Many TV commercials recommend it, your doctor recommends it, and of course you know it is necessary for you. Yes, I am talking about exercising. For some strange reason, even though you know about the thousands of benefits, you just can’t find enough motivation to start or get back into the habit.
Therefore, it is normal for you to ask yourself, how do I motivate myself to exercise And Lose Weight ? Where do you buy a little motivation?
If this is your case and you definitely can’t motivate yourself to exercise, keep reading… here you will find an interactive test to find out what really motivates you and a free training to convince your mind (and overcome excuses).
Tara what? …
If you are not familiar with the Mexican indigenous culture, I want to introduce you to the Tarahumara or Raramuris.
You’re here to find out how to motivate yourself to exercise And Lose Weight, but I promise I have a point.
Mexico has indigenous roots and luckily there are still several groups living today, which retain their language, culture, food and traditions, but unfortunately live in poverty and marginalization.
One of these groups with a really incredible culture is located in the mountain range in the north of the country: the Raramuris.
The most incredible thing is that its name can be translated as “light feet” and it is that running long distances through the mountains, at high temperatures, with typical clothing and sandals on the feet, is something characteristic of their culture.
For centuries they have developed techniques that allow them to run hundreds of kilometers without rest, making them the fastest long-distance runners of all time
This particular form of running has been scientifically researched and the results show that the muscles in your feet are stronger than a professional runner wearing athletic shoes. so it’s no wonder that they win ultra marathons all over the world by competing.
One of the women and super athletes who has made the name of her indigenous community very high is Lorena Ramírez (I am her fan) . She has achieved the top positions in several marathons in Mexico and Spain.
In some interviews that he has given for national and international media there is one answer in particular that totally moved me .
When asked what is your main motivation for running so many kilometers?
She did not respond to be famous, to have a toned body or for the obvious satisfaction of winning, because her main motivation is to be able to help her community.
What a beautiful response!
In their Rrámuri culture, six letters govern the lifestyle of their Kórima society . A word that translated means “share . ” And they share everything, everything belongs to everyone: food, housing, resources, shelter, etc.
For Lorena, earning money thanks to her triumphs in the ultra marathons represents an additional income to help her community in the mountains.
Precisely having the purpose of helping and being part of a group is actually one of the most important layers in the psychology of motivation
Learning a little about the psychology of motivation is the key to getting motivated and starting to exercise.
Think about this: the exercise is done with the body, but, it is the mind that wants and decides to start the movement of the muscles to perform physical activity and, therefore, to start or be constant with the exercise we must convince our mind first.
And after reading this article you will know exactly how.
But first, it is important to discover why exercise does not motivate us.
That is, if we all know that exercising is one of the most valuable habits that exist, why is it not possible to feel motivated to start? or perhaps more important why some people themselves manage to motivate yourself to exercise and lose weight others do not?
Why does n’t exercise motivate us?
There are probably more reasons than stars in the sky to explain why you don’t have a more active routine, but from my point of view the lack of motivation to exercise and lose weight can be roughly explained by the following 2 main reasons:
- For lack of interest
In 2009 it was seen that in a typical week, 60% of European adults did not engage in any type of physical activity or sport. And 40% agree with the following statement: “Being physically active does n’t really interest me, I prefer to do other things with my free time” 7
One of the most difficult reasons to recognize is a lack of interest in exercising.
Maybe you are aware of the benefits and you know that you should start or restart it, but deep down you just don’t care and you don’t know why exactly!
So why is there a lack of interest?
One of the most common reasons is accumulated attempts and failures in the past.
Yes. Those broken promises to start on “Monday” or “early in the year” and not being consistent with your goal or giving up, generates a certain discomfort that your brain seeks to avoid in the future.
Other times you have no interest in exercising because you don’t find immediate value or reward (as the potential benefits of exercising take more time).
And finally, it is likely that exercise does not interest you because your family, friends or your close circle do not have the habit and it is “normal” to be sedentary.
Either way, if you are not interested in exercising, it is likely to result in the following:
- A perception of lack of time
If, deep down, exercising does not represent so much weight in your busy routine that you give up other activities (for example, the morning coffee or the afternoon series) simply the “lack of time” becomes an excuse that you causes slight temporary relief.
If you think that lack of time is the cause of not doing a little exercise, this article is definitely for you.
- You feel that you lack willpower
When something does not interest you but it is difficult for you to recognize it or when you have failed in your purpose of exercising before, it is normal to look for an explanation or a culprit and that is when a lack of willpower appears .
But, according to Patricia Ramírez, an expert psychologist in sports, willpower is something we are all born with. You just have to make use of this pre-installed will power to verify that you do have will power.
This is the minimum time you can start exercising and have benefits, keep reading here. If you want to know How to start a healthy lifestyle from scratch read this article.
- Blame it on laziness or tiredness
It is normal to feel tired due to the demands of modern life such as: an exhausting day, spending many hours commuting, a desk job, family commitments, and a long etcetera.
But, it is scientifically proven that a single session of minutes of exercise gives you a dose of energy (although it seems the opposite).
And the second reason that tries to explain why exercise does not motivate us is the following.
2. For physical reasons or discomfort
It is normal that when you move your heart beat a little faster, that you sweat and that you feel some muscular discomfort and, all this may be a sufficient reason (especially at the beginning) not to have the desire to exercise.
If in your memory there is a memory of muscle pain after your last exercise experience (think of those days after the “crossfit” class), your brain also takes note and interprets the exercise as something painful to avoid in the future. future.
These negative experiences affect the self-image you have regarding your physical condition what makes you feel like you’re not “fit” or “fit” to start exercising, and so you put off starting.
So we have to find a way to tune your brain so that exercising is a natural decision in your routine.
And for that, you have to develop a motivation that is born within you, read on.
These are the two types of motivation
First you have to define what motivation is, and I must say that I like the definition that Luis Jiménez proposes in his book : “getting motivated is wanting and deciding to do something”
And landing on the subject of the article, motivating ourselves in this case would be something like this:
“Have the desire to exercise and decide to take constant action”
So, motivation is that spark of action that we experience to decide to start exercising and well, do it.
So regardless of whether you decided to exercise at home, go to the gym or start practicing a sport, you will see that you can distinguish very well between the following 2 types of motivation:
1. Extrinsic motivation (for external reasons)
A significant percentage of people may get into the habit of exercising like going to the gym or running regularly based on a feeling of “having to” rather than actually “wanting” to do it.eleven
Generally when we pursue rewards that are not related to the simple act of exercising per se , it means that you are extrinsically motivated. For example: exercising so you can eat more treats or to get approval from others.
When the motivation to exercise and lose weight is solely of this type, we are more likely to quit because we focus on something short-term or external and superficial. In short, we are not completely convinced that we are exercising inside.
However, sometimes this type of motivation can act as a trigger to take the first step, but to be constant in the future the important thing is that you have a true intrinsic motivation.
2. Intrinsic motivation (for reasons within yourself)
This is the motivation we are looking for. We want to gather enough internal reasons to want to exercise and take action consistently in the long term.
When you’re intrinsically motivated, you experience feelings of pleasure, excitement, and joy just from exercising. fifteen
Perhaps we do seek an external reward such as winning a race or having an athletic body, but the main motivation to take action has to be born from motives or reasons that you find within yourself. 16
It has been seen in several studies that when you have this type of motivation there is more perseverance, the probability of adopting the habit increases and there is more enthusiasm to exercise.
Also this type of motivation applies to exercise from low to high intensities and even in cancer survivors and overweight people.
What does it take to achieve this valuable intrinsic motivation?
Don’t hate me, but in order to experience intrinsic motivation to exercise, you have to start by exercising!
But yes, it is important to start with a goal based on what motivates you.
So I introduce you to the theory of self-determination.
It is not complex at all. This theory simply seeks to find the reasons behind our healthy choices.
Try to explain why we want and decide to do an activity without being influenced by something or someone outside of ourselves. And this is the most important part of making exercise a habit.
Find within ourselves the true »why? or recognizing our personal, unique and kept motives in the back of our mind, it can become the strategy you needed to start motivating yourself for intrinsic reasons.
Notice, the theory of self-determination says that when a healthy activity intrinsically motivates us , it is because it satisfies some of the following natural and universal needs that all humans in the world have .
We need to feel that we are masters of our destiny and that we at least have some control over what we do, over the decisions we make and the way we spend time 27 28
In other words, it is feeling that empowerment that you can achieve great things for yourself.
It is the need to feel growth, to level up, advance or have more control over the tasks that are important to us.
In other words, it is that feeling of pride of looking back and seeing how much you have progressed and, at the same time, challenging yourself and seeing how much you can still improve.
We are social beings and we seek to have a sense of belonging and connection with others. Feeling that you are part of a group, being a better example in your closest circle or having a social purpose are some examples of this psychological need.
When you meet these 3 needs, the chances of wanting to exercise and taking action to achieve it increase.
The Equalizer of Motivation
All humans have these 3 psychological needs, but since we are different, it is likely that we have them at different levels.
For example, in my case, autonomy is a more important need than relationships or competition, and perhaps for you relationships become a more important need than being competitive or autonomous.
Therefore, I see it as a sound equalizer, have you seen them?
As you can see in this motivation equalizer, there are these 3 different volumes: Autonomy, Competence and Relationships.
Each person has a unique ear and a different song to play, so the sound setting on the equalizer will be different for everyone.
The most important thing is that you get to know yourself better and know what need is most important to you. This will help you steer your exercise goal in a direction that really motivates you in the long run.
For example, if it is more important to you that your goal of exercising gives you too much flexibility, of course going to class at 6 pm is not the best option and it will be better to have an exercise app to do it when and in wherever you want.
But, if it is more important for you to feel part of a group, the 6 pm class may be a good option.
Having a goal to “exercise” is very unspecific so it is important that you define what type of exercise to do and how to do it.
If you want to have a better idea about what motivates you, you have to know what psychological need is most relevant to you.
So to discover the different volumes in your personal motivation equalizer, I invite you to take the following test.
The test to know your personal motivation equalizer
This test consists of 5 questions and is based on a scientific questionnaire that is used to thoroughly investigate the psychological needs of motivation.
However, I have simplified it and modified the questions in that quiz to make it much simpler and faster for you. In such a way that your results will only be an approximation about which of these 3 needs motivates you the most.
Click on the statement that most closely matches your way of thinking in the 5 specific situations and, at the end you will have your own equalizer with the 3 psychological needs at specific levels for you.
Create your exercise goal based on what motivates you
- If your main need is autonomy:
See that your exercise goal gives you a lot of flexibility and power of decision about how much, when and how to exercise.
For example: An exercise app or an online exercise routine
- If your main need is the competition:
Start playing a sport with rules or an exercise routine that has levels. It can also motivate you to keep track of your progress as this will help you feel a progress that motivates you.
For example: a level-structured exercise routine or getting started in a sport (it’s never too late!)
- If your main need is relationships:
Feeling part of a group or having a clear social purpose for exercising will motivate you to start. Read more about Fitness Training Tips That Can Motivate You To Stick To It
For example: join a virtual community or start running to participate in races with a social purpose.
And now, what’s next?
Before moving on to the strategies, let’s do an express review:
- You found out why you haven’t been motivated to exercise all this time.
- You know that intrinsic motivation is important in the long run.
- You know the 3 psychological needs to achieve this type of motivation.
- You have your results about which need is most important to you
- You learned in which direction to direct your specific goal of exercising.
So now it is much more likely that you will be able to motivate yourself to exercise and be consistent – hooray!
One last point
Although it is true that motivation is important to get started with your exercise purpose, before you go, I want to tell you something important:
You don’t need motivation to start exercising and lose weight
Seriously! We can create favorable conditions for motivation to appear in our lives, but we cannot tame it yet.
So just start now and ignore that “sabotaging voice” that sometimes appears inside your head. In fact, it all starts right there: in your mind.
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