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Healthy Cells is a local health magazine with most of the articles written by local professionals. People love to read about healthcare from their local health professionals. Each month includes a wide variety of articles on various topics.
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Getting The Results that YOU WANT

The real question is: does it work the way you want it to?


First, let’s acknowledge the area of the brain responsible for exercise motivation. Yes. There’s an area of the brain that controls exercise motivation. Dr. Eric Turner and lead author Dr. Yun-Wei (Toni) Hsu of Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Center for Integrative Brain Research have discovered that a tiny region of the brain — the dorsal medial habenula — controls the desire to exercise. In humans, it’s about the size of a pea. The structure of the habenula is similar in humans and rodents, and these basic functions in mood regulation and motivation are likely to be the same across species (Journal of Neuroscience).

However, it’s a relatively new discovery and we haven’t quite figured out how to activate that part of the brain without a laser.

How about from a psychological standpoint?


Susan Fowler, Professor of The University of San Diego and author of NY Times Bestseller, Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work and What Does: The New Science of Leading, Energizing, and Engaging, explains in an interview with Forbes magazine that “motivating people is about finding ways to help people satisfy their three psychological needs for autonomy, relatedness, and competence (or ARC).”


I think she’s spot on. One of the things that I made sure of is to give trainees a bit of autonomy in their training sessions. No, I don’t mean that they can do or say whatever they want to avoid doing XYZ workouts, but rather to teach them to listen to their bodies to either push forward or to stop when absolutely necessary. Much like in the workplace, when people are afraid to “speak up” to their supervisor in fear of a backlash, they are less motivated and excited to do what they need to do. However, when approached correctly, someone who is heard and is made a part of a solution is likely to flourish and get great results.


Relatedness is one of the biggest reasons why people workout and join a gym. While some have memberships yet don’t attend, it’s widely considered that being connected with a workout partner, a group or class, or even a trainer has proven to increase consistency and, therefore, their results exponentially.


Lastly, competence is a big one. For years that I have trained clients; I do my best to make sure they feel educated and empowered. For me, it’s the difference between an instructor and a trainer. I’m finding more and more people who struggle with motivation often don’t have a good foundation of what to do in the gym to begin with.


We think of motivation as something that comes mostly from the inside when in fact there are six different ways to find motivation, yet only one of them is intrinsic.


For my clients, the best motivation is one that is in-line with your core values — much like the core values you have that motivate you to get up and go to work at that specific employer or why you want to be a member of that specific gym. This motivation, when appealed to, becomes automatic, or what Susan Fowler calls “integrated.”


So, what are some action steps you can take to get motivated to getting the results you want?

1. Find your core values. Why do you value a certain look or level of strength you want to achieve?

2. Line up your core values with purpose in your life: what will this do for my life, my job, my family, etc.?

3. Put it into action consistently enough until it becomes integrated.

Bloomington-Normal Athlete Factory is located at 401 Bronco Drive Unit-C, Bloomington, IL 61704.  For more information regarding your fitness goals, please contact Donovan at 708-214-3871 or on Facebook




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