Being a fitness professional I am very aware of the terms intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic motivation comes from within; it is internally derived without a specific environmental source. This motivation causes people to engage in an activity, such as exercise, for pleasure or satisfaction they get from the activity itself.

Extrinsic motivation is derived from direct environmental input or is socially mediated in some way. These people may be extrinsically motivated to exercise by the praise and support they get from family members or a personal trainer.

Many people start an exercise program or new diet, for extrinsic reasons, such as wanting to look better. In this case the program usually doesn’t last very long. This results in failure because extrinsic motivation is usually inadequate in getting individuals over the hurdles of being too busy or tired to make it to the gym every day.

The key to long-term and or a short-term success are in the development of multiple sources of motivation. My job as a fitness professional is to help clients who begin exercising for one reason to develop and strengthen other motivators so they have more reasons to continue their programs.

Cody Carlson CPT NCCPT


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