Fitness motivation. It’s so hard. For most of us.
What I mean is that we know how beneficial and important exercise is, yet few of us commit to exercise regularly.
Or even if we commit to exercise, we drop out barely 6 months into the program…….
What’s the problem?
The buzz word – motivation.
We don’t have the motivation to exercise. Period.
Experts say there are 3 types of factors that affect our motivation.
Let’s cruise through them one by one.
1. Your Personal Factors
This has got to do with you and your perception about exercise.
I could think of a list of personal factors that could affect your motivation:
- Your past experience with exercise. If it isn’t good, you’ll shun away from doing exercise. Bad experience could be because you injure yourself big time or you become “sick” after exercising
- Your feeling on the value of exercise. If you feel that it’s a waste of time to exercise, then automatically, you can’t get yourself off the couch to do it
- Your exercise technique. If you do the correct technique, you feel good about the whole thing. The opposite applies if you’re clumsy and do it wrong
- Your perception of the exercise you’re doing – Easy? Hard? Uncomfortable? Enjoyable? The way you perceive exercise can either make or break your program
- Your typical barriers to exercise or should I say excuse? (such as travel, illness, time, inconvenience, no gym… etc.)
- Your own personal motivation level – how motivated are you to exercise?
2. Exercise Factors
This concerns the exercise itself.
Do you cringe just thinking about the exercise you’re going to do?
Or do you look forward to doing the exercise?
Is it convenient to do the exercise? You’d be surprised that time of day, number of sessions per week, timed programs, availability of equipments, accessibility to facilities, transport…..and etc can put you on or off, to exercise.
Does the exercise deliver the right level of intensity so that it’s challenging to you?
Do you feel bored doing the exercise because it’s the same old same old type, “week” in “week” out?
3. External Factors
This concerns with your external environment, for which the circumstances or situations are sometimes beyond your control.
External/environmental factors such as these could trigger a low-level motivation:
- Your level of comfort with the location where you’re supposed to do exercise
- Your ability to accommodate for weather changes (such as when bad weather strikes, you can easily switch to exercise indoor instead of outdoor; exercise at home Vs exercise at the gym)
- Your support network – family members, friends, exercise buddies are important to provide the support and “nudge on”
From these 3 types of factors, if you can single out what bothers you, what you aren’t in sync with and what you aren’t comfortable about, then I think you can narrow down the odds of dropping out and finally get on to the right kind of fitness motivation.
And exercise. And stick to the program for long.