Fitness enthusiasts can use the phrase ‘motivated’ to describe how they feel after exercising.
But it’s not just the physical activity that makes the difference, says fitness expert and author Gary McQuade.
Motivated is not the same as motivated by a desire to be better, he says.
He is motivated by the motivation to get out there, to do things that you would not normally do and get a feel for how your body reacts to it.
In other words, the more you train, the better you’ll feel.
In his book Motivated, he explains why the more we train, our bodies get better at recognising and responding to what we do.
It’s a very simple concept, but the result is something that makes a difference in how we feel about ourselves.
‘Motivated’ is a good descriptor for the way we feel when we exercise, says exercise physiotherapist Dr David O’Brien.
‘We all have that inner sense of ‘this is my strength’ or ‘this strength is mine’ that we can only feel as a result of some hard-earned training or sport.
It is really about the feeling you get when you feel motivated.
‘It’s a feeling that comes from a desire, not an actual physical activity, says Dr O’Brien.
In fact, when we look at the physical responses, we can tell if we have actually trained and if we are training in a way that’s not motivating.’
‘Motivating’ is not a specific physical trait Dr OBrien says.
It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be physically fit to be motivated.
However, the way you feel when you exercise does influence the way others feel about you, so it’s important to understand how you feel about yourself.
He says: ‘We are biologically programmed to feel motivated when we do things, and it is our physiological response to these feelings that determines our fitness level and ability to get fit.’
It’s not as simple as it seems to be.’
Some people have a genetic predisposition to feel better after they’ve done something they like, so they have a ‘genetic drive’ to be in a certain activity and that makes them feel good about themselves and makes them want to do that activity more.’
But most people don’t.
They just like doing something they feel good doing and doing it well.’
Dr O,Brien is the founder of The Fitness Institute and a trainer of professional athletes in Brisbane.
He also runs his own fitness studio, which has been open for more than 15 years.
His latest book, Motivated Fitness: An Introduction, is available on Amazon and is available in paperback.
He has a free email newsletter at the end of every week and a free app on his iPhone called Motivated for Work.
Follow the ABC’s Motivated story from the ABC News app on your phone.
Dr O’s latest book is called Motivating Fitness: A Comprehensive Guide to Developing a Fitness Profile.
‘You can be motivated by wanting to get better, and being motivated by having an enjoyable physical activity,’ he says, ‘but you need to understand that the physical and mental responses are the two most important aspects of motivation.’
The main difference between a gym or physical activity and the gym is in how you exercise.
‘The physical activity you do is the main thing that makes you feel good,’ he explains.
‘When you do the same exercise over and over again and it feels good, it feels like a real workout.’
You may not be motivated to train for long if you do it to feel good, he adds.
‘There’s a difference between the physical exercises that are done for the gym and the ones that are a social activity.’
You have to understand you have a physical response and that’s what makes you a better athlete.’
Dr McQuades latest book on motivation is Motivated: How to Develop the Power of Your Body and Mind.
He’s also the author of Motivated Training: A Guide to Building Fitness for Success.
Listen to Gary Mcquade’s interview with Dr David J O’Leary on ABC Radio National.