Parkpoint Healdsburg


Caleb Guest, Certified Personal Trainer, Aquatics and Fitness Programs Director, Parkpoint Healdsburg

Having trouble staying motivated and sticking to your fitness goals? Try these evidence-based strategies to increase your fitness enjoyment.

  • Mix it up. Try a different type or style of exercise. Row instead of running. Cycling instead of doing the elliptical.
  • Don’t go too hard. Moderate intensity exercise is defined as exercise between 40–60% of VO2max (65–75% of max Heart Rate) (Jones & Zenko, 2021) or the intensity where you just begin to notice a change in effort. Subjects who self-selected a moderate intensity exercise were more likely to find the activity pleasurable.
  • Pump the tunes. Over the past decades dozens of research articles have shown how listening to music you enjoy can boost your exercise experience.
  • Restructure your exercise intensity. Zenko et al. (2016) discovered that some people prefer to start hard and gradually reduce their intensity, while others tend to enjoy starting easy and ramping it up. Try both styles and see which one you find more enjoyable.

Jones, L. & Zenko, Z. (2021). Strategies to facilitate more pleasant exercise experiences. In Z. Zenko & L. Jones (Eds.). Essentials of exercise and sport psychology: An open access textbook (pp. 242-270). Society for Transparency, Openness, and Replication in Kinesiology.

Zenko, Z., Ekkekakis, P., & Ariely, D. (2016). Can you have your vigorous exercise and enjoy it too? Ramping intensity down increases post-exercise, remembered, and forecasted leisure. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 38, 149-159.

Caleb Guest