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Motivating Ideas for Exercise

Posted Jun 29 2011 10:49am

Kevin and I have an exercise routine!  That is the first step in getting motivated to exercise on a weekly basis, have some kind of routine.  Sometimes we play squash, sometimes we take hikes and sometimes we just go to the gym and workout.  Lately, due to little nagging injuries, we’ve been working out at the gym 3 to 5 times a week and not playing squash.

Our workouts are 3o minutes of aerobics followed by 3o minutes of free weights or core muscle exercises.  It’s not really exciting, and I’d rather be playing squash because my idea of exercise is doing something fun and physical.   Working out at the gym for an hour just doesn’t keep me motivated so in order to keep me motivated I like to play some psychological mind games to me going.

Most of the time I’ll tell myself that I really won’t do anything for the full 30 minute time allotment.  I’ll set the stairmaster to 30 minutes but I’ll tell myself I’ll really stop at 25.  Right?  Wrong…everytime I get to the 25 minute mark I always rationalize….”Well, it’s only 5 minutes more why not continue, but if I want to stop I can.

I don’t know why I do that, but for some reason it gives me permission to continue to exercise for the full 30 minutes.  I guess it’s because I have an out.  It’s silly, I know, so I thought I’d take a quiz on what motivates people to exercise.  What works and what doesn’t?  It’s pretty revealing what motivates folks to exercise.  It turns out my method is unique. (no one else seems to use my tried and true mind game)

An article published in the Idea Fitness  Journal in 2006, authored by Jim Gavin, Madeleine McBrearty and Daniel Sequin reviewed more than 250 studies about exercise psychology to try to find out what motivates us, why and how we participate in exercise.  They came up with a quiz that is pretty revealing about why we are motivated to exercise.

For instance,

Q: According to the studies reviewed, what is the most important motive for exercise for all age groups and genders?

To lose weight or tone up

 

 

To improve health

 

 

 

To have fun

 

 

 

To meet men/women

 

 

 

I chose: To lose weight  and tone up – Wrong!

According to the studies reviewed, what is the most important motive for exercise for all age groups and genders?

is:

To improve health

 

Q: What is one of the most important motivators for exercise?

Tracking progress on a regular basis

 

 

Seeing significant results

 

 

 

Scheduling workouts just like other appointments

 

 

 

Having support from family and friends

 

 

 

I chose: Seeing significant results.  Wrong!

 

The correct answer to:

What is one of the most important motivators for exercise?

is:

Having support from family and friends

Q: According to the studies reviewed, which of the following activities offers the most body satisfaction in women?

Hatha yoga

 

 

Aerobics

 

 

 

Strength Training

 

 

 

Watching TV

 

 

 

I chose aerobics:  Wrong!

The correct answer to:

According to the studies reviewed, which of the following activities offers the most body satisfaction in women?

is:

Hatha yoga

Q: In a study of middle-aged women, which group of exercisers showed more concern about body image and weight?

Women who don’t have kids

 

 

Women who exercise regularly

 

 

 

Women who don’t exercise regularly

 

 

 

Women who work less hours

 

 

 

I chose:  Women who exercise regularly.  Wrong!

The correct answer to:

In a study of middle-aged women, which group of exercisers showed more concern about body image and weight?

is:

Women who don’t exercise regularly

It went on like that and so it turns out, I don’t know “Jack” about what motivates people to exercise!

All I know is that I exercise because I don’t really like it, unless I ‘m playing squash and I exercise because I don’t have to!  I can stop whenever I want.  (That’s my mind game, and my motivation and I’m sticking to it! What’s yours?)

 

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