Exercise Motivation

About Exercise Motivation (and the Lack of It)

It’s a fact that exercise is essential for successful weight management and overall good health. Yet many people lack the motivation to exercise, for a variety of reasons including dietary choices and being out of touch with their body.

Increase Motivation for Exercise with Mindfulness

Mindfulness increases your motivation for exercise because it has been demonstrated to:

  • Reduce your stress (the more stressed out you are, the less likely you are to want to exercise)
  • Enhance your mental serenity and concentration (both of which are correlated with improved exercise motivation and frequency)
  • Develop your intentions to exercise

Exercise Motivation and Mindfulness – Exploring the Research

An important 1997 study reported that “during weeks of high perceived stress, participants exercised significantly fewer days [and] omitted more planned exercise sessions.”1

In 2006, a study indicated that mindfulness may be associated with better exercise outcomes.2

In 2007 it was reported that mindfulness and exercise were linked, and that “intentions predicted physical activity among mindful individuals and not among less-mindful individuals.”3

Another study reported that mindfulness “provides a new dimension to assist in educating for a healthy body-mind unity.4

A 2009 study on mindfulness and weight loss showed that, particularly in those who applied the principles and practices of mindfulness consistently, there were greater increases in physical activity and significantly greater reductions in Body Mass Index.5

1Stetson, B.A., et al. (1997) Prospective evaluation of the effects of stress on exercise adherence in community-residing women. Health Psychology, 16:6, 515-520.
2Ulmer, Christi S. (2006) Mindfulness as a moderator of coping response and the abstinence violation effect: A test of the role of mindfulness in the relapse prevention model for exercise. Dissertation Abstracts International, 68/3, 174.
3Chatzisarantis, N., et al. (2007) Mindfulness and the intention-behavior relationship within the theory of planned behavior. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 33(5), 663-76.
4Lu, C., et al. (2007) Mindfulness: A new dimension in physical education. Future directions of research on teaching and teacher education in physical education conference. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
5Tapper, K., et al. (2009). Exploratory randomised controlled trial of a mindfulness-based weight loss intervention for women. Appetite, 52:2, 396-404.