long-term and unfailing workout motivation?
- Pick an activity that you really like
This is the key to success. How long will you be able to force yourself to work out at the gym when in fact you hate everything about it? Since your body is constantly looking for ways to reduce effort, it will always try to derail your exercise plans.
Therefore, your first step should be to check out various types of physical activity. Use our browser to find potential physical activity options close to where you live. Maybe you feel immensely satisfied after a swimming session, dance class, some rock climbing, running or a visit to a trampoline park? You should associate your workout sessions with fun, with some time just for you and with something you should feel happy about. Losing weight and strengthening your muscles should only be treated as a welcome side effect.
- Set your goals
Are you dreaming of being slim, strong and agile or would you simply like to improve your mood? Physical activity is known to have a beneficial effect on both the body and the mind. Identify your priorities. If that is a problem, work with a personal trainer who will help you to determine what you want to achieve.
- Who do you enjoy working out with?
Do you prefer to work out in a group or on your own? Would you rather develop you own training plan or enlist the help of a professional trainer? Deciding on what matters to you will determine the level of your motivation.
- Do not try to bite off more than you can chew
This means that you should avoid taking on workouts which are simply too demanding. Take little baby steps towards your goals to succeed and stay motivated for months.
- Be clear about the benefits
Did you know that if you work out regularly, you simply have to lie around on the sofa (and e.g. watch a series) from time to time? Your body needs to regenerate, so resting becomes a pleasure you can indulge in with no guilty feelings. When you exercise, you can eat some more calories and plan your diet differently. Moreover, if you are physically active, you will feel better, have more energy and be more eager to work.
- A workout as your personal time
In a world which never lets us rest from social media, work duties and daily chores, physical activity becomes a time when you can leave all of that behind. Running is a good opportunity to listen to music, podcasts or audiobooks. If you go swimming, you can leave your mobile in your locker and disappear for an hour. No e-mails or calls. That’s simply priceless, isn’t it?
- Sport is a chance to be with other people
As long as that is what you want. If so, you can make new friends at the gym or spend some time working out with a group, which can help to boost your mood. Especially after the recent string of lockdowns.
- Physical activity has a very beneficial effect on the brain
The human brain has been scientifically proven to love sports. According to Kaja Nordengen’s book The Exercising Brain or How to Keep your Brain Fit: “Physical exercise increases brain plasticity, also by stimulating the creation of new blood vessels and neurons”. How does that relate to your workout motivation? It is about realizing that you are doing yourself a favor by exercising. It enables you to develop in many different areas and that is certainly something you want to do!
Is this motivating enough? Or maybe you have any ideas of your own?
- Exercise motivation: a cross-sectional analysis examining its relationships with frequency, intensity, and duration of exercise, https://ijbnpa.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1479-5868-7-7, [stan na: 29.07.2022]
- Theories to Explain Exercise Motivation and Physical Inactivity: Ways of Expanding Our Current Theoretical Perspective, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01147/full, [stan na: 29.07.2022]
- Exercise, physical activity, and self-determination theory: A systematic review, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3441783/, [stan na: 29.07.2022]
- Powrót do aktywności po przerwie, https://open.spotify.com/episode/2WUbhz4YKsAJDCdvUE9BPH, [stan na: 29.07.2022]