The Fitness Behaviour Gap

NEARLY 80% OF inactive adults want to be active, yet 50% fail to be active. A Norwegian expert surveyed 917 people between the ages of 14 and 77 about their passion and tenacity. He concluded that these two traits are closely associated with early life, particularly in males.

• However, after the age of 53, this association tends to diminish, he noted.

• This implies that people must become more interested or engaged in something in order to accomplish the task or goal.

According to the study, people begin to lose their "get up and go" at age 54, when it becomes more challenging to motivate oneself to leave the sofa and attempt new things.

Professor Hermundur Sigmundsson, a psychologist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim and author of the 2020 article, said, "Our passion governs the direction of the arrow, what we're fired up about and want to do."

"Grit determines how much work we are willing to exert to accomplish anything," he continued. The researchers feel that a correlation between the two criteria is crucial for a person to become exceptionally skilled at anything.

The team found that truly passionate individuals are willing to work the hardest to become the best, with men being more likely to do this than women.

Professor Sigmundsson stated that a positive mindset encourages individuals to feel that they will become proficient at their passions. He noted that encouragement and an optimistic outlook share a similar pattern and that everything is interconnected while you are young.

However, this association diminishes as we age. From ages 14 to 53, the connections are essentially the same. Professor Sigmundsson remarked that a change occurs after a person reaches the age of 50.

"The relationship between passion and grit is nearly severed." In theory, it is far more difficult for us to really accomplish something. According to him, this implies that people in their 50s who are less active might be enthusiastic and full of good intentions.

However, research indicates that people are unlikely to remain with something until it piques their interest. It implies that it is more difficult to mobilise our tenacity and resolve, even if we have the requisite zeal. Professor Sigmundsson stated, 'Or we may have the tenacity and determination but aren't as enthusiastic about it.'

As age increases, the association between grit and the appropriate mindset weakens. Willpower and the belief that we are improving are no longer as strongly linked.

Professor Sigmundsson counselled individuals to pursue meaningful pursuits and passions with perseverance and determination. "Regardless of age, igniting the spark is essential. If you haven't already, you just need to pursue your interest aggressively.”

“There are no quick fixes. ‘Use it or lose it’" is the motto, and neuropsychology concurs with this”, he said.

­You can almost guarantee consistency in your fitness regime in the following ways:

Find an Interest You Enjoy

The majority of people who engage in physical activity are motivated by the long-term benefits, although these have nothing to do with the behaviour of exercising. Those that consistently exercise are those who find it enjoyable.

To make exercise something you want to do, select an enjoyable activity. If it is impossible to find a new activity, try adding something you enjoy to your present routine to make it more tolerable.

Plan Forward

If you plan your exercise, you are more likely to perform it. The level of specificity with which you plan may also be crucial. The four ‘Ws’ comprise a common strategy for physical activity: What, When, Where, and (with) Whom.

Monitoring your progress is likewise essential. If today's workout was unsuccessful, what modifications can you make for tomorrow? By understanding your past actions, you will have a more significant opportunity of regulating your future activities.

Make it a Routine

People who exercise frequently claim that it has become "intrinsic" for them. Growing evidence indicates that they are partially correct.

According to the modern definition, exercise habits can be reduced to two components. First, habitual exercise is more likely to occur in reaction to stimuli: with people who consistently exercise in the same activity simultaneously and at the exact location. The constancy they arrive at and begin their workout is almost habitual.

Frequency is the second component of habits. People who regularly perform the same exercise simultaneously and in the same place are more likely to describe exercising as habitual.

In conclusion, the more you exercise in similar settings, the more probable it is to develop a habit and the greater the likelihood that you will continue to exercise without needing to motivate yourself each time so the exercise becomes an intrinsic behaviour.

Subscribe to the free Wayne Lèal Newsletter

For the ‘Mid-lifer’, staying motivated to exercise can be challenging physically and psychologically. So please sign-up to my newsletter for my latest blogs, workshops and retreats.
Subscription Form (#3)

Subscribe to the FREE Wayne Lèal Newsletter

Even for a SUPER-A, staying motivated to exercise can be challenging physically and psychologically. So please sign-up to my newsletter for my latest blogs, workshops and retreats.
Subscription Form (#3)
Copyright © Wayne Lèal
Website powered by
Privacy Policy