After years of encouragement from me for my Dad to exercise more he is finally getting himself off his settee and doing some specific exercises to help strengthen his back and legs. No thanks to me – oh no – it’s because he’s seeing a physiotherapist, a young and attractive lady he adds, who has prescribed the exercises, which happen to be almost exactly the same as the ones I gave him many months ago! So, trying to impress the physiotherapist is my Dad’s main motivation, eh?
Last night I asked one of my clients. What was her motivation to actually do the running she’d been thinking about doing for a while? A desire to beat her personal best time in the Bristol 10km run, a resignation that sitting there was not going to shift the few pounds she had put on, and a promising ‘app’ programme of progression towards the 10km. “An inherent love of running?” I asked her, to which she looked dubious.
I remember a year or so ago when another client of mine received a somewhat worrying liver test result, which inspired her to get more active and address her diet immediately, losing some body fat and improving her liver test score a few months later.
Would your doctor, advising you to exercise more and eat less, inspire you to get off your settee and get moving? Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen, unless you undergo some tests and come out with a negative result or two. We need to find an inner motivation, whether it be a competitive urge to do something well, a last resort solution when you’ve reached your lowest fitness level / highest bodyweight, or a curiosity to try a form of exercise you have not tried before.
Whatever it is for you, listen to your internal voice urging you to reap the benefits of moving more. Enlist the support of a friend or partner and make a pact to jump off your settee, start on a routine of physical activity that will carry you through to old age, providing you with feel good hormones and a joy of sustaining your quality of life.