The Motivation To Lose Weight
In The Gym Only Lasts Six Months
The desire to lose weight only motivates people to go to the gym
for up to six months, according to a new study.
Researchers found that unless gym-goers start getting a buzz
from working out, many will give up within three months.
However, exercise can create a "feel good factor" which
motivates people to continue going to the gym long beyond the
initial motivation to get fit.
The London Metropolitan University study for International Fitness
Week is investigating behavioural and thought patterns of gym-goers.
Led by Dr Jeremy Adams, the Exercise Behaviour Study for Fitness
First reveals what motivates people to start exercising and examines
whether these factors alter as members become regular gym-goers.
Dr Jeremy Adams, a sport and exercise psychologist, said: "We
established that people are motivated to start exercising because
they want to either get fit or improve themselves.
"Weight loss and improved appearance featured heavily in
But Dr Adams said that for gymgoers to continue working out past
six months it was vital they found other motivations.
He said: "External motivations, such as the desire to lose
weight, will motivate people for around three to six months.
"People will only tend to continue beyond that if they feel
better having exercised, if they feel they have more energy or
feel less stressed.
"Those who carry on going to the gym say they do feel better
in this way and that's the hook.
"Feeling that switch in motivation from external factors
to internal ones tends to come from good personal experiences
at the gym.
"This could be someone encouraging them and saying they've
worked well or someone telling them how to exercise better.
"We found it has very little to do with the actual equipment
at the gym."
International Fitness Week runs from February 1-7 and is designed
to encourage more people to find out what kind of exercise works
Fitness First's managing director John Gamble said: "We
know that exercising releases feel good endorphins but to have
this study reinforce the long term feel good aspect of regular
exercise is tremendous."
February 2, 2010