Life & Living

Health & Fitness

Chantel Heath

INSTAGRAM: @chantelheathfitness

I’m a 41 year old mother of two & Personal Fitness coach. I work one to one, in person & online with clients aged 18-80. My specialisms include pre & postnatal training, cancer rehab, pilates, & GP exercise referrals. I run fitness classes online and in person in the Suffolk Coastal area. I am also a Mental Health First aider.

Do you struggle to find the motivation to exercise? Maybe you have tried slimming clubs, bootcamps, diet shakes, exercise programmes and  perhaps they have worked to begin with… but after a while you just lose momentum? 

It’s a common problem and a lot of people are constantly on the lookout for something or someone to give them that motivation to get back on track.

However, the unpopular truth is that nothing will ever work long term while you are looking elsewhere for the solution to your problem. 

Let me explain. When it comes to motivation there are 2 forms:

EXTRINSIC motivation 

This comes from outside influences, and can motivate us  to do something  that we dislike (like exercise!) to avoid punishment or receive a reward. It can be really useful for short term goals, but often this is where people get stuck. For example going on a 6 week extreme  exercise plan because you’re going on holiday in a month and want to lose half a stone; or sticking to a diet plan that’s basically starving yourself, because you are losing weight and you have paid a large sum of money for the privilege! But we know that results like these are usually temporary and not sustainable long term. This is yo-yo dieting at its worst. The motivation is extrinsic and is often more to do with your outward appearance, or short term aims, than your actual health or fitness.

INTRINSIC motivation

This is what we need to help us achieve our goals in the long term. This is doing something because it is personally rewarding to you and you can see how it will benefit you as a person. This motivation comes from within and goes much deeper than fitting into a holiday bikini. To find your intrinsic motivating factors you need to stop looking at ‘being fit and healthy’ as a destination that you can arrive at in just a few weeks and look at it as a lifestyle. We all know people who seem to be really motivated and for whom going to the gym or eating a well balanced diet just seem to be a part of their everyday life. But for most of these people, if you ask them what motivates them their answer will be intrinsic. It will be something relating to their long term health and fitness, such as losing weight to reduce their high blood pressure, or running because it helps their mental health.

Still struggling to find that intrinsic motivation?

Listed below are just a few of the many bonuses to eating a well balanced diet, taking regular exercise and generally being kinder to your body and mind!

• Better cognitive functioning

• Improved mental health.

• Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke

• Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes

• Stronger immune system

• Building and maintaining bone density

• Can help with managing chronic pain

• Reduces chances of developing cancer,  aids recovery and reduces chances of relapse.

• Helps hormone health, which can ease menopause transitions symptoms.

• Reduces risk of developing dementia.

• More energy 

• Better skin and hair


The NHS webpage linked below goes into more detail about the long term benefits of exercise.