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Find your missing exercise motivation!

How do we avoid exercise? Let us count the ways. Being too busy or too tired are common excuses…er, reasons. And then there's the weather, the dishes, the laundry, not having the right gear, and our favorite Netflix shows. Starting and sticking with an exercise routine is difficult without "intrinsic motivation" — the internal desire to do something — but new research points to one way to develop it.

motivation exercise

In a recent study, a group of older adults who were not active participated in a 9-month exercise program that involved supervised resistance-training sessions twice a week. During the program, the participants started to enjoy exercising, plan their workouts, and feel competent about physical activity. A year after completing the program, about half the group was still doing twice-weekly sessions, and the other was doing them once a week.

The morals of the story? Support and instruction can help you get your exercise wheels turning, and "just doing it" can make you want to do it. Find a personal trainer, an exercise class or program that's suited to your fitness level, or a friend to work out with, and commit to a consistent exercise routine, working up to at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (or 75 minutes of vigorous activity) a week and at least two weekly sessions of muscle-strengthening activity. Having an ongoing fitness buddy can help you stick with your routine, exercise more, and have fun while you do it.

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