It is grey, cold and there is a dense fog. Under these conditions, the desire to stay at home is stronger than the envy to explore nature, especially as the colorful landscapes of recent weeks have given way to a still or bare life. So how do we find the motivation to keep a routine that is beneficial for our physical and mental health?

What motivates us to do sport

There are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsic motivation feeds on external rewards, mostly praise from others. These days, social networks also play an important role in the desire to surpass oneself. Who has not posted their athletic accomplishments and associated photos and rejoiced at every "like" or comment?

Intrinsic motivation refers to the pleasure we have from practicing a sport or a physical activity, discovering new landscapes, progressing, competing, etc. No need for external "likes" since the desire to surpass oneself comes from within. This kind of motivation is usually more solid and lasting.

Yet even when motivation is intrinsic, it can happen to lack it, especially when the landscapes are not very rewarding and when the competition goals are still too far out in time to be able to measure your progress. The between-seasons of a highly motivated athlete can therefore seem long ...

During my "career", I have developed a few techniques that I use regularly for myself and for the athletes I coach:

- anticipate the feelings of well-being: I visualize and feel the benefits of the physical activity that I will experience throughout my body during the hours following the workout;

- rejoice in the boost that this session will give me both physically and mentally: in addition to the increase in energy linked to the effort, I know how valuable it is for my personal satisfaction and self-esteem!

- during the session I am delighted with the progress I am making; perhaps I even try something new: for example I can introduce strength exercises - squats, lunges, triceps, etc. - during a running session;

- training done in difficult conditions also develops our perseverance and resilience; instead of focusing on the fog and the cold, I think about how much this session will bring me in my life as an athlete but also in my job or in my role as a parent!