Exercising regularly is difficult for all of us. Even fitness trainers sometimes have days when they can’t get motivated to exercise. This is completely normal. But it’s annoying. Especially when we want to achieve a certain training goal, but the weaker self prevents us. This article will cover the most common reasonswhy sport is sometimes so difficult for us, Why we can’t motivate ourselves and what we can do about it.
Sport is difficult: you should know it
Exercising is easy when you’re trained
For me it is always a real agony to find my way in the sport and really start. Once I’m in, it’s easy for me to move on. A study from the University of Turku found that that the sport is much easier for everyone when they are training. The reason is that they make quick profits and it is much more fun to get involved in sports. You can read more about the exercise motivation study in this article.
Now we know when the motivation to exercise is easier. But, when is it more difficult and how can we face it? I have chosen some scenarios for you that might apply to you.
Why am I qualified to give you exercise and fitness advice? I am an extreme athlete – I have already completed a 20-day trek to the base of Mount Everest at over 17,000 feet. I have had a giant walk (100 km in 24 hours) and regularly run marathon distances. My next challenge is the Camino de Santiago, where I want to do 300 kilometers in 11 days.
1. Sport is difficult after an illness
After a long illness you would think that doing sports for the first time would be a great pleasure. But that is not usually the case. After an illness, many people find it particularly difficult to get back to their old level of fitness and motivation. There are multiple reasons for this. on one side you have you probably lost some muscle mass during your illness, that you are now fighting to recover. Building muscle mass takes longer and is more difficult than maintaining muscle mass. The researchers explain that with a two-week illness you can easily lose a kilo of muscle mass.
To regain this, many do more intensive or double training sessions. There’s no point in trying too hard because your body won’t thank you with faster fitness. On the contrary: Anyone who “gets back on track” too quickly after an illness is more prone to muscle aches and overexertion. Instead, you should focus on getting back to your old fitness level slowly and steadily. Just don’t stress, if you keep this up, you’ll soon be back to your old peak.
2. Sport during period
Many people find it particularly difficult to exercise during their period. The reasons are as varied as they are obvious. Especially menstruating people, who have particularly strong side effects from their period, are quite averse to sport. menstruation can Mood swings, tiredness and all kinds of pain.
However, exercise is said to be one of the best ways to combat menstrual pain during your period. A study of up to 14,000 participants showed this: They had regular training less headache, body and abdominal pain.
You can find the study and many other reasons why you should definitely exercise during your period here.
3. Sports in the dark
The sport is particularly difficult for most people, especially in the dark season. According to studies, it’s no wonder we just can’t get our butts out in the winter. This is not just due to low temperatures, although they certainly play a role. It is also due to the lack of sun. Sun is our motivational engine for many reasons. On the one hand, this has a hormonal relationship: the sun’s rays in the morning stop the release of the sleep hormone melatonin and we get tired faster.
A US study has also shown that vitamin D, which we absorb from the sun, can greatly contribute to our fitness. In the University of Georgia study, the weight, muscle mass and proportion of vitamin D in the body of adolescents were measured. It turned out that overweight people have much less vitamin D.
Exercising in the dark can increase your fitness level just as much as exercising in the sun. However, most people’s motivation suffers in the dark. Instead, we are more tired in the dark and the happiness hormones of vitamin D are absent.
What can you do with lack of motivation?
Increasing your own motivation when you’re at a low point is one of the hardest things for an athlete to do. Nobody has yet found the ideal trick that immediately motivates us to exercise. Project Fitness Professional Joseph Key behavior change forever explains that people are not without good intentions. Most people who are health and fitness experts take it all in stride. new challenges that they never put into practice.
A study with over 60,000 participants showed how you can get people to stick to their plans. The study was conducted at the University of Pennsylvania and showed that most of us are more likely to respond to so-called little nudges.
A total of 30 different scientists from 15 different universities evaluated 54 different measures for increased sports motivation. The push had by far the best chance of success. It increased visits to the gym between nine and 27 percent.
What is pushing?
Pushing refers to various measures designed to remind you to exercise. The researchers tried, the subjects, for example with emails, free audiobooks and even bonuses for working out.
However, you don’t have to be in a study to use the nudge. On the other hand. Giving yourself a little push for more motivation and self-discipline can work just as well. Give yourself challenges, reminders and rewards to fit your workouts into your everyday life.