How to find motivation for exercise

How to find motivation for exercise

Psychologists specialising in motivation believe people are spurred into action by either a push- or pull-motive. A push-motive is an internal desire for things to change and for a goal to be achieved, while a pull-motive is when an incentive is offered to persuade someone to act. These motivators can be used in all aspects of our lives, including exercise.

Finding your motive

Some people have a natural interest in sport and a desire to take part, whether their push-motive is to lose weight for health reasons or because they enjoy the social element. Other people will need to find their pull-motive before they put on their running shoes or sign up to the gym.

Not everyone who is overweight will have the push-motive to start trying to get fit, even if they’re fully aware of the health consequences of obesity. Even when we can see the right course of action, it’s not always easy to take those first steps. That’s where you need to look for the incentive, something you can promise yourself as a reward for working out.

Searching for an incentive

If exercise isn’t your ‘thing’, then you need to work on a goal and reward strategy to get you going. If you’re trying to lose weight, then rewarding yourself with a bar of chocolate is obviously not the best option. You could, instead, set a goal and promise yourself you won’t book that holiday/buy that new phone/go to your favourite bar until you have achieved it.

While this takes a level of self-discipline, it can be the best way to get started on a new fitness plan. Finding something outside of exercise to incentivise you is a good method if you’re struggling with motivation, and once you start, you may well find that exercise begins to feel rewarding in and of itself.

MVP runs workplace-based fitness programmes, with trainers keen to help employees stay motivated and get fit. For more information, simply contact our team today.