How to Find Physical Activities that Spark Joy
Are you longing for the days when you were more active? One of the many reasons why people become less active is they and their bodies become bored with the same routines. Often we get stuck doing the same routine which once gave us results, but no longer is nor does it inspire us to come back to the gym. If you are thinking about heading home after 10 minutes on the stationery bike because you have lost the enjoyment it's time to spice up your routine!
Adhering to a physical activity program becomes difficult once we have lost the enjoyment. There are so many options that don't include the gym to stay moving for life . With the nicer months of summer fast approaching, we encourage you to try different activities to participate in that bring you joy. We are more likely to participate in leisure activities that keep us moving when we know they will also bring us happiness.
Why Do You Exercise?
A study compared adherence to physical activity and their motivation types intrinsic versus extrinsic. They considered intrinsic motives as something that you are motivated to do through competence and enjoyment. Extrinsic motives are more so things you participate in to reap the rewards not associated with completing the activity itself, such as body-related benefits.
The study concluded that different people engage in different activities based on different motivational tactics. Those looking for body-related benefits were more likely to be the "gym-goers" but actually ended up completing less hours a week of the activity than those who were exercising for enjoyment. I am not saying those who go to the gym are not enjoying it while they are there (I for one love exercising at the gym), but you need to find an activity that intrinsically motivates you. Those who are motived by enjoyment and competence felt more energized, confident, and satisfied with the activity.
What sort of physical activity make you feel all of these things? Our preferences change as we age, so there is no wrong answer and they may change as try new things. In fact, a new activity might be exactly what you need to change up your perspective of being active.
Being active doesn't have to be overly strenuous to reap the health benefits. Learn more on this topic by choosing activities for your heart.
Ryan, R.M., Frederick, C.M., Lepes,D., Rubio, N., Sheldon, K.M. (1994). Intrinsic motivation and exercise adherence. Int. J. Sports Psychol., 28:335-354.