Welcome to Part 3 of our series on exercising more consistently using the principles of the Motivational Triad, as described in the book The Pleasure Trap.  The Motivational Triad states that all humans a) seek pleasure, b) avoid pain and c) are driven by energy efficiency.  Part 1 and Part 2 covered seeking pleasure and avoiding pain.  In this post we will discuss how to use the driver of energy efficiency in our favor to help us exercise more consistently.

Exercise is all about expending energy, so applying this principle to help us exercise is really more along the lines of time-efficiency.  Time-efficiency means not having to drive 20 minutes to a gym.  It means having exercise options that are close and convenient.

The main reason given by executives for why they don’t exercise is lack of time (the second most common reason given is lack of priority).  However, our data also shows that those who do exercise regularly actually spend less time at work.

Of interest though is that those who don’t exercise also have longer commute times to work.  Long commute times have been shown to be a significant barrier to regular exercise.  We had one executive who, after attending our program Leadership At the Peak, reported that she sold her home and bought a place closer to work, just so that she could fit in time to exercise.

But if selling your home isn’t an option, here are some other suggestions:

  • Set up a home gym.
  • Use the company gym.( You’ll get benefits and you’ll set a good example for your employees).
  • Find a yoga center or gym on the way to work.
  • Manage your time barriers and be creative to get the time in.  Time efficiency might also mean trading intensity for volume.  Research shows similar adaptations occur when the exercise is short and intense compared to higher volumes of exercise at moderate intensity.
  • Being efficient can also mean hiring a coach or personal trainer.  Having someone tell you what to do takes a lot less mental energy.  Coaches also help with progression, variety, and accountability.

Let us know how you use the motivational triad to help you exercise more consistently.

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