For more than 5 years a new field in the Healthy Psychology has developed. This refers to a field of study that focuses on the psychological component of disease prevention and maintenance of health, same as it is in healthcare. Exercise and Sports Psychology are included too. Personal trainers without a proper education in Sports Psychology should not give out advice on the subject, however, it is extremely important for any personal trainer to understand their clients motivation, as well as barriers that may keep a client from obtaining their goals.

Health Belief Model for Workout Motivation

People are creatures of habit, so behavioral change is hard. There are indications that can determine why we are resistant to change, and the Health Belief Model is one of them.

The Health Belief Model is just a theory, that suggests that a person will chose to engage or not engage in an exercise based on their perceived threat of illness or a health problem. This implies that your health related issues are the motivation indicator for your workout motivaiton. If this is true, what is motivating you?

1. Perceived Seriousness – is the potential health threat serious enough to make you undergo a behavioral change.

example: obesity and hearth disease runs in your family. The doctor has told you that you have high blood pressure. If you consider this serious enough, this can be your motivational factor.

2. Perceived Susceptibility – not having a health condition, but the likelihood of developing one is also a motivating factor.

example: you are in good shape, but your laidback lifestyle has caused you to add a few extra pounds. The fear of obesity, and obesity health issues makes you start exercising or watching what you eat.

3. External Factors – An event or symptom which made you think about your health, and motivates you to take action

example: you decided to support a friend that is a cancer survivor to a marathon to raise awareness. While at the event, you learn about the importance of keeping in good health, regular exercise, and healthy lifestyle choices. The new information and the stories of the survivors become your workout motivation.