“We know that knowledge is motivation”

Frank Eirik Abrahamsen is an associate professor at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. He works at the Department of coaching and psychology, and is responsible for the bachelor’s degree with a specialization in training, coaching and sports psychology.

He has given us some tips on how to find motivation to live an active lifestyle, and how to stay motivated during a lifestyle change.

The Self-Determination Theory

One of the first things Frank Eirik mentions is The Self-Determination Theory. This theory is based on three psychological needs: self-determination, knowledge and belonging. The theory states: when those needs are met we are more easily motivated, productive and happy.

“We know that knowledge is motivation. To feel you have skills is motivating.”

“In addition, it helps with a feeling of belonging, which you can find through support from your family or making training arrangements with friends. It is also important that the training is self-determined, that no one is “forcing” you to work out.”

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Keep eating chocolate

Frank Eirik’s experience is that people can be a bit unaware of what they really want; what is our actual motivation to go through a change. He recommends that you set aside some time at the start of a major change process to reflect on what the goal is.

“Write down why you want a change. Then it’s not just a feeling, but also more specific. And if the motivation drops along the way, the notes can be a reminder of why you are doing it.”

Frank Eirik also says it’s important not to bite over more than you can chew, and you should find activities you look forward to doing.

“It is easier to start with something you love than to stop something you like. Do not stop eating chocolate, but eat less. Don’t start with six training sessions a week, start with 2 and do something else the other days. Go for a walk, for example.”

Photo: Natasia Causse/Flickr
Photo: Natasia Causse/Flickr

Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation

How about rewards? Is that motivating?

“Reward is a vulnerable form of motivation. It is not strong, but when you are missing any other motivation, it can work. However, you should look to the benefits you get from the changes first. That is a better form of motivation.”

According to Frank Eirik one distinguishes between the extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, where reward is an extrinsic, or more briefly, motivation.

“Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation is qualitatively different, and the intrinsic motivation stays much longer. If you have this type of motivation, the activity itself so motivating that you do not need rewards or someone cheering you on.”

It is however the extrinsic motivation that gets you through the heavy training sessions.

“Positivity and self-affirmation is helpful if you struggle to find motivation during a training session. Some athletes write their motivation somewhere they see it. For example, a handball player I worked with had drawn a sun in her palm. It reminded her of what she was straining for, and what attitude she should have during her training.”

It’s okay with a delay

Finally, Frank Eirik has some advice for people who want to undergo a lifestyle change. He says you should spend some time thinking about the positive outcome of your changes: longer and healthier life, easier to climb stairs, you feel fresher, you get into your favourite clothes and it is easier to play with the kids – to mention some positive outcomes.

“Also, it is important to create a plan for your changes, but do not fall completely out of it if you drift away from it.”

“I’ll try to make a comparison. Most of us have driven to work and been delayed because of queue, but that does not make us turn around and go home again. This can be transferred to lifestyle changes. Something may happen along the way, which forces you to postpone your plan, but it is only slightly delayed. If you don’t stop you will reach your goal in the end. Just look at it as a detour.”

Postcard from Los Angeles

App testing, sun, beach, Silicon Valley, workouts and eccentric people; Five exiting days are soon coming to an end.

Myworkout have been through a lot of big changes the last year, and it turns out big changes lead to big opportunities. And one of these opportunities is in America. So we hopped on a plane to sunny California.

We are now back in Norway, and we look back on all we have experienced during our short trip, and wanted to share it with you.IMG_20160206_082444

The eccentric city

We live nearby Venice Beach, a state that is known for their eccentric people, the beach, art and surfing. And is just like it´s described.

While here, we have worked out at the famous Gold´s Gym and talked to a gym owner about health and fitness. What we have learned is that a lot of people in Los Angeles train because they want to look good, and the health benefits are a positive side effect. Maybe not surprising in this city filled with models and actresses, but it´s something special about experiencing it first hand.

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Why Los Angeles?

However, our trip was not mainly to get to know the workout trends in America. We had an exiting meeting, with an exiting person, on our agenda.

At the beginning of our trip, we could not revile why we were leaving for Los Angeles, and this is why our postcard is arriving late. However, finally we can tell you why we have been so incredibly excited about this trip. Finally we can tell you whom we had the honour of meeting.

The person we met is a well-known entrepreneur, has been Steve Jobs boss, has started large successful companies such as Atari and Chuck E. Cheese, and is on Newsweek’s list of “50 people who have changed America”. He has an innate desire to make the world a better place to live. His name is Nolan Bushnell.

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Young success

Nolan began his entrepreneurial career at the age of eight, when he found that he could make a lot of money selling strawberries to his neighbours.

His childhood success followed him into his teens, when he signed a deal with the local television repairman. He repaired Tv´s and split the profits with them. This was, however, nothing compared to his really big success in the early 70s, when he started the gaming company Atari. He is now known as “One of the founding fathers of the video game industry”.

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It’s never too late to start

“Even a small increase in physiological functions can be transferred to functional improvements and a greater independence for older people”. (Source: Effects of High-Intensity Endurance Training on Maximal Oxygen Consumption in Healthy Elderly People)

Nolan just turned 73 and considers himself as an active person. However, he is also a busy 73-year-old and wants to spend as little time as possible on training, but still maintain a good health. In other words, he needs time efficient workouts and he needs exercises that give him the best effect on his health. This is where we come in.

We have spent a couple of days with Nolan now; talked to him, interviewed him and got to know him a little better. However, the real project was to give him a workout program to help him get in shape.

Yesterday he took a health test together with medicine Professor Jan Hoff. He got to know his biological age and his oxygen uptake, but the results are secret for now.

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Even though Nolan is 73 years old, he will experience a good effect of his training. Research reports show that elderly people could have the same effect of training as anyone else, and we hope to show this when he finish his 10 week training program.

The entire interview with Nolan comes out later, but here’s a taster from when he talks about Myworkout and Norwegians:

[vimeo code = “154819984”]

Focaccia with dried tomatoes

Ingredients:

425 grams spelt flour

75 grams whole grain rye

415 grams of cold water

5-10 grams of yeast

10 grams of coarse salt

Dried tomatoes

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Approach

Put all ingredients in a bowl and knead for approximately 10 minutes, until it releases the bowl. Oil another large bowl and transfer the dough to this one, cover and let it prove for an hour. Gently knead the dough with a scraper and leave to prove further.

You could now put the dough in the fridge for the next day or so, or you can let it prove further out on the bench. After another hour on the bench, place the dough on a baking tray and let it continue to rise until it’s double in size. Pour over some olive oil, sprinkle with maldon salt and rosemary. Bake the focaccia in the centre of the oven at 190°C for 30-35 minutes.