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Develop The Right Exercise Motives

By Joni Hyde of

The top two reasons why ladies stop exercising are: lack of time and lack of motivation. Let's assume that time isn't the problem (although for most of us it's a challenge) and focus on motivation.

Whether you exercise or not depends largely on how you think about exercise or what your motive is for doing it. Consider this definition of motive taken from the Random House Dictionary: "Motive: Something that causes a person to act in a certain way, do a certain thing, etc.; incentive. Motive is, literally, something that moves a person; an inducement, something that leads a person on; an incentive, something that inspires a person. Motive is applied mainly to an inner urge that moves or prompts a person to action, though it may also apply to a contemplated result, the desire for which moves the person: Action begins with motive and intent."

To establish a lasting motive regarding exercise, first let go of any beliefs of certain popular myths about exercise, including:

  1. I can use a certain gadget 5 minutes a day and lose inches.
  2. I can lose weight fast… like the commercial say "10 pounds in a week".
  3. There are certain pills or herbs that can help me turn fat into muscle.
  4. If I'm having fun, it's not considered exercise.
  5. Lifting weights will make me big and bulky … like a man. I'll do aerobics only.
  6. I've failed at this before… maybe I just can't lose weight.
  7. If I don't see immediate changes, I might as well give up.

Replace erroneous beliefs that can undermine your most sincere efforts. Instead consider these facts:

  1. Exercise takes time and consistent effort. Slowly but surely I will see great changes.
  2. Exercise improves the quality of my life as a woman.
  3. Strength training and aerobic activity combined with a healthy diet will shave the inches off my body. No pills can do that for me.
  4. My body benefits from all kinds of physical activity.
  5. Exercise can be enjoyable. After exercising, I feel accomplished and invigorated. This feeling makes me want to stick with it.
  6. There's nothing wrong with me. I can lose weight, inches and gain strength. Maybe my expectations have been unrealistic.
  7. Even if I am at a plateau my body is benefiting physiologically and psychologically. These are things I can't see, but the changes are real and benefit me greatly.
Once you develop the right reasons to exercise (internal motivators) and then set reasonable and attainable goals, you'll begin to change your exercise habits.

Also see:
Reaching your fitness goals: Don't hold back
Ask the Personal Trainer your questions

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