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The Importance of Fitness Motivation: How to Keep Going

    The Importance of Fitness Motivation: How to Keep Going

    Achieving and maintaining fitness goals is a challenge. This is due to both the physical and mental aspects of working out. It’s easy to feel discouraged if we don’t see the results of our efforts as quickly as we like. However, it’s important to remember that everyone develops at their own pace and that a big factor in fitness success is keeping yourself motivated. In this article, we discuss the importance of fitness motivation.

    Importance of fitness motivation

    One way to maintain fitness motivation is to utilize the self-determination theory (SDT). This can help you understand the correlation between motivation and fitness outcomes. The SDT is a broad framework for the study of human motivation and personality. It looks at conditions that affect one’s experience and understanding of competence, autonomy, and reliability.

    Looking at empirical studies on the relationship between SDT and physical fitness, we can identify the factors that can negatively affect our fitness motivation. These two factors are (1) a lack of interest in exercise, as well as in its outcomes and effects on one’s life and overall health, and (2) low confidence in physical activities due to feelings of being incompetent of unfit. The lack of interest and self-confidence can easily derail our fitness journeys and make it harder for us to achieve our goals.

    Fortunately, there are many things that can counteract these negative, de-motivating factors. Encouragement from friends and family, therapy, and setting small, achievable goals are just some of the things that can help you be reminded of your goals and the importance of fitness motivation. It can also be helpful to have a licensed fitness instructor who can guide you through your workout.

    Creating your own fitness routine

    Having a set workout routine is great for reaching your goals and maintaining fitness motivation. The best and most reliable way to create a workout routine (especially if you’re new to working out) is to consult a licensed fitness instructor. They can determine the safest and most effective workout for you based on your fitness level and experience. Don’t forget to update your routine regularly, as variety is key to improving physical fitness.

    Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to physical fitness. This helps you and your fitness instructor figure out the safest workout for you. For beginners, it is best to start with a light workout that can fit into your daily schedule. You can increase your workout’s intensity or difficulty as you progress. Just remember to do it gradually, as slow and steady improvements are safer and more sustainable.

    Staying motivated

    Starting a routine and getting into the habit is the hardest part. Thus, we cannot stress enough the importance of fitness motivation. Remind yourself of the “whys” to help you stay committed. Write the reasons down and post them in a place you will often see them, like your mirror or door.

    When starting out, it is best to start on a schedule that you’re comfortable with. It is recommended that individuals get 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week. You may plan your weekly physical activities to attain this goal. Start slowly, and then gradually build your routine so as not to overwhelm yourself.

    Don’t forget to also prepare yourself for your workout with a proper warm-up and stretching. It’s also important to develop healthy habits that promote overall health, as they are big factors in achieving your goals and maintaining fitness motivation. This includes getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, and maintaining a balanced diet.

    Another tip is to establish a list of small goals that are concrete and easy to achieve. It can be very motivating to regularly check off items on your goals list, and will help you track your improvements and give you a sense of accomplishment. You can always update your list as you fulfill each goal.

    the importance of fitness motivation

    Effects of fitness on motivation and mental health

    When it comes to discussion about the importance of fitness motivation, physical fitness positively influences many aspects of your overall health. This includes your mental health. Exercise and physical activity release happy hormones such as dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin into your system. These hormones can help you maintain motivation not just in fitness, but also in other aspects of your daily life.

    The Health Benefits of At-Home Exercises

    Key Takeaways

    The importance of fitness motivation cannot be understated in exercise. Things like lack of confidence and preparation can easily prevent you from achieving your fitness goals.

    When starting on your fitness journey, be sure to establish a safe and efficient workout routine, maintain healthy habits, and set concrete and attainable milestones. It is best to work towards steady and sustainable improvements. Consult a doctor and licensed fitness instructor before starting on a new workout.

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    Sources

    The exercise effect
    https://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/12/exercise
    Accessed November 20, 2020

    Exercise, physical activity, and self-determination theory: a systematic review
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3441783/
    Accessed November 20, 2020

    Exercise and the brain: how fitness impacts learning
    https://www.wgu.edu/heyteach/article/exercise-and-brain-how-fitness-impacts-learning1801.html
    Accessed November 20, 2020

    Principles of fitness development
    https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/cur/physhlth/guidelines/section2.pdf
    Accessed November 20, 2020

    Fitness: tips for staying motivated
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/fitness/art-20047624
    Accessed November 20, 2020

    Exercise and physical fitness
    https://medlineplus.gov/exerciseandphysicalfitness.html
    Accessed November 20, 2020

    Self-determination theory overview
    https://selfdeterminationtheory.org/theory/
    Accessed November 20, 2020

    Exercise benefits brain function: the monoamine connection
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4061837/
    Accessed November 20, 2020

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    Written by Tracey Romero Updated Jun 15, 2021
    Medically reviewed by Mia Dacumos, MD