Wednesday musings, 10/5/16: intrinsic reward

I was chatting recently with a client that has been working with me for about a year. “The difference between this and other exercise programs I’ve tried is I actually like coming here. Everything I did in the past used to make me regret it.”

This made me sad, largely because I think the idea that exercise needs to hurt to be effective is prevalent in our culture. A recent article in Science Daily* points to research that suggests in order for exercise to become part of one’s routine, there needs to be some sort of intrinsic reward. Simply, it needs to be enjoyable or reduce stress in order for the act of exercise to eventually become a habit. 


There are many types of exercise and the great news is if you put your muscles under more tension than you did yesterday, this acts as a stimulus to make them stronger. If everything you’ve tried so far makes you hurt more or you don’t like feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck the day before, don’t despair. There is something out there that you will find enjoyable, that will give you a sense of accomplishment, and that will make you feel strong. This doesn’t necessarily mean it will always be easy, but as long as you get a sense of satisfaction from doing it, you will continue doing it. Life is too short to do things that don’t enhance your sense of well-being. 

*Article here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160913101129.htm