Find Love in Exercising

by Rachelle on March 27, 2015

What if a magic pill could replicate the effects of exercise? A way to get a healthy and toned physique without all of the blood, sweat, and tears. No more crowded gyms or grueling hours of work, and the only weight you’d have to lift would be a cool drink at the end of the day.

Happy fitness woman lifting dumbbellsYou want to get in shape. So what’s stopping you? You’ve read about the long-term benefits of exercise: disease reduction, life longevity, weight loss. But as anyone who has tried to adopt a regular fitness routine realizes, knowing that exercise will benefit you in the distant future is sometimes hard to hold on to for motivation.

Exercise for many is about reaching a destination. But behind every destination is an adventure that takes us there. Even if you do arrive at your destination, life has a way of forcing the unexpected upon us. People who successfully maintain a workout regimen learn to shift their focus from distant, external outcomes like losing weight to positive, internal experiences in the here and now. They become “intrinsic exercisers.” And you can become one.

The core concept behind intrinsic exercise is to exercise for its own sake. Because if you don’t get something out of every single run or spinning class you take, you won’t keep doing it. You will need to achieve three specific mental states to develop a mind-set powerful enough to motivate you to exercise: personal meaning orientation, mastery, and flow. Achieve these, and you will enjoy exercising.

Personal Meaning Orientation. This helps you find exercise rewarding in and of itself. How? First, you use exercise to explore who you are. Intrinsic exercisers explain why they are working out and what they hope to get from it. Only when exercise becomes personally meaningful will you be motivated to do it regularly.

Mastery. Intrinsic exercisers focus on challenging themselves and meeting personal goals, like lifting five more pounds, instead of comparing themselves with other people, which can be frustrating and intimidating. A mastery focus keeps you motivated.

Flow. It is all about staying in the moment. Focus on your purpose and your passion for the work. Many find this difficult to accept, as we are very much a means-to-an-end driven society. In fitness, the means-to-an-end attitude translates to burning calories and striving to achieve a body that looks a certain way. This paradigm is all well and good, assuming you actually do the work, for the work teaches us who we are. But arriving magically or instantly at such a destination is not true. Many who win the lottery find their fortunes lost within years. Money without the work and purpose behind it loses context.

  • Set clear goals. With flow, it’s not achieving an endpoint that’s important; it’s the process of achieving. But without a clear, specific goal for every exercise session, it is difficult to concentrate on your actions and avoid distractions.
  • Tune in to feedback. Learn to gauge feedback that the mind and body provide during exercise. Staying aware of your progress during your workout keeps you connected to what your body is doing and how it’s feeling.
  • Balance perceived challenge and skill. If you’re not being challenged, you will become bored and quit. This typically happens after beginners have been exercising for a few weeks and the idea begins to wear off. You must create new challenges for yourself, setting goals that make you work harder physically, anything that will up the ante. If you are challenging yourself beyond your skill level, you will also become frustrated and, again, avoid exercise. In this case, you must set more realistic goals.

If you really want to exercise regularly for the rest of your life, you need to start working from the inside out. As you begin to exercise for the inner rewards of the activity itself, you will find yourself going to the gym because you want to, not because you have to.

Rachelle

Rachelle

Health Contributor at Creative Bioscience
Hi I'm Rachelle, or "Elle" for short. I am a busy body, but always been a plus sized kinda girl. I've learned that my curves are sexy, and I can feel good about how I look without looking like a stick! I'm a work-a-holic and stay as active as I can with lots of projects, so I have to prioritize my health choices. Working for Creative Bioscience has opened my eyes to what you can do to supplement your diet, and manage things in a natural way. The advances that are being made in the health arena are so exciting, and we are on the front lines bringing the best of the best. Rachelle's favorite product is hCG 1234
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