SUMMER SHAPE UP: INTENTION TO ACTION

Having the intention to exercise is one thing; acting on that intention is a whole different ball game! If it wasn’t then we would all be super fit, have the body we desired and be healthy long in to our nineties.

It takes motivation and action to get results. The more motivated we are, the easier it is to take action to realise our goals. Motivation is a cognitive process that connects a thought or a feeling with an action. Motivation may be intrinsic (an internal drive from within the individual to do something out of interest or enjoyment in exercise itself, or valuing exercise as important or beneficial) or extrinsic (an external drive, such as rewards, competition or the threat of punishment).

Get to Know your Motivators for Exercise and Fitness.

One intrinsic motivator is knowledge. Understanding the benefits of exercise—including reduced risks of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, colon cancer and all-cause mortality as well as increased energy, improved fitness and better quality of life—can be a motivator. Intrinsic motivators can also include reduced depression and anxiety levels, enhanced mood, improved confidence and self-esteem, and heighted need to enjoy activity in retirement.

Extrinsic motivators for exercise include weight loss, improved physical appearance and competition for awards. A recommendation from your health care provider, something.  The key is to determine what are important or relevant motivators for you as an individual.

How to Build and Maintain Motivation

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

You can implement a strategy and achieve your vision. Self-efficacy  or confidence in your ability to succeed, can be built by creating a sensory rich experience around you desired outcome. See, hear and feel what it will be like to achieve your Summer Shape. Self-affirmations or positive self-talk will only work if you believe in the possibility! Don’t expect perfection or compare yourself to others. Keep your focus on what makes exercise meaningful for you and what you ultimately want to gain from your exercise program.

 

SET A GOAL OR HAVE A VISION.

Having a clear picture of your desired outcome (your destination) makes you much more likely to achieve it. Clearly specify how you will know when you’ve reached your goal. You might take a picture of yourself now and every four weeks, so you can see how you’re progressing.

Develop a realistic action plan.

Create a clear, logical and achievable action plan that includes frequency, intensity and duration of cardiovascular exercise,  strength training and stretching. Include realistic short small steps and progress gradually to help you feel successful and avoid injury or burnout.

Use environmental cues.

Put your gym bag by the door, so you remember to take it to work. Or schedule your workouts into your calendar or planner and set electronic reminders on your mobile phone or computer.

Have fun.

Find an activity that you enjoy and will stick with, along with an environment that is supportive, safe and comfortable for you.

Make it convenient.

Exercise at home to fitness DVDs if you don’t have time to drive to the gym. Exercise at the time of day when you have time and you enjoy doing it.

Record your progress.

Keep a written record of your exercise (weights, sets, reps; distance walked, run, or biked; flights of stairs climbed; etc.) to provide information about progress that reinforces your exercise behaviour.

Build a social support network.

Find a buddy with whom you can work out regularly. You can help and encourage each other, rely on each other for moral support and accountability, and share in your accomplishments.

If you need additional help and accountability, you can hire a personal trainer. Look for a trainer who is regulated by a well-known organization, such as the Register of Exercise Professionals.

Reward yourself.

Treat yourself to something that is compatible with your health and fitness goals (e.g., not a piece of chocolate cake, but something else you enjoy, like a movie, flowers or new exercise clothing).

Persist.

Making good exercise and nutrition choices day after day can be challenging. If you have momentary setbacks, accept them and get back on track. Your exercise goals depend on your ability to understand your exercise personality and motivators. Having a clear goal or vision that excites you and pursuing it in an enjoyable way is a great start. It’s all about knowing what makes you tick and pairing intention with action to achieve tremendous results.

~ by admin on January 1, 2017.

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