Physical exercise; is a physical activity that is planned, structured, repetitive, and purposeful in the objective to improve or maintain one or more components of physical fitness. (Hirano et al., 2011,Bota, et al.
, 2014). Engagement in regular physical exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Several authors (Macovei et al., 2014, Bota, et al., 2014) stated that in order to achieve the health benefits of physical activity it is important to exercise regularly.
Physical exercise is of various types such as; aerobic, anaerobic and flexibility exercise. Physical activity is widely recognized as a medium for keeping fit and healthy. Several benefits can be gained by frequently practicing moderate and vigorous physical activities frequently (Bees H. Marcus & Forsyth, 2003) such as reduced depression and anxiety (Biddle & Fuchs, 2009), reducing mortality rates (Jamsiah, et al., 2007; Sit, Kerr, & Wong, 2008), and also reducing obesity risk (Baba, Koketsu, Nagashima, & Inasaka, 2009; Han, Kim, Park, Kang, & Ryu, 2009; Morris, Bourne, Eldemire-Shearer, & McGrowder, 2010).
Other than that, there are less than sixty percent of Malaysian adults were categorized in inactive groups (Jamsiah, et al., 2007; Mohd Zaid & Wilson., 2009) and contributed to the major health problems especially women (Tan & Yim, 2010; Wan Rabiah, Patterson, & Pegg, 2011). In past studies women were found to lead sedentary lifestyles and they did not engage in physical activity sufficiently to achieve positive health outcomes compared to men (Dixon, 2009; Hanlon, Morris, & Nabbs, 2010; Sit, et al.
, 2008; Weiss, Rubin, & Gomel, 2009). There are so many motives that would influence the prevalence of physical activity such as physical motives, environmental motives and psychological motives (Sit, et al., 2008).
In a study by Kahn et al., (2008), it was proven that psychosocial motives were also a trigger in engaging with physical activity. According to Jamsiah, et al., (2007), demographic profiles such as age and gender were also the factors to physical activity prevalence. Jamsiah, et al., (2007) stated that there were also differences in levels of activity among races in Malaysia. Besides, physical activity participation motives might be correlated with the physical activity levels among women civil servants.
In spite of the well-documented physical, psychological and social benefits of regular physical exercise, Macovei et al. (2014), reported that globally, physical inactivity remains prevalent, where about two-thirds of the populations in the industrialized world do not perform exercise regularly. Wilson &Broookfield (2009), specified one important factor that may contribute to an individual’s physical exercise and regular performance, is his or her motivation to exercise. Various types of motivation have been found to influence the exercise performance regularly (Duncan et al., 2010). According to the Self-Determination Theory, Deci and Ryan (2000) stated that, the motivation towards regular physical exercise can be; extrinsically or intrinsically motivation. The extrinsic motivation involves motivation towards physical exercise in order to avoid negative feelings or to satisfy an external requirement (e.
g., rewards, sanctions, expectations). So, the individuals will likely feel pressured to perform the physical exercise. Whereas, the intrinsic motivation represents the most self-determined type of motivation and refers to engaging in the activity for its sake.
An intrinsically motivated person considers the physical exercise inherently enjoyable, interesting and challenging. Trost et al (2002), in their review of the literature, designating five major motivating categories: i. demographic and biological factors (gender, body weight), ii.psychological, cognitive and emotional factors (enjoyment, improve cognition and memory and decrease the risk for dementia and anxiety), iii. Behavioural attributes and skills (sleep, smoking), iv. Social and cultural (family or friends support),v. physical environment and (or) physical activity characteristics (satisfaction, safe and easy access to exercise facilities) are may or may not associate with exercise adherence.
Moreover, Azmi et al. (2012), detected that the reasons for people to engage in physical exercise were diverge during different age period were most probably attributed to the changing values, life tasks, goals, and health circumstances over time. Irwin (2004), revealed that, there are gender differences in physical exercise performance where females are less active than males. It seems that gender factor motivating people differently in performing regular physical exercise. Understanding the relationship between gender and motivating factors to physical exercises performances have a particular importance.
Since identifying, this relationship may help in the implementation of interventions, aimed at promoting physical exercise across the lifespan. So the researcher hypothesized that man and woman possessing different motivating reasons for performing regular physical exercise. To testify this hypothesis, the current study sought to assess the motivation to physical exercise performance for adult males and females.