10 Science-Based tips will help you get motivated

(ORDO NEWS) — We’ve all heard people say that “running is high” or “exercise is addictive,” but it’s hard for many of us to love exercise. Some may even say that they hate them, fear them, or the thought of going to the gym makes them anxious.

Why do some of us hate exercise? And how can we overcome this in order to reap the saving benefits of body movement?

Humans didn’t evolve to “exercise”

For most of human history, food was scarce and an active lifestyle was not an option. For millennia, people have had to move about in search of food, and after they were full, they rested to conserve energy, because they did not know where the next portion of food would be.

So if you ever feel like sitting down and watching Netflix instead of going to the gym, you can take comfort in the fact that rest is a natural human desire.

However, our lifestyle in the 21st century involves too much sitting and relaxing. Thanks to technology, cars and other labor-saving devices, movement is no longer necessary for daily survival.

However, physical inactivity is detrimental to our health. A meta-analysis published in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet found that physical inactivity is associated with a 30-40% increase in the risk of colon cancer, a 30% increase in the risk of breast cancer, a 20-60% increase in the risk of developing diabetes 2 type and a 30-50 percent increase in the risk of premature death compared with a physically active lifestyle.

So how much physical activity do you really need

Australian adults (ages 18-65) are encouraged to get at least 150 (but preferably 300) minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. Moderate-intensity exercise might include brisk walking, light biking, or lawn mowing.

If you are ready to engage in vigorous physical activity, half of this amount (75-150 minutes per week) is enough for you. Vigorous activity is any strenuous activity that makes it difficult for you to carry on a conversation: jogging or running in place, playing sports such as football or tennis.

Different types of activity are encouraged, as different types of physical activity bring different benefits. Muscle-strengthening exercises, such as weight lifting or push-ups, are recommended to be done twice a week to keep bones and muscles strong.

If all this sounds too complicated, rest assured that ANY exercise is good for you. In order to benefit from physical activity, it is not necessary to achieve established levels of physical activity.

What are some science-based tips for getting motivated

According to psychologists, there are two main types of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation comes from within – you do something for a personal reward or challenge. External motivation arises under the influence of external factors, for example, attempts to earn a reward or avoid punishment.

You can increase intrinsic motivation by identifying why exercise is important to you.

1. Define “why” – do you want to exercise for the sake of your health? For your children? Do you want to exercise for your health? Exercise has long-term health and function benefits, can be good for your children, and has an immediate effect on mood and vitality. A clear understanding of what you want to get out of sports can motivate you to take action.

External motivators can also help you start exercising.

2. Make an appointment with a friend to play sports together. You are more likely to make it to the end because you don’t want to let your friend down. In addition, studies show that people exercise longer when they exercise with family and friends compared to those who exercise alone.

3. Reward yourself with new clothes or shoes that you enjoy exercising in. Don’t forget to condition the reward on doing a certain amount of exercise, so you have to earn it.

4. Get an activity tracker. Fitness trackers have many motivational features such as prompts, self-monitoring, and goal setting. There are many studies showing that activity trackers increase physical activity.

5. Do the exercises at the same time every day so that it becomes a habit. Research shows that morning exercise builds a habit faster than evening exercise.

6. Do the kind of activity that you enjoy. Starting a new exercise habit is hard enough. Increase your chances of retaining it by engaging in an activity that gives you pleasure. In addition, you can work out with greater intensity without even realizing it, if you do exercises that you enjoy. If you hate running, don’t do it. Go for a long walk in nature.

7. Start small. Don’t overdo it, and don’t force yourself to want more. You are also less likely to feel pain or injure yourself.

8. Listening to rhythmic music improves mood during exercise and reduces perceived exertion, resulting in increased performance. These benefits are especially effective for rhythmic, repetitive types of exercise such as walking and running.

9. Take your dog for a walk. Dog walkers walk more often and longer than non-dog walkers, and they report feeling safer and more socially connected in their area.

10. Make financial commitments. Behavioral economics recognizes that people are motivated by loss aversion.

Some commercial websites take advantage of this in the interest of health by forcing people to enter into a “commitment contract” in which they make a financial deposit that is lost if they do not meet their healthy lifestyle commitments.

This approach has been shown to promote physical activity, medication adherence, and weight loss.

Be patient with yourself and keep the long term in mind – it takes about three to four months to form an exercise habit. After that, internal motivators will take over and force you to keep practicing.

Who knows, maybe in a few months you will be the one who will become addicted to exercise and inspire your friends and loved ones. The Conversation

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