Finding the Motivation to Exercise is About Defining Our Why - 96five Family Radio

Finding the Motivation to Exercise is About Defining Our Why

According to Nutritionist David Young, thinking about your long-term health goals can help inspire action in our present day.

By Steff WillisWednesday 10 Jul 202452Q with Steff & MicahHealth and WellbeingReading Time: 3 minutes

We all know the benefits of exercising, improved physical and mental health, yet many of us struggle to find the motivation.

After a long day at work, the thought of exercising can seem daunting, and it’s easy to instead opt for the couch and a takeaway meal.

In the latest episode of 96five’s podcast 52Q, where we try and find answers to the big and little questions of life, we unpack the universal struggle of trying to find the motivation to exercise.

Joining Steff and Micah on the latest episode of the 52Q podcast is David Young, who has navigated his own health journey and now helps others through his business Young Health.

David believes that the first step to finding motivation is understanding why being healthy is important to you.

“It’s going to vary for so many different people for so many different reasons” David said.

“I’d just like you to really think about it… how do you want to look, feel, function, and think in 10 years or even when you’re 90?”

David explains how reflecting on your long-term health goals can provide clarity and purpose.

David Young is a nutritionist on a mission to help busy parents, families and professionals transform their health. Image: Young Health.

Making the Decision to be Healthy

Once you’ve defined your why, you then need to make the decision to lead a healthy lifestyle. Once you decide, the commitment becomes part of who you are.

“Once you’ve decided, then you don’t really need motivation” David explained.

“You do to kind of keep yourself going and there’s other tools and things that you can use, but I think you start by making a decision… ‘Hey, I’m going to be a healthy person'”.

Knowing your ‘why’ and aligning your lifestyle with your values will help you stay motivated in the long term.

Start Small and Find Joy

While accountability and setting predetermined times for exercise in your schedule can help, David encourages people to begin with what you can do and what you love.

Whether it’s a short walk to the mailbox, swimming, or mountain biking, start small and build gradually. Over time, this can lead to more intense activities.

For some, joining group exercise sessions or having a workout buddy can provide the necessary encouragement and make the experience more enjoyable.

Nutrition and Muscle Mass

As a nutritionist, David understands the important role food plays when it comes to our exercise regimes.

“I think most people come from a space of either, I’m going to go and do hours and hours of intense cardio and focus on that, or people take the approach, I’m just going to focus entirely on food only.

“I think when you actually combine the two together and you nourish your body with real wholesome food and actually give your body the full fuel, the right fuel that it needs to perform at optimal levels.

It’s also not all about cardio, David encourages some form of resistance training in our routine to help maintain muscle mass, which is critical as you age.

For those struggling to incorporate exercise into their daily lives, David’s advice is to just start with what you can do. A short walk, swimming or a group activity combined with good nutrition can lead to significant improvements in energy and well-being.

Listen to the full episode with David Young in the player below or search 52Q wherever you get your podcasts.

Feature Image: David Young, image supplied by Young Health