Motivation to Exercise in 8 Steps
Unfortunately, I’ve never been someone that loves exercise. I want to love exercise but I don’t. I want to get motivation to exercise but I need to make a disclaimer for this blog post before I start. This topic, and what I’ll write in this post, is directed to the person that I see in the mirror….ME! Obviously, I hope that it also helps others but I need help to get motivated to create the habit of exercising.
I don’t like exercise. I wish it was my thing, but it isn’t. I want to get motivation to exercise. I’ve tried to talk myself into liking exercise, but no success. I also know that part of having healthy self-esteem and loving myself is exercise. Exercise doesn’t just work your body but has benefits to your mood, your emotions and mental clarity too. Motivation to exercise is a commodity that I just don’t have…..yet. My deep sense of well-being, self-esteem and all those good self things (acceptance, confidence, etc.) are so important and a priority so I know I need to make peace with exercise and to quote Nike – JUST DO IT!
Motivation to Exercise – 8 Steps:
(That resonate with me!)
1. Not to feel YUCK. When I don’t exercise, I feel YUCK. Just YUCK. I feel better after I exercise. I really do. I feel better physically, emotionally and mentally. Honestly, I do love that feeling post-exercise. I feel as though I’ve accomplished something and ready to tackle anything that comes my way. Note to Self: Remember that feeling! Now that is motivation to exercise for that natural “feel good” feeling.
2. Fast Forward. One year from now, how do I want to feel, look, and most importantly, how do I want my health to be? I want to do something today that will pay off not just today but in the future too.
3. Health won’t last forever. Good health won’t last forever. Our bodies were meant to move. If I don’t take care of my body, it won’t take care of me! Our good health isn’t something to be taken for granted but treasured and protected. For my ease of reference when I’m contemplating working out (or not), here’s a list:
Exercise and physical activity improve-
• Cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
• Stronger immune system.
• Skin tone, making your skin more elastic.
• Sleep better and improve your sleep patterns.
• Weight loss and maintenance.
• Improve your ability to relax.
• Prevents/helps control high blood pressure.
• Prevents/helps control high cholesterol.
• Builds and maintains healthy bones, muscles and joints.
• Improved heart and lung function.
• Better complexion.
• Better digestion (and bowel function).
• Brighter eyes.
• Slimmer and more toned body.
• Build muscles.
• More efficient metabolism, you burn more calories BETWEEN
• Helps manage stress more effectively.
• Promotes a healthier and stronger body, physically, mentally and
• Greater self-esteem and self-confidence.
• Personal satisfaction, self-image and the overall quality of your life.
• Risk for heart disease and stroke.
• Risk for developing diabetes.
• Risk for osteoporosis.
4. ME Time or Family Time. Whether I need to de-stress or have some time for inner contemplation or reflection, taking a walk is a great way for ME Time. Whether walking in my neighborhood or enjoying Mother Nature, I see things I would never have seen if I’d been driving by. I love spending time with my family, my hubby, either/both of my kids or my furry child (my dog), a walk together is special to me. Walking with another person is a special time to talk or be together and bond. This is a special motivation to exercise.
5. Moderation, moderation, moderation. As I’m writing this blog post, I’m having some insights. In the past, I’ve been black/white regarding exercise. I either did it all the way/not at all. Instead of being so hard on myself and exercising at the perfectionistic goal of “no matter what,” I’m going to go for moderation. Setting a goal of 3-4 days a week is sustainable (and not compulsive nor perfectionistic). This is for a healthy lifestyle, and a habit to live with not to burn out on. (I’m excited and feel motivation to exercise just thinking about these so far!!)
6. Show up. There’s a quote by Woody Allen that is “Half of life is showing up.” For exercise, it is more than 1/2 of showing up. I show up once I put my sneaks on, the decision has been made and I’m on the door (weather permitting) or on the treadmill. Even if I’m not registering full on my motivation to exercise, I just have to show up.
7. See it to do it. Visualization works. Top athletes visualize seeing themselves winning and being successful at their sport. The body does what the mind conceives. So, why not exercise??!! Studies (and my own personal experience) show that I’m much more likely to do something if I see myself actually doing it in my mind. The more I’m able to visualize something – exercise – the more apt I’ll do it. When I first learned to type on a keyboard, I would practice typing words in my head. I ended getting an A+ in that class!! Motivation to exercise comes from within so I’m going to see myself motivated and just (Nike again here) – DO IT.
8. Helps to FLY. Part of my path to Fully Loving Yourself (FLY), has meant to embrace lots of things, including to develop self-confidence. Regular physical exercise increases confidence and significantly raises your self-esteem. Exercise, i.e., physical movement, is the best and fastest way to produce serotonin (the happy chemical in your brain). The more intense, the more serotonin. I’ve read that regular exercise just three times per week is more effective in lifting depression than taking antidepressants or other medications. I had a personal trainer once that told me if all the benefits of exercise could be bottled in a pill form, it would outsell anything else. When we FLY, that internal source of meditation to exercise comes naturally.
As I’ve written this blog post, I genuinely feel motivation to exercise and WANT to get back into the habit and routine of exercising. Before, my purpose has only been to burn calories and lose/maintain weight. That wasn’t enough of an incentive for me long-term to have the motivation to exercise. Now, having all the things in my life that are important to me to FLY (Fully Loving Yourself), exercise and regular activity are part of that. How can I truly FLY if I don’t embrace exercise and all of the physical and psychological benefits that come with it? When I FLY, exercise becomes a “want to” instead of a “have to” in my life and all I’ve done is change my mindset.
Hmmm, where are those sneakers (LOL) so I can keep FLYing?! 🙂