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Fitness Exercise and Diet Motivation

Motivation is the “internal mechanisms and external stimuli that direct our behaviour". In other words, it's the reason why we exercise, diet and try to get fit. Without motivation we will quickly loose interest and stop caring about what food we eat and how we live our lives. With motivation, on the other hand, we can sustain an exercise, diet and fitness regime which means we can live our lives to the full and not feel constantly under pressure. Keeping fit should not be a burden or something we hate doing. If it is, we will not keep up the activity and interest.

Fitness must be fun and enjoyable. If we have a positive approach to fitness, exercise and diet, we can develop a healthy lifestyle without problems.

Intrinsic Motivation

Fitness and exercise motivationIntrinsic Motivation is the internal drive which make us want to participate or perform well. It involves the emotional feelings of fun, enjoyment and satisfaction that we should be getting from taking exercise or playing a game. Some of us are more self motivated than others. We have to set our own goals and standards. If we don't care about ourselves, we cannot expect others to care for us, so the starting point for developing fitness through exercise and diet is that we care about ourselves and have the drive to do something about our lives.

Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic Motivation is the set of external factors which we perceive to be important to us. These can be extremely powerful in determining our performance. These can be things such as medals, cups, money, praise from people we view as important to us, reluctance to let these people down, improvements in our health, maximising our lifespan so we can get the longest pension from the company we hated, wanting to live longer to see our grandchildren grow up....

Motivation involves our inner drives towards achieving a goal, and depends on external pressures and rewards that we perceive in our environment. It also concerns the intensity and direction of our behaviour.

Motivation For Exercise and Fitness

If we are going to exercise and train consistently, and steadily, we first need to find out what motivates us. Ask yourself why you want to get fit, and be honest. The reasons will be a mixture of those above, and probably some more. If you like life, you should not find it difficult to identify a variety of reasons to exercise and achieve fitness goals. You don't have to have the killer attitude of a top athlete, but you do need to identify what makes you want to get healthier, and to keep exercising. Some will be positive reasons to do with living longer to enjoy life with your family, or being fitter so you can play with the grandchildren or even get cheaper travel and health insurance. Other reasons might be perceived as negative, such as wanting to live long so that you extract maximum pension from the employer you hated for so long.

During training our motivation levels may drop, we lose motivation and sometimes feels that we don’t need to try as hard because we have no immediate goals or deadlines. It's then that you need to draw on the list of reasons you identified at the start of your exercise program - never forget them. It is also important that we don't forget how far we've come, and what our lives and our bodies were like before we started our fitness and exercise training.

Willpower and Inertia in Motivation

Willpower is one important factor in maintaining your fitness regime. There is another which some would argue is even stronger - you exercise because you exercise. Our philosophy on this site is that fitness and exercise is a way of life and not a task. Work out an exercise plan and schedule which you can maintain and which fits in comfortably to your lifestyle. If you have an exercise regime which means that you are late for work, miss your favourite television programs or social events, you won't keep it up. Develop an exercise and training plan which you can maintain without getting divorced or losing your job, and stick to it. This exercise plan is then part of your life - it's what you do and what you are. It's not a special event or task, it's what you do. What happens is that you build up inertia and the longer you work to your exercise plan, the easier it is.

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