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Frequently, I receive emails from readers asking how I motivate myself to exercise and stick to a regular workout routine. I typically mention my use of mantras and self-talk to get me in the groove, but I also found that scheduling my workouts for the week is the best and most effective way to keep me motivated. I plan my workouts in my Google calendar, typically on Sunday afternoon, just like I would any other appointment, whether it's a business meeting, a visit to the dentist, or a friend's bridal shower. This way, I can hold myself accountable for each workout because they are an appointment I can't break.

When I started to think about other types of obligations, I realized that I don’t necessarily need much motivation to do them. For example, if I have morning meeting, I get up, get dressed, and drive myself to the office without much effort or convincing. I know the benefits of maintaining a stable job, and they far outweigh any negative feelings about getting up and moving.

When I think about the benefits of exercise, the list seems endless: weight control, stress management, improved mood, better sleep, and of course, it combats a variety of health conditions and diseases (heart disease and diabetes to name just two). I mean, I get sweaty and sometimes stinky during exercise. I might feel sore the day after a workout or miss an extra hour of sleep if I workout in the morning, but these are minor negatives compared to all of the great things exercise can do for my mind, body, and soul.

Why would I treat my fitness with any less regard than, say, a doctor's appointment? I wouldn't, and I don't, and I'm happier and healthier for it.

More: Read Tina's daily food and fitness blog, Carrots 'N' Cake.