The beginning of the year is often a time when many people commit to a New Year’s resolution. Research indicates that approximately 45% of the population commits to at least one resolution, but of those that do, the vast majority have abandoned it by Valentine’s Day!
Common New Year’s resolutions are committing to weight loss and starting exercise. The fact that many people put on extra weight during the holidays can be an added motivation to create a new exercise habit. So what is it that makes these self promises so hard to keep? All to often, our initial enthusiasm and energy wanes, we get distracted by other things going on in our lives, or we do not think that we are seeing results quickly enough, and we throw in the towel. The thing is, many people do manage to hang in there and make exercise a lifetime habit.
A recent study by researcher Diane Klein, PhD, shed some light on the subject. Long-term exercisers (working out for an average of 13 years) were asked to rank what motivated them to keep up with their regimes. Primarily the exercisers were not as concerned with specific goals, like being toned, or having bulging biceps, as they were with feeling good and being healthy.
Here’s how the study participants ranked their motivators:
- Feelings of well-being
- Pep and Energy
- Enjoyment of the exercise
- Making exercise a priority
- Sleeping Better
- Feeling alert
- Being relaxed
- Weight management
How do we become one of the fitness faithful? Check out the following list to help create positive fitness habits.
Find something that you enjoy. All too often people think that fitness has to be hard, uncomfortable, and even boring. Group fitness has been proven to be an enticing form of exercise. The music, the instructor and the group setting all create a form of escape associated with a positive experience. Initially, many people gravitate toward exercise equipment because it is simple and accessible. But, when people are new to exercise and not in love with the idea in the first place it is almost a dead certainty that they will drop out. Why? It is because this form of exercise requires large amounts of intrinsic self-motivation to stay committed. With Group Fitness, a great portion of the motivation is driven by the external environment.
“The synchronization of music with exercise consistently demonstrates increased levels of work output among exercise participants.”
Music in Sport and Exercise: Theory and Practice
Dr. C.I. Karageoghis, Ph.D
Exercise in a group or with another person. Exercise retention is improved when exercising in a group and/or with another person. Group Fitness is a social atmosphere. A type of pack energy exists that draws you in, motivates you, and builds loyalty between you and your fellow exercisers. If you have a workout partner that comes with you to Group Fitness, you’ll have the double whammy!