Around 23% of Americans who quit working out at the gym do so because they’re not using their membership – as found in the IHRSA Trend Report. Of course, there are many reasons why the motivation required to stick to your fitness goals may weaken over time. These can include expense, lack of interaction with other fitness lovers, and opting for the wrong type of workout. As found in a recent study published in the journal Elsevier, specific personal characteristics are strongly linked to the type of exercise that people prefer, as well as to how often they work out, and whether or not they are likely to fully commit to fitness. If you have been taking a break from your workouts in the past few months, how can you find your exercise ‘mojo’ once again and enjoy the many positive effects exercise can have on your physical and mental health?
Motivation Is Personal
In the Elsevier study, researchers found that many people choose activities “that conflict with their interests, styles, personalities, and reasons for engagement.” Their research showed that people have different motivations for exercising. Some, for instance, were motivated by social connectedness – they tended to thrive in CrossFit and other group activities. Others (for instance, those who are attracted to a challenge) tend to be drawn to resistance training or aerobic activities such as long distance running. It is important to really reflect on your personality and to think about the sporting or fitness activities you have most enjoyed throughout your lifetime. Avoid hopping on the latest fads or trends, and choose something that is most in tune with your personal idea of fun.
Setting Achievable Goals
Restarting your exercise regime begins by setting realistic goals you know you can complete. Two articles published in the British Medical Journal have found that the 150-minute exercise target is not achievable by all people, and that instead of setting specific goals, governments should be promoting the benefits of making small increases in physical activity. Once you really know why you want to work out, the next step is to choose an achievable exercise system that doesn’t feel so intense or tiring that it becomes a chore. Even when you work out at home with an online personal trainer, you start with both nutritional and fitness goals that will boost your confidence and motivate you to reach for higher ground as you notice a positive difference. For extra help with getting back in shape at a good pace, this 30-day meal plan can help you prepare easy, affordable meals that will provide you with the energy you need to give it your all when you are working out.
Research On Tried And Tested Motivational Choices
Many studies have been carried out on general motivators when it comes to exercise, and one of them is competition. A study by University of Pennsylvania researchers, for instance, found that competition is more motivational than friendly support. Research undertaken at Kansas State University, meanwhile, found that the ideal workout partner is one who is 40% better than the other, motivating the less skilled partner to exercise longer and more intensely though skill rather than through words. Another study published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports showed that social networks can motivate people to exercise more. A third study published in the journal Mindfulness showed that mindfulness can increase one’s receptiveness to positive health messages, making them more likely to be motivated to change.