Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Maintaining Motivation

Some of you may have started running, cycling, or joined a class within the last year and have found that your exercise has become a "must do" rather than something you look forward to.  Whatever you do, sometimes it can be good to remind yourself of what motivated you started your training in the first place.

Seek out new experiences - With any activity you perform day in and day out, the repetition can make it hard to stick to your training.  If you run or cycle, try a different route, find a new group of people to exercise with, or try a new activity entirely. Sometimes all we need to find our motivation again is a little change in scenery.

Start small - If you are just starting or thinking about exercise, the first step is to put on your running shoes. We tend to have an all or nothing approach, especially this time of year when people are still trying to maintain their new year resolutions. Give yourself attainable goals, schedule the training into your routine and build slowly.

Remind yourself of the benefits - Exercise is excellent for your physical, psychological and social well-being that has the added benefit of helping you get fit and depending on the activity, usually gets you outside to enjoy the great outdoors. Think about what aspect of exercise you benefit from the most and use it as a motivator to get yourself moving.

Commit yourself to your training goals - Once you let yourself fall out of focus, it gets more difficult as time goes on to keep pushing yourself out of the house.  Commit yourself to an exercise regimen and you might be surprised at what you can accomplish.

Even elite athletes can struggle with maintaining motivation, keep in mind that being creative, starting small and committing yourself to a healthier lifestyle all can work together to help keep you on track.

References from the SIRC Collection: 

1. Barney D, Gust A, Liguori G. College Students' Usage of Personal Music Players (PMP) During Exercise. ICHPER -- SD Journal Of Research In Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport & Dance. Summer2012 2012;7(1):23-26.
2. Gallagher K, Updegraff J. When 'fit' leads to fit, and when 'fit' leads to fat: How message framing and intrinsic vs. extrinsic exercise outcomes interact in promoting physical activity. Psychology & Health. July 2011;26(7):819-834.
3. Lewis M, Sutton A. Understanding Exercise Behaviour: Examining the Interaction of Exercise 
4. MOTIVATION BOOSTERS FOR EXERCISE. American Fitness. November 2012;30(6):5.
Motivation and Personality in Predicting Exercise Frequency. Journal Of Sport Behavior. March 2011;34(1):82-97.
5. LOUW A, VAN BILJON A, MUGANDANI S. Exercise motivation and barriers among men and women of different age groups. African Journal For Physical, Health Education, Recreation & Dance. December 2, 2012;18(4):759-768.
6. Walsh A. SeIf-Determination Theory: A Key to Motivation. IDEA Fitness Journal. October 2011;8(9):78-80. 

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