46 min

#575: Counterintuitive Advice on Making Exercise a Sustainable Habit The Art of Manliness

    • Philosophy

It's a new year and like many people, you may have set a goal to exercise more regularly. But like most people, you've set this goal before only to give up on it after only a few weeks. 

Why is it so hard to make exercise a habit? And what can you do to make it stick?

My guest today argues that more willpower and discipline isn't the answer. Instead, you need to completely change the way you think about exercise. 

Her name is Michelle Segar, and she's a behavioral scientist and the author of No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness. We begin our conversation discussing Michelle's counterintuitive finding that common reasons for exercising like losing weight or even getting healthier aren't effective motivations. And she shares research on how our ideas of what exercise should look like, as well as the propensity towards an all-or-nothing mindset, also set us up for failure. We then discuss why sheer discipline isn't very effective for staying on track either, and why exercise needs to have an immediately positive impact on our lives if we want to stick with it. Michelle and I spend the rest of our conversation discussing the research-backed framework she's developed to help people make exercise a sustainable habit, which includes less emphasis on willpower and more on changing the meaning you lend to physical activity and its priority in your life.

Get the show notes at aom.is/nosweat.

It's a new year and like many people, you may have set a goal to exercise more regularly. But like most people, you've set this goal before only to give up on it after only a few weeks. 

Why is it so hard to make exercise a habit? And what can you do to make it stick?

My guest today argues that more willpower and discipline isn't the answer. Instead, you need to completely change the way you think about exercise. 

Her name is Michelle Segar, and she's a behavioral scientist and the author of No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness. We begin our conversation discussing Michelle's counterintuitive finding that common reasons for exercising like losing weight or even getting healthier aren't effective motivations. And she shares research on how our ideas of what exercise should look like, as well as the propensity towards an all-or-nothing mindset, also set us up for failure. We then discuss why sheer discipline isn't very effective for staying on track either, and why exercise needs to have an immediately positive impact on our lives if we want to stick with it. Michelle and I spend the rest of our conversation discussing the research-backed framework she's developed to help people make exercise a sustainable habit, which includes less emphasis on willpower and more on changing the meaning you lend to physical activity and its priority in your life.

Get the show notes at aom.is/nosweat.

46 min

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