The motivation game

Different things motivate different people to get fit, so first and foremost, it’s essential to find the key to start your engine! If you’re not clear why exercise is important, read on and discover that, whatever your reasons for exercising, the benefits can’t be beaten.

“find the key to start your engine”

For most of the people I work with, looking good is their main reason for hiring me as their body sculptor. This may be what motivates you, too, whether you’re aiming for a bikini holiday, a wedding, or simply to have your friends remark on how great you’re looking lately.

It’s true that there are more important, healthrelated reasons for exercising (see opposite), but there’s no denying that for a lot of people, physical
appearance is their number one motivation. And that’s okay. Because the positive side effects of exercising on a regular basis are manifold—you’ll be looking and feeling better, because your body is becoming fitter and healthier.

Finding exercise you enjoy means you are more likely to stay motivated. Exercising with a friend helps, too. You wouldn’t want to let your friend down, would you?

Then there’s another category of people who turn to exercise because they’re finding that things they could do without thinking 10 or 20 years ago are much harder. Suddenly, gardening, housework, or playing a favorite sport aren’t as easy as they once were. For these people, exercise is a route to becoming strong and supple enough to carry on doing the things they’ve always done.

“Start exercising!”

The health benefits

We all know more or less what we could be doing to benefit our bodies. Regular exercise promotes better cardiovascular and respiratory function. Studies have shown, beyond doubt, that it reduces the risks of coronary heart disease, lowers blood pressure, and also increases levels of “good” cholesterol. It helps control blood-sugar levels and so prevents or controls diabetes. It also improves bone density, which protects against osteoporosis. What is more, exercise can help delay some of the physiological effects of ageing and creates beneficial changes in the metabolism of the body, for instance speeding up the rate at which it burns calories.

Additionally, exercise helps to combat sleep disorders such as insomnia, and it brings psychological benefits, too, for instance relieving stress and improving self-confidence. These days exercise is frequently prescribed for patients with depression, and can be as effective as some anti­depressant medications. On top of that, regular exercise is linked to better sexual function and an increased sex drive.

Working out regularly promotes stronger bones, flexible muscles, better posture and breathing function, and a generally more efficient body—all of which means you will look better. And we all know that it’s easier to relate to results we can see, such as improved muscle tone or weight loss, than to “Invisible” improvements in cholesterol, blood pressure, and bone-density levels. However, remember you will be reaping benefits in those areas, too, as a bonus, whether you are interested in them or not. So what on earth are you waiting for? Start exercising!

Top tips to stay motivated

  • Find a form of exercise you enjoy so you’ll be sure to look forward to it. There are so many different types on offer, there’s bound to be one for you.
  • Training for a particular event is a great way to stay on track. Fun runs and mini triathlons are ideal for helping you to stay focusedlas you work toward the big day.
  • Stopped seeing results? Change your program, try a different class or work with a different piece of equipment. Just as small changes in your workout can give your body a jump-start, so a complete change is as good as a full engine clean.
  • Use a personal trainer. Seeing a personal trainer, even if it’s just once or twice so they can design a personalized plan for you, can give you a boost and accelerate your progress once you are up and running.
  • Work with a friend. If you train with an exercise buddy, you’ll find it that much harder to skip a session than if you’re home alone.
  • If finding even 15 minutes a day is beyond you right now, work some extra actiivity into your life. Try gardening, walking part of the way to work, or cycling.