Many television commercials recommend it, your doctor recommends it, and of course you know it is necessary for you.
Yes, I am talking about exercising. For some strange reason, even though you know of the myriad benefits, you just can’t find enough motivation to start or resume the habit.
So it’s normal for you to ask yourself how do I motivate myself to exercise? Where do you buy a little motivation?
If this is your case and you definitely cannot motivate yourself to exercise, read on … here you find what really motivates you and a free training to convince your mind (and overcome excuses).
Why doesn’t exercise motivate us?
There are probably more reasons than stars in the sky to explain why you don’t have a more active routine, but from my point of view the lack of motivation to exercise can be broadly explained for the following 2 great reasons:
1. For lack of interest
In 2009 it was found that in a typical week, 60% of European adults did not carry out any type of physical activity or sport. And 40% agree with the following statement: «Being physically active doesn’t really interest me, I prefer to do other things with my free time».
One of the most difficult reasons to recognize is a lack of interest in exercising.
Maybe you are aware of the benefits and know that you should start or resume it, but deep down you just don’t care and you don’t know exactly why!
So why is there a lack of interest?
One of the most common reasons is past attempts and failures.
Yes. Those broken promises to start on “Mondays” or “beginning of the year” and not being consistent with your goal or resigning, generates certain discomfort that your brain seeks to avoid in the future.
Other times you have no interest in exercising because you cannot find immediate value or reward (since the possible benefits of exercising need more time).
And finally, it is likely that exercise does not interest you because your family, friends or your close circle do not have the habit and the “normal” thing is to be sedentary. 8
Either way, if exercising doesn’t interest you, it’s likely to lead to the following:
A perception of lack of time
If basically exercising does not represent so much weight in your busy routine as to give up other activities (for example, the morning coffee or the afternoon series), simply “lack of time” becomes an excuse for you. makes you feel slight temporary relief.
If you think that lack of time is the cause of not doing a little exercise, this article is definitely for you.
Feel like you need willpower
When something does not interest you but you find it difficult to recognize it or when you have failed to exercise your purpose before, it is normal to look for an explanation or a culprit and that is when the lack of willpower appears.
But willpower is something we are all born with. You just have to use this willpower pre-installed in you to verify that you do have willpower.
This is the minimum time with which you can start exercising and have benefits, read on here.
Blame it on laziness or tiredness
It is normal to feel tired due to the demands of modern life such as: an exhaustive day, spending many hours on the go, a desk job, family commitments, and a long etcetera.
But, it is scientifically proven that a single session of minutes of exercise gives you a dose of energy (although it seems otherwise).
If you think that fatigue is the cause of not doing a little exercise, this article is you are interested in.
And the second reason that tries to explain why exercise does not motivate us is the following.
2. For physical reasons or discomfort
Exercise requires energy and effort.
It is normal that when moving your heart beats a little faster, that you sweat and that you feel a certain muscular discomfort and, all this may be a sufficient reason (especially in the beginning) for not having the desire to exercise. 9
If there is a memory of muscle pain in your memory after your last exercise experience (think about those days after the crossfit class), your brain also takes note and interprets exercise as something painful to avoid in the future.
These negative experiences affect the self-image that you have in front of your physical condition 10 which makes you feel that you are not “fit” or “able” to start exercising and, therefore, you postpone starting.
So we have to find a way to tune your brain so that exercising is a natural decision in your routine.
And for that, you have to develop a motivation that is born within you, keep reading.
What it takes to achieve this valuable motivation?
It is important to start with a goal based on what motivates you.
So I present to you the theory of self-determination.
It is not complex at all. This theory simply seeks to find the reasons behind our healthy decisions.
Try to explain why we want and decide to do an activity without being influenced by something or someone outside of us. And this is the most important part of making exercise a habit. 24
Find within us the real »why? or recognizing our personal motives, unique and stored in the back of our minds, can become the strategy you needed to start motivating yourself for intrinsic reasons 25
Notice, the self-determination theory says that when a healthy activity intrinsically motivates us, it is because it satisfies some of the following 3 natural and universal needs that all humans in the world have
We need to feel that we own our destiny and that we at least have some control over what we do, over the decisions we make and how we invest time 27 28
In other words, it is feeling that empowerment that you can achieve great things for yourself.
It is the need to feel growth, to level up, to advance or to have more command over the tasks that are important to us. 29
In other words, it is that feeling of pride to look back and see all that you have advanced and, at the same time, challenge yourself and see everything that can still continue to improve.
We are social beings and we seek to have a sense of belonging and connection with others. Feeling that you are part of a group, being a better example in your closest circle or having a social purpose are some examples of this psychological need.
When you meet these 3 needs, your chances of wanting to exercise and take action to achieve it increase 30 31
And to know if you have these 3 human psychological needs or, rather to know in what proportions you have them, I have created the equalizer of motivation.
Create your goal of exercising according to what motivates you
If your main need is autonomy:
Find that your exercise goal gives you a lot of flexibility and decision-making power about how much, when and how to exercise.
For example: An app for exercising or an online exercise routine
If your main need is competition:
Start playing a ruled sport or exercise routine that has levels. It can also motivate you to keep track of your progress as this will help you feel progress that motivates you.
For example: a level-structured exercise routine or getting started in a sport (it’s never too late!)
If your main need is relationships:
Feeling part of a group or having a clear social purpose to exercise will motivate you to start.
For example: join a virtual community or start running to participate in races with a social purpose.