Challenging Fitness Ideology: Why an Adventurous Approach to Physical Activity is Better for Well-being

Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 10 (2):132-147 (2016)
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In this paper, I argue that adventurous approaches to physical activity can contribute more to well-being than approaches that have been shaped by fitness ideology. To defend this claim, I draw on work in philosophy and psychology concerning internal goods and intrinsic motivation, respectively. This work shows that motivating ourselves intrinsically and cultivating the internal goods of physical activity can contribute significantly to well-being. Unfortunately, the discourse and images associated with fitness culture tend to undermine intrinsic motivation and the cultivation of internal goods. Consequently, approaches to physical activity shaped by fitness ideology often fail to support well-being. In contrast, I argue that an adventurous approach to physical activity better fosters intrinsic motivation and the pursuit of internal goods. To show this, I consider three examples of internal goods strongly associated with adventure – character development, enlivening kinesthetic and psychological e...



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Moira Howes
Trent University

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After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
Anorexia Nervosa as a Passion.Louis C. Charland, Tony Hope, Anne Stewart & Jacinta Tan - 2013 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 20 (4):353-365.
Nature and risk in adventure sports.Kevin Krein - 2007 - In M. J. McNamee (ed.), Philosophy, Risk, and Adventure Sports. London ;Routledge. pp. 80.

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