Topics: Motivation, Health care, Health Pages: 3 (779 words) Published: August 18, 2010
Motivation and the Brain – The Desire to Exercise and Be Physically Fit

Motivation and the Brain – The Desire to Exercise and Be Physically Fit The motivation that drives people to engage in physical activities like exercise can be analyzed as a result of many contributing factors. Theories exist regarding whether desire can be attributed to extrinsic or intrinsic factors. The brain structures and functions responsible for this type of motivation are complex and unique. Each individual will have his or her own reasons, but ultimately, some key factors can be noted. The role of Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivators

The motivational factors that drive people to engage in physical activities like working out at a fitness club, or running, appear to be mostly intrinsic. Heredity does not seem to be a prominent motivator; however, one’s environment will indeed have some effect. Children raised by athletes will obviously more inclined and motivated to participate in physical activities as an athlete would likely push his or her son or daughter to be athletic like them. Another increasingly popular source of motivation to work out is the desire to maintain good health, including keeping a healthy body weight. Another possible motivation is the desire one may have to prove to their own selves, the extent of their capacity. The term “self-efficacy” can be summarized with an individual asking himself or herself the following two questions: “Am I capable of doing this activity?” and “Will I be successful in achieving my goals if I engage in this behavior?” The internal question specific to this article would be “Am I capable of successfully participating in an ongoing diet and exercise program?” Self-efficacy can also be described as situation-specific self-confidence (Grogan, Connor, & Smithson, 2006). Another possible explanation for the motivation to diet and exercise is the Protection Motivation Theory, which suggests that people are motivated to protect themselves...

References: Grogan, S., Connor, M., & Smithson, H. (2006, November). Sexuality and Exercise Motivations: Are Gay Men and Heterosexual Women Most Likely to be Motivated by Concern About Weight and Appearance?.
Deci, E. L. (2004). Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination. Credo Reference.
Deckers, L. (2010). Motivation: Biological, Psychological and Environmental.
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