Brace yourself. According to Rod K. Dishman, Ph.D., director of the Behavioral Fitness Laboratory at the University of Georgia, nearly 50 percent of people who begin an exercise program drop out within the first 6 months. The question is, “Why?” What is it about sticking with a fitness routine that causes so many people abandon it?
The answer? Motivation. They don’t want health and fitness badly enough. It is a simple fact of human psychology that if we want something badly enough, we’ll do everything we can to get it.
Your challenge is to find out what motivates you to get serious about your health and stick with it.
Unlocking your motivation
You do not have to be part of that 50 percent who quit. You can stay committed and finish strong. It is all about finding what motivates you personally.
Here are some possible motivators for you.
1. Do it for your health
Consistent exercise and healthy eating are the two very best things you can do for your health. You will develop a strong, healthy heart, reduce your chances of many cancers, prevent diabetes, keep a sharp mind and resist dementia and avoid many of the common ailments that come with aging. It is possible to achieve longevity, and the key to this is addressing your mental and physical health.
2. Do it to look better
Appearance isn’t everything, but most of us care how we look. A strong and healthy person just carries themselves differently. It isn’t all physical. Your demeanor will change as you develop the confidence that comes from a healthier you! You will appear more energetic and confident because you will be more energetic and confident! You will begin to show up differently and those around you will notice!
3. Do it to relieve stress
Really! It isn’t a cliché. Exercising really does cause physical changes in your brain and nervous system that results in feelings of calmness and well-being. In fact, you may get so hooked on the mental benefits of exercise that you will crave it!
4. Do it to be strong
If you have never done focused weight training, then you literally have no idea of the total transformation that you will feel after just a few weeks. There is nothing like bending over to pick something up that normally results in discomfort, strain and even pain, only to find out that it is a piece of cake! By getting strong now, you reduce your risk of age-related falls and fractures because you have the core strength and balance to keep yourself stable.
What Is Your Motivation?
It is worth taking the time to discover the powerful motivators in your life. Don’t worry about ‘bribing’ yourself: do what it takes to get yourself moving. Find out what makes investing in your health worth it. Find out what you want more than that brownie. Your health is at stake; in fact, your very life is at stake. It’s time to transform yourself.