Motivation and Physical Activity

Just to be a little provocative, I want to open this topic by stating what I believe. In my opinion, when people look back on us fifty years from now, it will be the impact of computer usage on our lifestyle (rather than McDonald's or psychology) which will be understood to be at the root of the obesity epidemic of our age. That is to say, I believe our sedentary lifestyle (promoted by labor-saving devices like the family car, but promoted even more completely by the dramatic spike in work and leisure time spent passively sitting at the computer and watching television screens) will turn out to be the biggest factor in why we suddenly have become so obese.

To be just a little more provocative, it is my opinion (even though I am a psychologist and believe the psychological phenomena we study in Treatment Issues are exceptionally important) that if you are trying to succeed with weight management and you do not have a "moving more" component to how you are doing this, you are missing the most crucial thing. I really, truly recommend that in building a path for weight management, your first priority should be on increasing your physical activity.

The role of exercise or enhanced physical activity in positive weight management is universally acclaimed.  Some of the reasoning for this extends rather simply from the "calories-in" vs "calories-out" perspective.  Increased activity burns calories. Truly, almost anything you read on weight management will laud the benefits of exercise: the impact of exercise on the cardiovascular system; the impact of exercise on the reduction of inter muscular fat; the impact of exercise on diabetes; the impact of exercise on brain chemistry and mood; the impact of exercise on stress; and the impact of exercise on body awareness and body image. These benefits are well researched and important.

A less commonly considered benefit of exercise is the potentially potent role it can play in enhancing and sustaining your weight management motivation. On the level of positive vs negative motivation, viewing weight management as freeing you to live life involved in physical activity places you in positive motivation.  On the level of controlled vs autonomous motivation, identifying yourself as a physically active person qualifies as identification motivation. Further, viewing your regular patterns of functional physical activity as something you hold as really important to you (perhaps looking at walking or biking as 
a personal commitments to living green),then your involvement in and monitoring of your physical activity will support your autonomous weight management motivation.

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Bill Picon,
Feb 17, 2015, 7:07 PM
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Bill Picon,
Feb 17, 2015, 7:07 PM
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Bill Picon,
Feb 17, 2015, 7:07 PM
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Bill Picon,
Feb 17, 2015, 7:08 PM
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Bill Picon,
Feb 17, 2015, 7:08 PM
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Bill Picon,
Feb 17, 2015, 7:08 PM
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Bill Picon,
Feb 17, 2015, 7:09 PM
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Bill Picon,
Feb 17, 2015, 7:09 PM
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Bill Picon,
Feb 17, 2015, 7:09 PM
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