The Importance of Finding Joy in Your Exercise | Pongo Power

The Importance of Finding Joy in Your Exercise

Pongo Power personal trainers have diverse specializations. Although each of our trainers is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, our team chooses to pursue continuing education in the types of exercise and fitness modalities that they find joy in. This is one of the reasons our trainers spark a passion for fitness in our clients. We believe our members' having fun with their exercise helps them stick with it long term, and new research supports this.


A 2017 study by the University of Michigan demonstrates that women who don't enjoy their exercise selection are often choosing "high-intensity" workouts that feel "punishing." These women may lack an understanding of what constitutes an effective or worthwhile workout. They reported feelings of anxiety or pressure around exercise, which decreased quality of life and ultimately their motivation to achieve larger goals like weight loss.

"Many women start fitness programs to lose weight, and when they don't, they feel like failures and stop exercising. And then, months or a year later, they do the same thing again -- creating a vicious cycle that fails to consider what might be leading to short-term motivation,"

- Michelle Segar, Director of the University of Michigan's Sport, Health, and Activity Research and Policy Center.

In order to understand why some women do not feel motivated to continue in an exercise program, researchers sought to find out what really motivates women in other areas of their lives.

"A new understanding of what really motivates women might make an enormous difference in their ability to successfully incorporate physical activity into their daily routine, and have fun doing it."

Both inactive and active women derived happiness from the same things: meaningful connection with others and the ability to feel truly relaxed during "down" time. In order to decompress during leisure time, women needed to feel free of external and internal pressures.

Here, a distinction between the active and inactive women emerged: the inactive women felt more internal conflict surrounding exercise during the time they were supposed to be relaxing and decompressing. This came from their belief that in order for exercise to be "valid," it must be high-intensity and feel "punishing."


"The direct conflict between what these low-active women believe they should be doing when they exercise, and their desire to decompress and renew themselves during leisure time, demotivates them. Their beliefs about what exercise should consist of and their past negative experiences about what it feels like actually prevents them from successfully adopting and sustaining physically active lives."


Researchers listed a prescription that may help women stay motivated to continue their exercise programs:

Re-educate women that movement can and should feel good. At Pongo Power, we teach you how to move correctly so that you can find joy in your everyday life and live pain-free. We do not believe in pushing our clients to the point of exhaustion just so they feel they got a "good workout." Instead, we utilize a scientific approach and create a unique program for every one of our members that is specific to both their goals and the type of exercise each person enjoys doing.

Promote physical activity as a way to connect with others. One of the best things about being a Pongo Power trainer or client is the strong community you enter into. Every person inside our community is here to support one another on our journey as human beings towards leading healthy lives. From running clubs to our core strength and bodyweight class series, we are here to build a network of people who want to help one another get to where they want to be.  We are now 90% online, which allows us to do this with one another in the convenient setting of our own homes.

Reframe physical activity as a vehicle that helps women renew and re-energize themselves to better succeed in their daily roles and goals. If you feel good in your body and in your movement, you will be better equipped to accomplish your daily tasks and goals. Many clients report a newfound belief-in-self emerges after several weeks of training. This comes in part from accomplishing their training goals and understanding the carryover of physical strength to mental strength.

Explain physical activity as a broad continuum that counts all movement as valid and worth doing. Whatever you choose that is safe, makes you feel physically better, and makes you feel mentally stronger, is valid exercise. We alter our training sessions and programs based on how you feel that day. If you come in feeling especially tired, or more energized than usual, we will accommodate your needs. Having a trainer means someone is there to help you get the most out of that hour of your day.


We do it all here, both online and in our private fitness studio. From group fitness to powerlifting, to functional training to athletic coaching, we have many options for you to explore. Exercise does not have to feel like a punishment or be something you dread. Our trainers have found joy through their chosen movements, and they are ready to share the joy with you!

Interested In Finding Your Joyful Exercise Program?

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