Exercise Motivation Differs for Men and Women

/ March 5th, 2012/ Posted in Fitness / Comments Off on Exercise Motivation Differs for Men and Women

Ever wonder what motivates your members to exercise? New findings show that men usually rely on other men to motivate them to exercise, while women depend on their families for support.

In a study published in the current issue of Preventive Medicine, researchers surveyed 937 college students to find out why physical activity levels decline in early adulthood. Thirty-nine percent of the male participants reported working out at least three days a week for 20 minutes a session during the past six months, compared to just 26 percent of the female participants. Researchers found that the male and female participants were motivated to exercise by different factors. Interestingly, the male participants who exercised the most had high social support to exercise from friends, while those who exercised occasionally had moderate support and those who didn¹t exercise had very little support. The female participants who exercised the most had high support from their families, while occasional female exercisers had moderate support and non-exercisers had little support.

Researchers hope the results of the study will encourage fitness professionals to create tailor-made exercise programs for individuals based on age, gender, socioeconomic status and other relevant factors, rather than using the “one size fits all” method. Researchers also point out that the second-largest decline in physical activity occurs in college-aged adults, with the first-largest drop in activity occurring at age 13, so fitness professionals should especially consider targeting individuals at these ages to promote life-long fitness. Also, women who lack local family support may benefit from peer networks to motivate them to participate in an exercise program.

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