Monday, October 5, 2009

Changing Motivators to Exercise

As I revealed a few days ago, I was on the crew team in high school, and we competed a lot. In fact, all of our training, eating, and thoughts revolved around our race schedule. We were very motivated by this schedule! We were motivated by the prospect of winning medals. Our performance was measured on a regular basis, which motivated us to prepare ourselves as best as we could. While competing in a sport on a regular basis, I never really had to think about motivation...

After high school, things changed as I didn't compete in a sport anymore. All of a sudden, I had to work out truly for myself. I have always enjoyed being active, so most of the time going for a hike or a swim, or working out at the gym wasn't difficult. But there certainly were days when I didn't work out because I didn't "have to." Nobody knew...

Several years later when life became complicated and extremely hectic, I started to struggle with exercise. I constantly used the excuse that I didn't have enough time or that I didn't have enough energy. I refused to admit that it was up to me to make time and that exercise truly gave me energy. I was in an unhappy place and looking back, I had lost most motivation... It was almost like I had given up on myself.

I was in desperate need of some motivation. And luckily, I found it. After feeling tired, worn out, old, and unhealthy, I realized that feeling better was not that hard. I just had to seriously start exercising again. Now, I had never stopped exercising completely. I've always worked out at least two or three days per week. But that is just not enough to truly improve your health and your overall well being.

While I was motivated by medals when I was young, here are my exercise motivators today:
  • Exercise makes me happy.
  • Exercise gives me lots of energy - energy I need to be the best I can be in all aspects in my life.
  • Exercise has reduced my high blood pressure into the normal range.
  • Exercise has helped me control my weight.
  • Exercise helps me sleep better.
  • Exercise is often my "me time" - When I work out at the gym, the toddler goes to the on-site childcare. A little bit of "me time" makes me a kinder, more relaxed human being and a better mom. And that's what really counts! :o)
I think my exercise motivators today are a lot more meaningful and important than my motivators back in high school...

Questions: Have you ever felt like you have lost some of the motivation to exercise? What motivates you to exercise?

Be well,