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Paige Waehner

The Psychology of Exercise

By July 25, 2013

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If you're a veteran exerciser, there's a question a lot of people have for you: What motivates you to exercise? This is a simplistic view, of course, but it often seems like there are two types of people in the world: Those who exercise and those who don't. Those who do can't fathom why other people don't. Meanwhile, those who don't have no idea what drives those who do.

Confusing, I know.

I've been trying to answer this question since I started working at About.com (13 years ago, if you can believe that) and there have been some interesting studies done to try to figure out what makes exercisers tick. I wrote about some of this in my recently updated article, The Psychology of Exercise, discussing some of the questions experts have about what drives us to exercise.

Questions like: Does age make a difference in why we exercise? And does aerobics give women more satisfaction with their bodies than yoga? The answers to these questions are interesting, but the only way to find out is to take the psychology of exercise quiz to test your knowledge about the mental side of exercise. Or, you could just read the article, but that would be cheating, wouldn't it?

And, please leave a comment if you have any thoughts about this. What keeps you exercising? If you don't exercise, why do you think you struggle with it while others don't? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.

July 12, 2007 at 3:20 pm
(1) Des says:

Just to get the heck out of the house.

July 13, 2007 at 7:09 am
(2) linda says:

scored low on the test. answered questions according to my own experience. I work out 6 days a week, so must be doing something right (at 72).

July 13, 2007 at 1:35 pm
(3) Cat says:

I am a diabetic. I took my most recent battery of tests and the results came back showing protein in my urine, which indicates the beginning of kidney disease. Since diabetes and kidney disease go hand-in-hand, I began exercising 7 days per week. (I still hate it, however.)

July 13, 2007 at 7:15 pm
(4) Pete says:

I have been exercising for since I was 17 years old. I love to work out even at my cuurent age of 51. I run six miles or more, I left heavy weights, do some boxing and ju-jitsu and I love hiking. the benefits I have recieved are I no longer struggle with asthma, I have no diabetes, my heart is in excellent shape (run 1/12 mile in 13min.)and most of all I look like a thirty year old and the women I court are in that range and less. Exercise is a life style. something one should enjoy not just for losing weight but to feel free from the maladies of deseases and streses of life and to live longer.

July 14, 2007 at 3:10 pm
(5) Deloirs says:

I have been working out regularly for 4 years now, I feel better(lost 80 pounds), look better and younger, (I’m 49 and look 10 years younger), and I have energy. It also controls my diabetes. I have a routine of working out 6 days a week amd miss it when I can’t get around to it.

July 14, 2007 at 5:40 pm
(6) Cat says:

For Deloris:

As I stated above, I still hate exercise. I do. Still, I have done it every single day for 4 months since my albumin tests turned negative. My problem with exercise is the ones I feel that I have to do. They hurt my right leg quite a lot. I love to swim, and have loved it since I was a little girl. Unfortunately, there is no pool around me. When I was younger I would swim 4 to 8 hours per day and was always healthy. I’d love to get back to that, but since I can’t, I take my diabetes meds, try to follow the low carb diabetic diet, and do exercises I dislike.

There are several diabetics in my family over the variations generations, and several in my generation. I too look years younger that I am.

Keep on taking good care of yourself.

July 14, 2007 at 11:22 pm
(7) brie says:

first off, i work at a gym; the motivation of “you’re here, so might as well do something” and the membership and trainers are free for me. i also work out to relieve stress, sleep better, and be a strong, healthy, and self-motivated person. i work out for me!

July 30, 2013 at 8:13 am
(8) Michael Moldenhauer says:

I became serious about exercise over 20 years ago. That’s when my father passed away from a heart attack at the young age of 51. That’s when I became serious about exercise.

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