If someone is not motivated death is not likely to motivate them. There are several reasons the fear of dying isn't motivating for people. 1. it's easier to accept that you are dying because you don't have the skills to make a change 2. some people don't really quite believe they are dying until at some point the actuality sets in and it's probably too late to be 'motivated' to do anything or 3. people give in to dying and feel there is no hope for anything else. Number one and number three are similar in nature. If you think about motivation in terms of exercise, for example, even though people know they should exercise to be healthy they don't. There are many reasons why people don't exercise but here are a few: they don't have the skills, they don't understand the pro's, they don't know how the benefits attach to them personally, and they don't feel like they have any control over the situation. With all of those elements (and more) going against exercise why would someone be motivated to exercise in health or even necessarily in the face of death. In order for anyone to overcome these obstacles toward exercise motivation the world of fitness needs to have a better understanding about how to help educate and motivate people. Fitness professionals and other professionals need to understand that helping to motivate people is knowing where they are at psychologically and being able to have the 'right' conversations. For example, even though 10 people might decide to join a fitness facility today all of them are probably in different 'stages of change'. A few might be thinking about starting a work out program but aren't quite ready and need some support and education. A few others might just be starting out but still don't understand the pro's of exercise and need someone to explain the pro's. It's fairly simple to say to someone 'you need to start exercising because you have diabetes' but that is not what's (probably) going to motivate people. Motivation is defined by direction and intensity and you can't have direction and intensity if you don't understand the benefits and have the skills to move through the stages of change with the support of health and fitness professionals.
Zeba S. Geloo, MD
- internal medicine
Location and Office HoursInternal Medicine Associates
110 Irving St NW
Washington, DC 20010
- Kaiser Permanente Health Plans
- MDIPA/MAMSI (UnitedHealthcare)
- Optimum Choice/MAMSI (UnitedHealthcare)
- United Healthcare
- Washington Hospital Center
Why isn’t the fear of dying a sustainable motivator?
Michelle Cleere - Sharecare Fitness Expert, PhD, Psychology, answered
How does exercise affect aging?
You can’t live forever, but you can live well, reduce arthritic pain, maintain your mobility, help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s, and minimize the limitations of aging far into your senior years. Exercise can do all that. This is especially important as the population of seniors grows. Here’s what the newest research tells us:
- Regular exercise decreases the likelihood of developing arthritis-related disabilities. For those with arthritis, not exercising can make consequences of the disease worse.
- Men and women -- aged 65 years and older -- who exercise have a lower risk of losing mobility.
- Brain function improved for older women who walked only 1 1/2 hours per week.
- The fitter you are, the lower the risk of brain function decline.
- Active women aged 54 to 79 years have a 30% less chance of suffering from incontinence than less active women.
- Exercise can significantly reduce arthritis pain in older women.
- Working out for as little as 15 minutes three days a week reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s by 40%.
- Regular exercise reduces mortality rates by 25% to 33% and increases life expectancy by 1 to 2 years by age 80.
- Fit men have one-third the risk of death from a heart disease.
- Unfit men have a 39% risk of death from cardiovascular disease and 44% risk of all-cause mortality.
- Vigorous physical activity reduces the risk of dying by 6% to 9%.
- Fit people have a death rate four times lower than the unfit.
Why does body fat increase with age?
F. Michael Gloth, III, Gerontology, answeredA tendency to lose some muscle and strength, and to add to the percentage of body fat -- often described as increasing body fat composition -- is a normal part of the aging process. Typically, exercise capacity declines as we age.
If you want to age successfully, with improved strength and endurance, you need to understand the other changes associated with aging. Your body burns calories even when you are resting, and this process becomes more efficient as you age. In other words, the amount of energy your body uses at rest decreases as you get older.
Find out more about this book:Fit at Fifty and Beyond: A Balanced Exercise and Nutrition Program (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)
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