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A Little Motivation

As we kick off another Workout Wednesday, I’d like to thank my fellow St.Mary’s High School Gaels for providing the inspiration for today’s post.

Jennifer recently posed the following question on my LauraLovesFitness Facebook page (which prompted a “like” from Susan):

What are your tips to get motivated? I know that everyone says they are busy and have very little time to work out; I am in that club. I have a full time job, children etc. I know exactly what I need to do to get fit, I have a physical therapy degree. The pounds are not so slowly creeping up on me but I have no motivation. Help!

Kids or no kids, all of us juggle so many daily tasks and activities. Add the time we spend here online to write and/or read blogs; check/send email; post status updates; “like” our friends status updates and create clever tweets, and it’s no wonder we feel we have zero time to do anything “good” for ourselves. Well, guess what? We HAVE to make time because no one else is going to do it for us.

So, where do I get my motivation to move amidst the madness? While we can come up with a  hundred reasons not to exercise, my list for why I stick with it is pretty short and sweet:

  1. Regular physical activity provides countless benefits which include controlling weight; fighting a variety of health conditions ranging from heart disease to arthritis and promoting sleep. 
  2. Stress-busting power! After a 12-hour shoot day or edit session with an intense client, nothing clears my head like breaking a sweat. That doesn’t mean you have to bust your butt in a 90-minute boot-camp class. Spending 15 minutes on a treadmill (which Jennifer admits she has in her home) or taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood can channel negative energy to a much healthier focus.
  3. Endorphins and Energy! You’ve heard of the “runners’ high.” Well, I don’t run, but the mood-elevating endorphin rush I get from Tabata training or a Club Strength class is probably the biggest reason why I keep moving. Exercise also boosts your overall energy levels more effectively than pumping your body full of crash-inducing caffeine or sugar-fixes. For all you parents, adding some exercise to your life could be just what you need to keep up with your kids!

Along with my motivators, here are a couple of other things to keep in mind:

  1. Don’t tackle exercise with an all-or-nothing voracity: If the idea of spending an entire hour exercising overwhelms you, simply scale it back. Start with 15 or 20 minutes and build on that. Once you start feeling the positive effects from the activity, you’ll want to spend more time doing what makes you feel good!
  2. Don’t compare yourself to others: Until I win the lottery and can hire my own personal trainer to kick my butt five days a week and pay a chef to take the guesswork out of making healthy meals that actually taste good, I remind myself everyday that in my reality, I’m doing the best I can to take care of myself. So, while I may never have legs like Cameron Diaz, I do have a strong heart, strong spirit and strong desire to fit my workouts into even the most hectic weeks so I can get that rush where I feel like I’m on top of the world – even for just a little while.

If all else fails, remember this: exercise CAN be fun! The key is finding what that fun is for you: running, boxing, Zumba or even meeting a friend for a daily brisk walk with hand weights. Don’t be afraid to experiment and mix things up. Even if you never define exercise as more than a “necessary evil,” you can still make a program work on your terms so you can have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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