Finding Motivation to Exercise

Patient Expert

It's no secret that exercise and being active are key to health and losing weight. But making the time to exercise, and finding the motivation to do so, often eludes us. My solution to most things in life, including finding motivation to exercise, is to keep it simple. Sometimes keeping it simple is not so easy, though. So I am going to share a few lessons learned and life experiences that have brought me to an exercise frame of mind.

Keep exercise simplet small goals.

Do not try to go from the couch to a 5k. You'll just end up discouraged and probably back on the couch instead of running. Be reasonable: Push yourself to whatever limit is safe based on your level of fitness. For example, I did the TurboFire Workout for the first time yesterday with my daughter. I did 20 minutes of it and then went into my ab circuit, whereas daughter was able to do all 55 minutes. I was breathing heavy and covered in sweat at the end of the cardio. It was a good workout for me and I was happy with what I was able to accomplish rather than discouraged that right out of the gate I was not able to keep up with someone much more fit than me.

A glimpse of the TurboFire work out with Chalene Johnson.

Find role models.

What fitness experts or enthusiasts inspire you? Who has the body that you'd love to have? I am inspired by fitness guru Mark Sisson. I believe in his approach to diet and exercise. And I'd love to have a body like Anna Nicole Smith had in her heyday. I also pin toned abs and curvaceous bums to my Pinterest board along with the workouts for sculpting my body. I will never appear in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, but images of hard bodies inspire me to be my best.

Discover what you enjoy.

Exercise should not be a second job for you, but sometimes we approach it that way. There is something about the way that we exercise that makes us hate working out. Exercise does not have to take place in a gym on a treadmill facing CNN on the TV monitors and under the drone of fluorescent lights. Find what you enjoy doing, and do it. I like sprints. I love planks. I enjoy hiking. I appreciate High Intensity Training (HIT). I want to try crew and Zumba.

Look the part.

I've splurged on a few really cute workout outfits from Champion and Nike.  I want to work out when I put on my colorful sports bra and tight capris. And I push myself to more intensity when I do my ab circuit or sprints. The clothes make a difference. I've tried my workouts in an old t-shirt and shorts. I tried-on inexpensive brands of sports bras and capris. They just don't do it for me. I like the way my developing body looks in name brand workout clothes and that pushed me to do my personal best.

Wear good sneakers.

Let's face it: You will not work out if you are in pain. I have some trouble with back and foot pain. So as to not let pain stop me, I've splurged on two good pairs of sneakers. My go-to brand is MBT - Masai Barefoot Technology. I can hike all day in these and have no pain.

The bottom line: Workouts should not be awful. Engage in activity that makes exercise pleasurable. Workouts need not be expensive, either. You do not need a gym membership or fancy equipment. We're all busy people with packed schedules and multiple responsibilities, but we owe it to ourselves to stay fit, healthy and happy.

I stay fit with sprinting and an ab circuit:

Sprinting-Walking Intervals Provide Fitness and Fun** Abdominal Exercise to a Smaller Waist Explained**** Get a Smaller Waist with Isometric Contractions**** Transversus Abdominal Planks for a Smaller Waist**** Get a Smaller Waist by Working Your Obliques**

Ab Workout for the Rectus Abdominis

Living life well-fed,

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