Should exercise be fun? Take a psychiatrist

    sPerhaps one of the lasting (albeit misleading) effects of the “no gain, no pain” marketing approach on fitness is to make fun seem like something you shouldn’t expect from a good sweat session. In fact, exercises that push you outside your comfort zone can also make you feel fulfilling, such as increasing your maximum strength. There is plenty of evidence that low-intensity fitness can be both enjoyable and beneficial. Hello walking. However, when it comes to the basic question “Should exercise be fun?” Mental health experts say the answer is complex.

    In simple psychological terms, we are more likely to repeat movement styles we enjoy than movement styles we hate, says Evan Lawrence, a licensed mental health counselor and certified personal trainer. “Perception affects everything. If you love what you’re doing, you’re more likely to do it again. And looking at one of the main ways to get the most out of your workout is to build consistency around it, there’s definitely a benefit in enjoying it.”

    Exercises that make you feel like you play well in Self-Determination Theory, a framework for understanding human motivation first created in 1985. “Self-determination theory is based on the idea that motivation comes from three things: competence, autonomy, and connectedness,” performance consultant Saara Haapanen, a doctoral student in sports and exercise psychology at Jyväskylä University in Finland. Competence is your ability to perform an activity; Independence refers to your freedom to choose that activity, and relevance means your ability to do that activity in the company of others. When you have all three components in one exercise setup, you have “trifecta” motivation, according to Haapanen.

    Workouts driven by these three qualities also make it easier for you to find the “why” to exercise. For example, maybe you go to dance lessons because you the love The interrelated benefits you get from busting a move with your friends. Or maybe you like running because it makes you feel efficient and independent in your body. “The best training you can do is one that you enjoy, because you’re going to get it done. Motivation is something that doesn’t necessarily last, so you need to know the ‘why’ you’re doing,” Habanen says.

    Of course, there’s also something to be said for striving for higher fitness goals – like running a marathon or hiking up a big mountain. In these cases, Habanen tells you truly Need to find the “why” so that when things get tough, don’t give up. And you can still look for those qualities of self-determination – competence, independence, and relevance in the exercises that are more physically taxing.

    However, Lawrence points out that there is a minimum amount of research when it comes to exercises that push the boundaries of what you can do. “Biologically speaking, there are studies that show that there is a benefit from exercising in a certain form [challenging] Intensity — although there is no dose-response relationship — that is, more intense exercise is not necessarily associated with more benefits,” he says. The feeling of having achieved a great goal overlaps with other life-altering feelings — including feelings of contentment and self-confidence that It can help support future goals.

    In short… it’s complicated! As Haapanen and Lawrence point out, the best training is the one that keeps you coming back over and over again. In the end, it is up to you how to break up your workout regimen so that you feel pure joy and more complicatedExpected satisfaction. “Make choices that relate to your goals,” says Lawrence. “If you have a fairly specific physical goal, you may have to make choices that prioritize the biological aspect and not necessarily the pleasure aspect.” “However, if you stay healthy and practice self-care, there is more flexibility to find a balance between the two.”

    So like the majority of fitness tips, the answer to this boils down to: You do you.

    Find your happiness with this fun cardio class:

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