Psychologist that study health behavior change are increasingly verifying what many of us have known for a while, harsh approaches to health behavior change do not work. Quitting cigarettes cold turkey, completely eliminating treats from your diet, forcing yourself to run miles a day because someone else said it was good for you – all of these fail to produce sustained change.
Why tends to work better is finding the value in the change, figuring out why it would be personally meaningful, and keeping that goal in mind.
The folks at Healthline.com note that “fitting in exercise is hard for everyone, hearing what keeps other people going can help you find your “why” too.” It’s true, exploring all the values to a health behavior change like exercise, not just the ways measured on a scale, help people sustain change for the long haul.
They go on to say that fitness is about so much more than losing a few pounds, getting shredded, or trying to emulate a “perfectly” toned body. Fitness is about what you can gain. It’s about measuring success by how you feel, not by the scale. It’s about improving physical, mental, and emotional health. It’s about moving in a way that brings you joy so you’ll keep going for years. And it’s about meeting you where you’re at on your fitness journey.
To help kick-start your journey toward finding the “why,” they interviewed 12 trainers, yoga instructors, parents, and others about WHY they exercise, how they fit it in, what inspires them to keep going, and a favorite motivational phrase they share with others.
Read the reasons others have to keep up their health routines at https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness/why-i-exercise, then pause today to consider what goals you have and the direct and indirect reasons they are important to you.