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What type of exercise motivation is right for you?

July 17, 2017

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When many things are competing for our time, how do people make the time and stay motivated to exercise? There are lots of little tips and tricks to make exercise easier and more convenient, and in doing so that can make it more motivating and easier to maintain. There are also events and competitions that many people use as a means for somehow getting in better shape. Some days you are into the workout, and some days you are not, and that's okay. We're here to learn what keeps you motivated, even when you think you've lost it.


  • The Goal Setters - Think of people in this group as achievement and growth based. People who are motivated by goals create an outcome to achieve that is meaningful to them. This may be a 5k run time for an organization they proudly support, being able to lift a certain amount of weight, or an amount of weight lost. For many, it is about the outcome, but it's also about the journey. Their motivation comes from the end goal, but it's also motivating to watch the progress. When creating a big goal that will be achieved after a several-month period, it's important to also make weekly or daily goals to keep on track. After seeing one successful outcome, that's motivation for many to keep going.


  • The Prioritizers - People in this group are the ones who have workouts set in their calendar. Prioritizing doesn't only mean fitting exercise into your busy schedule, it's also prioritizing what about the complexities of human health are most important to you. Some people are motivated by the numbers and the measureable outcomes. Other people will be motivated by how their body feels and the enjoyment they get out of being active. There isn't one method that is better than the other. People in this group have learned what is important to them about their health, and they make sure to do it.

  • The Social Butterfly - This one pretty much explains itself. Humans are social creatures, so why would exercise be any different? These are the people motivated through joining a group fitness class, a boot camp challenge, a run club, or partner workout. Doing something with someone whose company you enjoy can make that time go by faster, and help make some activities more bearable. There are competitive aspects that may keep some people going, or the camaraderie of getting through a hard workout together. Exercising in groups can help to hold us accountable, and there is also someone there to sympathize with the struggles.

Knowing what motivates you to exercise is important, and learning how to help yourself and what you need as a means of support are great ways to keep up with healthy habits.

Kimberly Burke is the director of the Adult Fitness Program at Colorado State University, an outreach program through the Department of Health and Exercise Science. Adult Fitness offers exercise opportunities for employees of CSU as well as community members, while providing hands-on learning experiences for health promotion students. To learn more see http://hes.chhs.colostate.edu/outreach/adultfitness/.

For delicious recipes, nutrition tips, and to find cooking and nutrition classes, go to the Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center website. More great info also available at the College of Health and Human Sciences Pinterest board.


Contact:  Kimberly Burke

Telephone:  (970) 491-0928

Email:  Kimberly.Burke@ColoState.edu