Resistance training boosts exercise motivation

London: Lack of motivation is a big factor for many people not following an exercise regime that they initially planned. But a few months of resistance training can change that by instilling in people an intrinsic interest in pursuing physical activity, suggests new research.

Resistance training can maintain and increase muscle strength and functional capacity when ageing and it is recommended for older adults at least twice a week.

It also improves exercise motivation and contributes to making exercise planning among older adults, according to the study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports.

The study investigated the effects of a nine-month supervised resistance training intervention on exercise motivation, exercise planning and exercise self-efficacy.

In addition, it was examined whether these factors predict the continuation of resistance training for the next year following the intervention.

The study involved 104 healthy 65-75-year-olds who did not meet physical activity guidelines for endurance exercise at baseline and did not have previous resistance training experience.

“Nine months of regular resistance training increased the intrinsic motivation for both training and physical activity in general: the subjects started to enjoy exercising,” said one of the researchers Tiia Kekalainen from the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland.

Additionally, exercise planning increased, indicating that the participants started to think about how to start and maintain a physically active lifestyle, Kekalainen said.

After completing the supervised resistance training intervention, nearly half of the participants (46 per cent) continued resistance training independently.

Approximately half of them participated in resistance training on average once-a-week during the following year and the other half twice-a-week.

The results suggest that finding intrinsic motivation for exercise and increasing confidence to maintain a physically active lifestyle contribute to continuing resistance training independently.