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What Motivates You to Exercise?

Posted Aug 26 2008 4:34pm

It's safe to say that Men'sHealth magazine is one of my all-time favorites. I pretty much read every article. And, Women'sHealth mag ain't half bad either (men should read this mag for reliable information about women). Anyway.......I saw an article in MH that had information I already knew about---but it attached some technical words to layman's language. It's not that you don't want to exercise. The New Year's fitness resolution dies by the end of February because you had the wrong motivation for working out. So, I'll interpret MH's technical exercise motivation language and it'll be clear what motivations will make our exercise habits a lifestyle habit...

1) AMOTIVATION - You don't really have a reason to work "whatever dude." Your workouts won't last long.

2) EXTERNAL REGULATION - You're motivated to workout because other people like the way you look when you're in shape, but no internal motivation exist. How long do you think you'll be able to please people? Then what will motivate you?

3)INTROJECTED REGULATION - You feel bad about yourself when you don't workout. This is a type of motivation, but its based on negative motivations.

4) IDENTIFIED REGULATION - You workout because its good for your health and lifestyle. This is a very positive behavior and will lead to permanent lifestyle changes.

5) INTRINSIC MOTIVATION - You workout because you enjoy it! Probably the best motivation of all.

In my opinion, a combination of the motivations listed in numbers 3 through 5 lead to permanent lifestyle changes (with heavier weight attached to numbers 4 and 5). And, the motivation listed in number 2 will probably be mixed in somehow.

I'll answer this question before you ask. What motivates you Mark? I have worked out seriously since I was in high school. Back then, I worked out because I enjoyed it and I wanted to look good for the girls. I didn't really think about the health benefits of exercise. Now, as a personal trainer, the health benefits of exercise are a priority, but the enjoyment is probably what still motivates me to exercise. On those days when I say to myself, "I don't want to exercise," I still do it because I enjoy it. And, my appearance is the fringe benefit of a healthy lifestyle.

So, what motivates you to exercise?

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