Rad Research: How to Motivate Yourself to Get Moving

Hey friends!

It’s been a while since my last post, but I’m back with some cool news!

I’ve been keeping busy working away on my MSc., and the end is in sight – August is just around the corner, and I’m really excited to see what sort of adventures lie ahead.

This past semester, I had the opportunity to work under a well-established Canadian journalist who frequently contributes to various national and regional publications, such as The Toronto Star, The Guelph Mercury, as well The Grower. Some colleagues and I from the Human Health and Nutrition Sciences Masters program wrote up this neat little nutrition article about how to stay healthy at the work-place (Fun fact: We made the front page of the newspaper! Hurrah!)

Here’s the link for those of you interested in giving it a read: http://www.therecord.com/news-story/5521879-guelph-experts-advice-on-working-and-eating-from-9-to-5/

And so we all know healthy eating is important, but of course, we all know that exercise plays a major role as well in obtaining optimal overall health. I truly believe that there’s a type of physical activity that is enjoyable for everybody (for me, it’s rock climbing!), and that it’s just a matter of time before you find one that suits you best! 11156326_10153218619937836_5371453172178268046_n

With that being said, I recently interviewed a visiting FullBright scholar, Dr. Felicia Cavallini, from Limestone College in South Carolina, to get the nitty gritty details on the latest research on what motivates people, the barriers to physical activity (“I’m too busy to exercise!”), and why some of us just feel so darn lazy sometimes (and how we can get out of our slump!)

Cavallini, along with Dr. Lawrence Spriet from the Human Health and Nutritional Sciences department at The University of Guelph, focuses her research on examining the underlying barriers to the lack of time in physical activity and exercise within the adult population of Guelph and surrounding area. This project has far reaching goals and objectives; the current “phase one” consists of conducting focus groups to obtain the prevalent factors that contribute to the lack of exercise experienced across North America. Thereafter, the second and third phases use questionnaires to collect more data, and finally, design intervention programs to benefit the community.

So what’s the deal? What does this research have to do directly with motivation, and what does it tell us? Do we have to be gym buffs to be perceived as physical active and fit?


Cavallini explains: “There seems to be an underlying negative perception towards the gym. Only a small proportion of individuals are consistent gym-goers. The others are wanting a more structured workout, something competitive, fun, and social”.

After conducting multiple focus groups and collecting rich, raw data, Cavallini has a better understanding of what laziness really means, and what it stems from. And guess what? Surprise, surprise – there’s no simple explanation. In fact, laziness stems from a myriad of reasons, with a recurring trend being the lack of social motivation, as well as an intimidation factor stemming from fitness enthusiasts and strict workout regimes.

In order to overcome these issues, Cavallini and her team of researchers hopes to implement community-based intervention programs, in which the Human Health and Nutritional Sciences department will be a resource for all members of Guelph and surrounding cities to draw on for nutrition education and physical activity ideas through social media, free lectures and seminars.

So essentially, what this means, is that social motivation is a huge factor in becoming physically active; finding people with similar interests, joining running groups, sports leagues, going for walks with friends are all excellent ways to get yourself moving, and have fun while doing it!

Besides, in the wise words of Jack Johnson, “It’s always better when we’re together”!

Have a peachy day 🙂

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