7 Things I Do to Get Motivated to Exercise

running-clothes-1-edit1Sometimes I don't feel like exercising.

Actually, most of the time I don't feel like exercising. 

Until I do it. 

And then I'm so glad that I did.

As I mentioned previously, the getting started part is the hardest

Here's how I motivate myself :

1. I wear running clothes. If I put on my sports bra, lace up my tennis shoes, and slip on some breathable shorts, I am WAY more likely to get out walking...and then to turn that walk into a run. 

2. I tell other people that I'm going to exercise. It's easy to give up if you write out a plan and then keep it a "secret" (intentionally or otherwise). But - if you tell someone - then you're accountable. If you know that a friend is going to ask, "how is your fitness plan going?," you're more likely to put one foot in front of the other. Simply sharing my plan online has made me more determined. 

3. I train for an event. Signing up for a race is the ultimate motivator. Choose a distance (a 2-mile fun run, a 5K, a 1/2 marathon, a full marathon, a triathlon, etc). Pick a date. Pay out of pocket. It's amazing what a date on your calendar and a dent in your pocketbook can do.

4. I think about bad guys. This might just me and my semi-neurotic self, but I often think about what I would do if an attacker were to approach me. It's nice to know that I'd be able to outrun (or beat up) the assailant, if necessary. 

5. I remind myself how much better I feel when I'm strong. If I don't exercise for awhile, I forget how wonderful it feels to be fit. It's a good feeling to be strong, to be able, to discipline your muscles. Exercise really does give you more energy. It's ironic, really. It's kind of like love actually. The more you give away, the more you receive. Similarly, the more you expend energy...the more you get of it. 

6. I enlist vanity's help. Yes, the mirror is a mighty motivator. I don't want to be a frumpy lady. I want to be a trim, tone woman. The reality is: I want to be pretty. Weight definitely has an impact on a person's physical appearance. It's hard to feel ravishing when you have bumps and bulges to contend with.

7. I consider my children. I don't want to be the mom who watches from the sidelines as my children play sports. I want to be the mom who is coaching the team or leading the family hike or competing in a mother/daughter 5K. And someday - many, many years from now - I want to be able to run around after my grandchildren...and preparing for that "someday" starts today.

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29 comments on “7 Things I Do to Get Motivated to Exercise”

  1. Excellent tips! I found that telling people my goals and that I am going to work out hass helped me a great deal. That advice alone has helped me lose 60 pounds so far!

    My next goal is one of your tips too - compete in a 5k!!

  2. THIS is just what I needed! I always seem to over plan then never exercise but am I really too busy...no. Thanks for this blog post, it's awesome and I'm going to tweet about it! :)

  3. Great post! I do the same thing! I put on running clothes and when I do it kind of forces me to run ;)

    I actually love running but its a huge motivation factor for me, or if I am driving down the road and see other people running, it just makes me want to run to!

  4. Stephanie! You are great! and very inspirational to other women out there! I love you post 7 things I do to get motivated to exercise. Right after I read the title, first thing that came to mind was what you listed as number 7. My kids.... Any type of exercise will help me stay fit and healthy, and be able to be an active mom, and as you say be able to participate side by side with my babies in a bunch of fun activities!

    Keep up the great writing !!!

  5. love this, and reading about your running. isn't it crazy how you can never see yourself as a runner, but once you've done a couple races its amazing how you fit right in with the runners? i love running (it took a few years for me to say that). you look adorable!

  6. Accountability is good for me, too. If I tell someone I'm going to work out, I feel like I need to now. The biggest motivator for me? Results. That bulge or jiggle disappearing makes me want to keep doing it to see more results, or at least to keep that result permanent. Here's to less jiggling and wiggling and more toned bodies...

  7. What is keeping me going is that I can see and feel my progress. Having an exercise partner and training for specific running events helps too.

  8. these are great motivators! ideas i think about to get myself up and at 'em when i don't really feel like it. i know that after i'm done, i'll feel great. i want to be healthy, toned and strong for myself and my kids. oh, and i want to look good while i'm living my life : )
    by the way, your part about the bad guys... not neurotic. there are times when i catch myself thinking along the same lines... hoping someone would just leave me alone since they wouldn't want to have to chase me. (i like to think i'm pretty fast when i need to be) makes me feel better that i'm not the only one : )

  9. If that is a current picture you are looking great after having your baby a couple of months ago! My thing with exervise if I really don't want to go I force myself to do 10 minutes and 90% of the time that 10 minutes turns into a full workout. If I am still hating at 10 minutes I stop because maybe the it is my body's way of telling me to take a day off.

  10. Ok, I need to ask you...do you do your workouts in the morning or evening? Is it OK to do workouts in the evening (I've heard otherwise, so I was curious what you thought). Thanks!

  11. Those are all things that motivate me as well! Especially the part of not only keeping up with my kids and future grandkids, but giving them a run for their money while I'm at it. And although I haven't thought specifically about a "bad guy" situation, I have thought about being able to run fast in an "emergency" situation, and that motivates me to keep going!

  12. I really appreciated this post, Stephanie! I have always thought I didn't have time to exercise, but I'm starting to realize how important it is to make it a priority, and your thoughts and encouragement are really helpful.

  13. This is sooooo what I needed this week. I have been feeling so lazy! Thanks for the pep talk :)

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