Author: Achieve Wellness Staff
Do you have a desire to lose weight? Improve your figure? Keep heart disease, cancer or diabetes at bay? Lower your blood pressure or cholesterol? Protect your bones? Or are you just trying to live to a healthy old age?
This might sound like an uninspired script for an infomercial, but of course you know these are all reasons people turn to exercise. And while these are all great reasons to exercise, recent research has shown that if you’re looking for the best motivation for exercising, it’s none of the above!
It turns out your biggest motivator is: exercise makes you feel great! Yep, it’s as simple as that: you should exercise because it feels good—now. The health benefits that you will eventually reap on top of that are just the icing on the cake.
A recent study at the University of Wales found that while many people begin to exercise as way to lose weight and improve their appearance, these motivations did not keep them exercising in the long term. For that reason, the suggestion is that experts take a different approach when talking to the public about exercise. “The well-being and enjoyment benefits of exercise should be emphasized,” the researchers concluded.
Dr. Michelle Segar, a research investigator at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan, recommends that we need to change the way exercise is marketed. “Physical activity is an elixir of life, but we’re not teaching people that. We’re telling them it’s a pill to take or a punishment for bad numbers on the scale. Sustaining physical activity is a motivational and emotional issue, not a medical one.”
If you’re already an “exerciser”, you know this too well. If you’re not already an “exerciser”, maybe the simple promise of feeling great—immediately—is enough to get you started—immediately!