The relationship between exercise and motivation
It is well known now that physical exercise benefits our physiology and psychology positively. I am a personal trainer and I am constantly trying to motivate my clients so they can get the best out of there sessions. However, the majority of adults admit to not taking part in exercise that is compatible with public health guidelines. Many adults said that “being physically active does not really interest me – I would rather do other things with my spare time”. This quote is derived from a study titled “Exercise, physical activity, and self-determination theory: A systematic review” by Pedro Teixeira and Eliana Carraca. This study aimed to develop new understanding regarding the relationship between motivation and physical exercise. The article claims, “Motivation is a critical factor in supporting sustained exercise, which in turn is associated with important health outcomes”. General consensus has already established the need for either internal motivation or external motivation when exercising. I aim to break down the findings of Teixeira and Carraca into much more simpler terms. From here we can develop our understanding of motivation and its close oscillation with exercise. They work in tandem and harnessing motivation can prove essential in attaining your fitness goals.
The study was carried forward as a systematic review that includes sixty six empirical studies which included practical orientations, support and satisfaction tests, data concerning exercise motives and data regarding exercise self regulations and motivation. All of this data was collated to develop an understanding of the subject’s fitness, desires and behaviours. From here the relationship between motivation and exercise became more dimensional. Different people had different goals, training habits and preferred methods of motivation. Due to this there data could not be generalized and applied to a mass community. Instead motivation is understood as a single bodied organism with a variety of hosts. The organism reacts differently to each host. The hosts are what scientists call independent variables while motivation was a dependent variable. This is because it became different but only at the dependence of the individual.
The results yielded consistent results that supported a positive symbiotic relationship between exercise and motivation. However, the more successful methods of motivation were sighted as being autonomous. They found that intrinsic motivation was more effective in developing a long-term adherence towards exercise. Across both sample and settings, intrinsic motivation was connected with more positive descriptors.
Overall, the study regards that exercise is more likely when subjects foster intrinsic and self-identified modes of motivation. However, subjects are less likely to digress what their modes of motivational stimulation are. Due, to this the study could not identify a collective method of motivation used by the subjects because it remained independently intrinsic to them selves. The study could only define how exercise is prolonged through means of motivation and how motivational methods lead the subjects to make more positive connotations when speaking of exercise.
If the study has any lessons for exercise professionals or fanatics, it would be that intrinsic motivation (self motivation) provides you with the means to exercise for longer as well as be happy when exercising. This makes sense because you are less likely to workout if you find no joy in engaging with it. However, the personal narrative or individual visualisation that you can render will help you exercise more productively. Take this into account and remember that the study did not generalise and believed that the greatest influence upon the subject was the subjects themselves. You can define your own physiology.