Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How I Stay Motivated: Exercise

Last night, I had absolutely no motivation to go to the gym. I was tired, my legs were sore from yesterday's workout, and all I wanted to do was sit around on the couch and stalk all of your blogs all night.

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Then I spent over thirty minutes writing a big long post about how I stay motivated to exercise (since I get so many questions about it), when all of the sudden I accidently closed Windows Live Writer without saving my document and lost everything. To say I was irritated is an understatement, and I’m sure that all of you other bloggers who have ever lost a draft can relate.


Anyways, as soon as that happened, coupled with the fact that I was already stressed about an issue with my tuition at school, I immediately felt a surge of energy (in the form of frustration) and all I wanted to do was get my butt to the gym ASAP and work out. So I did.

I cranked out 25 minutes on the elliptical and 20 on the treadmill (5 min walking, 10 min running, 5 min walking) and I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders when I had finished. It was at that moment when I remembered that I don’t just exercise because I want to lose weight, or because I feel I have to. These days, I work out for my sanity more than anything else. 

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Exercising helps me relieve stress, gives me energy, and always leaves me feeling rejuvenated. Sure, it helps drops the pounds, but I firmly believe that should not be your only reason for hitting the gym. In my experience, when I only think about weight loss and nothing else, I am much less likely to stick with an exercise program than when I think about all of the other physical and mental benefits of exercise as well. After making it a part of my daily routine for so long, I actually hate the way I feel when I don’t work out. Now I’m doing things that I never thought I’d be able to do, like going on 40 mile bike rides and running difficult races.

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BUT, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I still have my days where no matter what I do, I still can’t seem to find the motivation to get off the couch. When those days happen, here’s what I do:

  • Think about my favorite exercise mantras. One that never fails to get me going is “I never regret a workout, but I almost always regret skipping one.”
  • Read other healthy living blogs. I always find inspiration from Julie, Gina, Tina and Caitlin to get my butt moving.
  • Call a friend who will motivate you and remind you how important exercise is, why you want to do it, and tell you how good you’ll feel when you’re done. You can guess who I call when I need someone to tell me to step it up Winking smile.
  • Make deals with myself. For example, I’ll tell myself that if I just get myself there, work out for 20 minutes, and am still not feeling it, then I can call it a day. 9 times out of 10 I’ll finish the workout I came to do.
  • Just suck it up and do it. Seriously, I do this more than you think. I’ll tell myself “Krista, get over it, you’re going to work out so you might as well stop procrastinating.” There’s nothing wrong with being a little tough on yourself!


Oh, and having a blog where you document your entire life helps too. Both of the times I did treadmill workouts last week I wanted to quit before they were done, but I just thought about how much I wanted to post about them on the blog and didn’t want to look like a quitter!

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How do you stay motivated to exercise?

What are your favorite exercise mantras?

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