Want to know how to get the motivation to exercise? Did you know, scientifically speaking there really is only one way to get the motivation to exercise…
You know you want to get back into exercising. You recognise how important exercise is in your life. But while Netflix is on and there’s a bottle of pop on the table it can be hard to bother getting yourself to the gym. So your gym membership ends up wasted and your body gets weaker.
You need to know how to get the motivation to exercise.
But even the idea of exercising might seem scary to you. Do you ever say to yourself, “Well, I’m just not the exercising type of person?” Or maybe you say to yourself, “I’d exercise if only I had the time.” Or, “I’ll exercise once I finished X, Y or Z, when a cow flies over the moon”. Or any other negative thought (in which case, I’ve created a great strategy to help you remove negative thoughts from your mind).
Truth is, as you and I both know, it is a lot easier to find excuses not to exercise than it is to find the motivation to get to the gym.
Thankfully, once you know how to get the motivation to exercise, your life will become a lot easier and healthier. Trust me, after reading this article and following the tips, you will find the motivation to exercise and you will genuinely want to rush down to the gym and work up a sweat (or, if you’re fortunate, maybe you’ll choose to buy a treadmill for home or a home gym
If you’re struggling, don’t sweat. There’s a scientific way how to find the motivation to exercise.
I personally struggled for years to find the motivation to exercise. I always knew I wanted to be healthy, to look good, and to have toned muscles (partly for personal pride, partly to be more attractive to women). But I always said to myself, “It will take too long for me to go from where I am to where I want to be”. And because of thoughts like that I put exercise off for years.
That’s how powerful thoughts are. One negative thought, like “It will take too long,” can repeat over and over in your head for years so that you end up putting things off for years (which is one reason why it can be so much better to just live in the moment, free of thoughts).
We all experience negative thoughts. But just where, oh where, do those negative thoughts stem from, and how can we turn those negative thoughts that demotivate us into positive thoughts that motivate us to exercise?
Obviously, thoughts come from your brain. Yeah. Not rocket science, is it? Your brain creates negative thoughts that either motivate you or demotivate you. And that’s true of everything you do.
If you binge watch Game of Thrones, for instance, your brain is creating positive thoughts about Game of Thrones that make you want to watch it.
If you grab the bottle of pop instead of the water, or the chocolate bar instead of the carrot, your brain is creating thoughts that motivate you to have the pop and the chocolate.
But why would your brain create thoughts that motivate you to do the wrong thing?
Because your brain has been lied to over the years.
Your brain only wants a few things. Those things are the best way to get the motivation to exercise.
Truth is, there are only so many things that your brains truly wants, and most of them are some form of neurochemical.
The neurochemical of desire, for instance, is dopamine. Dopamine is a pleasure chemical that is responsible for motivation. Here’s how dopamine works. Your brain anticipates dopamine in association to a specific thing or activity. “I’ll have sex, because sex will give me a huge surge of dopamine which will make me feel good,” your brain says to itself. So it then sets about making sex happen. You take your girlfriend out for dinner, treat her special, romance her, and if it all goes well you have sex, you get a surge of dopamine, you feel great. You then remember feeling great when having sex, which motivates you to get more of it.
Dopamine motivates everything you do. And were mankind 100% natural and not entirely self-destructive, this dopamine situation would be an entirely positive thing. Dopamine would motivate you to eat fruit and other healthy food, exercise, work hard, have sex, and do other positive things, because those positive things release dopamine.
But mankind is self destructive. So eventually the time came when billion-dollar corporations said to themselves, “If we can trick the brain into releasing dopamine by buying our products, we’ll get people addicted to our products and they won’t be able to stop buying them.” So what happened? Food manufacturers filled everything with artificial sugar. Cigarettes manufacturers stuffed nicotine into cancer sticks. And the media made everything either violent or sexy. And the average Joe got so addicted that they now spend every spare moment racing from TV to chocolate to alcohol to sex or adult videos.
But just how exactly does this effect your motivation to exercise?
The number one way in which your brain motivates you to exercise is through dopamine. Your brain tells itself, “If I exercise I will feel good.” And if that were all there were too it, you’d be exercising every day.
Sadly, exercise only releases X amount of dopamine. Having a cigarette, watching a movie (especially an adult movie), eating junk food… those activities release more dopamine than exercise does. And of course, exercise takes much more effort than those activities.
So now your brain says, “Well, I could exercise and feel quite good. Or I could just sit here watching TV and drinking coke and feel amazing.” What do you think your brain is going to choose? It’s like me asking you, “Would you like to earn $100 for working your butt off, or $1000 for doing nothing?” Erm, I’ll do nothing, thanks for the free money.
As I’m sure you’ve realised, with this set-up there is zero motivation for you to exercise. And there are logically only two ways in which you can motivate yourself to exercise. The first is to increase the amount of dopamine your brain will receive when you do exercise. The second is to lower the amount of unnatural dopamine you’re currently receiving. In other words, you need to create a situation in which exercising represents an increase in dopamine compared to your normal state.
This is easier to achieve than you might think. Essentially, the way how to get the motivation to exercise is:
Increase dopamine anticipated and released through exercise
Lower unnatural dopamines so you’ll want the healthy ones more.
So, here’s the real way how to get the motivation for exercise
- Give up your unnatural dopamines. These include artificial sugars, TV, video games, adult videos, and alcohol.
- Increase the anticipation of dopamine related to exercise. Which, in simple terms, means imagine exercise being really really fun. For instance, imagine meeting athletic people at the gym; imagine that your body is already fit and that you feel proud of your body while you’re running / working out; by yourself new shoes that you love and that you are only allowed to wear at the gym; anything else that makes the idea of exercising seem truly pleasurable.
By balancing your dopamines you will naturally recalibrate your brain. This is the best way how to get the motivation to exercise.
If you know of any good ways to balance dopamines, or any great ways to get motivated for exercise, leave a comment. We truly appreciate all your feedback here on TheDailyMeditation.