Fitness is important in life. In fact, I’d say that it’s one of the most important things in life.“Health is wealth” – the old adage goes. And it rings true even today. A healthy adult should spend at least one hour a day doing exercises, and have fitness motivation. Unfortunately, there’s a stark difference between “what ought-to-be” and “what is.”
The reality is most people in today’s world are not fit. Unhealthy eating habits, a sedentary lifestyle, stress, the convenience culture, a dire lack of motivation, spending a copious amount of time on social media, limited outdoor activities, and urbanization and a lack of open green space are the key reasons behind the decline of physical fitness all over the world.
Fitness in the USA
The problem is especially worse in the US. People are not motivated to stay fit. The obesity rate is steadily increasing. A report from the Trust for America’s Health shows that in 2023, more than 40% of Americans are obese. Obesity is linked to various types of diseases including heart problems, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and even some forms of cancers.
If the obesity rate is so high, why are people not taking it seriously? Why don’t they have fitness motivation? And why are they not doing their best to get slim? You might be wondering. Well, first off, fear is not a great motivation. Second, there are fat activists these days, and the Internet has given them a voice. They encourage people to put on extra weight, sometimes at the cost of their lives, to fight “fatphobia” in society.
And lastly, motivation with momentum is not true motivation. Fitness motivation must not be short-lived but lasting.
The last point requires a detailed discussion.
Fitness and consistency
Consistency is crucial for fitness motivation. But most people lack consistency. They start following fitness tips to maintain good health, but fail to continue. CDC reported that 75% of Americans fail in their fitness journey. See the chart below:
The chart shows that only 25% of Americans met their muscle strengthening and aerobic exercise goals in 2020. Three quarters of Americans are unsuccessful in achieving their fitness goals. They either never started, or started and then quickly lost motivation.
But consistent progress is the only thing that could reinforce fitness motivation and create a positive feedback loop. As you see yourself getting stronger, fitter, or reaching weight loss milestones, you feel more empowered to continue your journey. This empowerment keeps you engaged and moving forward towards your goals.
How to Find Motivation
Finding fitness motivation is not easy. One must be diligent and determined. More importantly, they must have a goal. A person who is anorexic could set a goal of gaining weight. An obese person can imagine himself with a shredded physique and get motivated to lose excess weight. A young guy who is skinny fat can motivate himself by imagining he is getting jacked as he continues strength training. Different things motivate different people. Before starting their fitness routines, people must find their own incentives for fitness motivation.
There are a few other things that are important for the fitness motivation breakthrough.
Physical and Mental Well-being
A great way to stay motivated is reminding oneself that regular exercise offers long-term health benefits. Cardio, calisthenics, strength training, and sprinting are all great ways to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, improve cardiovascular health, strengthen bones and joints, and enhance cognitive functions. Multiple studies have shown that people who exercise three to five days a week are less likely to have health problems. And not just physical well-being, exercise has a profound impact on mental well-being as well. Consistent physical activity can combat stress, alleviate anxiety, and boost mood. Regular exercise promotes relaxation, improves sleep quality, and enhances overall mental clarity.
Goal Setting, Impulse Control, Progress Checking
People often get demotivated because,
- They don’t set a goal.
- They couldn’t control impulses.
- They don’t check progress
Let’s start with goal setting. When someone has a goal to achieve, they know precisely how much they’d have to exert themselves to achieve that goal. In fitness, one can set a goal of losing 10 lbs in 3 months. It’s a realistic goal, and they know all the do’s and don’ts to achieve that goal.
Just as goal setting is important, so is controlling impulses. One can do it in a smart way, not in a hard way. When their mind craves sugary beverages, they can simply tell themselves “I’ll grab myself a croissant first thing after I lose weight.” If they don’t feel like getting up in the morning, they can just tell themselves “I’ll do it only for today, not for tomorrow.”
Finally, the best way to reinstate fitness motivation is checking progress. When there’s visible progress, motivation comes naturally, and at one point, becomes more like a habit.
It’s undoubtedly difficult to find fitness motivation and stay motivated. But difficult doesn’t mean impossible. Losing extra weight, getting lean and staying fit are no longer optional amid this obesity epidemic. So, one must be motivated enough to achieve their fitness goals and walk consistently on the path of fitness.