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Getting the Motivation towards Achieving Better Health

Man performs stretching exercises on Morro Strand

I hear it all the time from patients. Heck, I even say it myself.

“I need to get in better shape”.
“I need to eat better”.

I am sure you have been told that you need to make a plan on how you are going to eat (meal plans) or exercise (workout plans) to a serious attempt at getting healthy.  You can have the best plan in the world created by the best Chiropractor, Athletic Therapist, Personal Trainer or Nutritionist  but you will fail miserably if you do not have the motivation to stick with it.

Motivation is the “things” that induce you to act a certain way. Motivation is involved in every aspect of our life; work or play. Without motivation you will not continue pursuing your goals. Be aware that some forms of motivation are better than others though especially when it comes to healthy living.

There are two types of motivation, extrinsic and intrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic motivation

This type of motivation involves factors out side of you that induce you to pursue loosing weight, exercising, or eating better.  Example of these may be:

  1. Winning a weight loss competition
  2. Being complimented by others about how good you look
  3. Developing big or more tone muscles
  4. Having a flatter stomach

All of these can be effective methods of motivating people to exercise but the benefits may not result in long term adherence to a healthy lifestyle. If you do not see any changes in any of these external factors you are more likely to quit.

Intrinsic Motivation

This type of motivation involves factors that the person experiences during the activity (exercising, healthy eating, etc) that motivate them to continue. Examples of these may be:

  1. The enjoyment of mastering a new skill. For example, being able to perform a new Kettlebell move.
  2. They enjoy feeling more loose and less tight after performing yoga
  3. They enjoy the runners high after running
  4. They are in less back or neck pain if they are exercising
  5. They have more energy
  6. The enjoy the fun of cooking new foods and the new tastes they experience from eating those healthy foods.

An individual’s motivation tends to run on a continuum somewhere between 100% intrinsic motivation to 100% extrinsic motivation.   Before you start any program to get in better shape, eating better or making changes to a healthier lifestyle sit down and discover what motivates you. If your motivations are predominantly extrinsic seek out more intrinsic reasons.

Post a comment below on what motivates you to get in shape. By posting your comment you may help someone else change their life for the better.

Until next time, decide to make a change in your life.

Dr Notley
Winnipeg’s only dual credentialed Chiropractor and Athletic Therapist

Originally posted on May 17, 2022 @ 4:40 pm