SportHannah Beech

Finding the motivation to get fit

As the nights start to draw in and winter approaches, long summer nights spent out and about with friends are gradually replaced with cosy nights in on the sofa.  For many of us, this means that a more active summer lifestyle is replaced with a more sedentary existence in the winter, which unfortunately does little for the waistline. 

Finding the motivation to get fit

Generating the motivation needed to stay fit, whether that's going for a run, riding your bike, playing football in the park or doing a fitness class, has long been a challenge for most of us, regardless of the season.  According to the latest Active People Survey, only 17% of people in the UK are doing the minimum amount of exercise required to stay fit (3 x 30 minutes of exercise a week).   We are told by doctors, the media and advertisers that we must maintain an active lifestyle to be healthy, but faced with a choice between an evening in the gym or relaxing at home with a glass of wine after a long day at work, for many there is often no contest. 

So how do we motivate ourselves to choose exercise? 

We must think about the things we prioritise in life.  What do we choose to make time for?  What do we care about? What makes us get off the sofa?   For a mum of four this may be spending quality time with her children. For a young graduate this may be about getting ahead in life.  For a teenager this may be about hanging out with friends. 

These are the things that sport and fitness can leverage.  Rather than being something else we need to fit into our busy lives, sport and exercise becomes a new way of fulfilling the aspects of life we already want to make time for.  Many successful sports brands realise this and are giving sport and exercise more meaning by positioning themselves around things that people really care about. 

For example, the success of the dance and fitness class Zumba hinges on its positioning as a fun way to spend time with friends (an important part of life for most of us); it markets itself as a night out rather than an exercise class ('Ditch the workout. Join the party'). 

In a different vein, self-tracking devices such as Nike fuelband and Apple Watch (soon-to-be released) and apps like MyFitnessPal and MapMyFitness allow people to collate their personal fitness data, monitor improvements in their performance and compete with others through social media.  This feeds into our desire to progress in life and achieve our goals. 

So by repositioning sport and fitness and associating it with things that matter to people, we are much more likely to get people off the sofa and into their sports kit, even on those cold winter nights! 

Hannah Beech

Associate Director

2CV London